The Theme or Twist of Your Family Story



Doing your family history is not just gathering names, dates and places. It is truly about the individuals over the decades who would be the basic core of who you are today. If a great grandfather had not moved from Scotland and resettled in Vermont, you would have been born in Scotland and lead a totally different life.

Every individual, every family has an interesting story or theme to their life story. The following are just a few examples of putting your ancestors within their specific life story.

Maybe you found that a grandfather grew up in a simple basic tenement apartment in a large U. S. city. Then you locate they started as a simple laborer in a factory that produced fishing rods and equipment. Next, they were a foreman and then manager in that factory. From there that grandfather having saved money left the factory and started his own similar business with improved and better fishing equipment. That business grows and expands and he in his later years is a wealthy man. That is a ‘rags to riches’ theme.

Of course, that same theme could have worked in reverse ‘riches to rags’.

Then there are the individuals who were independent, self-reliance, and trailblazing. These people fought the ‘system’ sometimes and did what they thought was right on their own terms. This is especially true for females who worked for decades for women’s rights – suffragettes. It would include union organizers or civil right protesters.

Next, you can have those ancestors tales of steadfastness, staying the course. Always reliable and truly the backbone of any society. They were the farmer, the fisherman, or the factory worker.

So as you put together a family and its members, the grandparents, their children, their siblings, see if there is a theme to the family as a whole or for just one individual. This is what makes each person unique and their story is always worth remembering and preserving.  

Remember to start with YOUR Life Story … you have a great one waiting to be preserved.

Photos: Women working to secure the vote in London, UK in 1900; 1850s pioneers to the West; and Union organizers in 1950s;

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Your Life Story

Interesting Family Stories

Tell Your Mom’s Story

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