Author Topic: Structuring a written family history  (Read 10660 times)

Offline lizdb

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Re: Structuring a written family history
« Reply #9 on: Friday 26 August 11 12:16 BST (UK) »
We wrote our family history up in book form some years ago. As Family History is never ending (!) we produced a second book a few years later!

Ours was structured more or less in chronological order, starting with the earliest record. Chapters dealt in turn with the various sidelines. So Chapters were titled things like:
'The Earliest years', 'Children of  John and Ann'',' The sideline from William', 'towards the present day'

I dont know what form yuor research and tree has taken. If it is a tree starting with you at the bottom and working upwards to 2 parents, 4 grandparents etc, all from different families and each leading just on the next generation above it may be difficult to follow this form, as there will be lots and lots of people at the top of the tree all coming to gether to just one at the end. Ours is a tree starting with one guy at the top and following ALL his descendents down.

However you go about it, I am sure you will enjoy it and produce something worthwhile to be passed down, when computer records are obselete - all the ones saved to floppy disk are useless unless transferred to disc, and those on disc will be useless unless transferred to memory stick and then those will be useless unless ....etc etc!
When your descendents are storing info in a way that we cant even dream of now, they will cherish your book - if they just found an old memory stick in the loft they would probably just chuck it as it would be of no use to them!
Edmonds/Edmunds - mainly Sussex
DeBoo - London
Green - Suffolk
Parker - Sussex
Kemp - Essex
Farrington - Essex
Boniface - West Sussex

census information is Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline mowsehowse

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Re: Structuring a written family history
« Reply #10 on: Tuesday 13 February 18 08:03 GMT (UK) »
So much food for thought here...... I must just bite the bullet and make a start.  :-\  When I come back from holiday!!
Rowse in Brixham, Tenby, Hull & Ramsgate. Strongman, in Falmouth. Champion. Coke. Eame/s. Gibbons. Passmore. Pulsever. Sparkes in Brixham & Ramsgate. Toms in Cornwall. Waymoth. Wyatt.

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Online BushInn1746

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Re: Structuring a written family history
« Reply #11 on: Tuesday 13 February 18 16:28 GMT (UK) »
One very important thing to me when looking in factual reference books, is the Source reference.

We may not be interested in looking at your family document sources, but reference sources can be very valuable to others (especially if we didn't know they existed, or how useful they might be), for using those sources in our own research.

Don't forget your Archive places, the collection name with reference numbers, with folio / page / sheet number and date; or Book title, pub. date, with the page number.

My feeling is that these MSS / document / Will / newspaper / book / if GRO Cert / Inquest / Divorce / Inquisition Post Mortem re land ownership / Manor / Tithe document / Act of Parliament / Court case / Grant / Letters Patent or Arms (if any) footnote references, are best at the bottom of the relevant page.

Say if it is word of mouth (passed down), or by letter to the author from Mr Nobody of Haslemere, nothing worse than searching archives that you think may hold the information, to find it is not there and concluding that it must be the author's own knowledge, or source is left unknown.

I hate references that are at the end of the chapter, or end of the book by chapter, as I often can't remember the chapter number I'm reading, have to thumb backward to find the chapter number, then find either the end of the chapter, or go to the back of the book and find the relevant chapter and then thumb down to the footnote number for the reference, by which time I've forgotten the footnote number, by the time I've got there.

If your references have to go at the back (because you are not sure how footnotes will work with page layout) don't start with footnote 1 for each chapter, but carry the footnote numbering on, from the last chapter.

So you see footnote 256 and go straight to References at the back (without having to work out which chapter you are in) and thumb straight down to 256 and the document of origin.

Mark
"George HOOD of Selby" Before 1812?

Born about 1785 (Yorkshire per 1841 Census)

Married Sarah RUSSELL at Selby 1815 newspaper - "both of that place".

Buried in the Quaker Burial Ground at Selby as "Not in Membership" in 1845, aged 60 years.

George HOOD of Selby was refused Membership of the Quakers in 1836.

Elected Overseer of the Poor of Selby in 1838.

Had both known (Selby) and unknown (some not stated 1846) property interests.

Possible (but unknown) links to COOK and/or PEARSON names.

Offline T'YeadonKid

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Re: Structuring a written family history
« Reply #12 on: Tuesday 27 February 18 11:18 GMT (UK) »
What a terrific thread!
I've just started putting my history into some sort of "story" rather than just a collection of facts. Like others on this thread I struggled with format and settled on the idea of interspersing my life story with "faction" stories of my ancestors. As a child I regularly passed places where my ancestors had lived but had no idea that they had been there before til I started my research.
My completed story has a selected audience - my children and my siblings - so I'm telling it as if they're sitting by me (and ready for disagreements from other siblings' points of view).
I fully agree with the previous post about recording sources! I've lost count of the number of times I've had to retrace my steps to find a source; now my source records are very OTT!
Good hunting and writing to fellow authors.

Offline Mart 'n' Al

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Re: Structuring a written family history
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday 27 February 18 11:35 GMT (UK) »
I agree this is a very useful thread. I'm surprised I didn't find it before starting something similar myself recently. I didn't get the responses that this thread has generated. Most genealogy software has an option to generate a semi textual look at a family comma but it is basically an office document with bullet points which is hardly readable. I will enjoy studying this thread at length. Despite criticising the options available from genealogy software comma their output can be used as a good start. I also recommend the historical novels of Edward Rutherford, who manages to follow several Dynastic families down through the ages. His different works do it in different ways, and the most recent one I read, Paris, alternates between the middle ages and the 20th century. It was a great story but at times it was hard to follow because of the jumping about. The big problem is starting with 8 16 32 or more families bring them down ultimately to yourself,  without making it just a list of where people were born married and died. I'm also particularly interested in the 'ethics' of perhaps describing a typical Victorian scene in a house, or in a carriage, or on a quayside, as part of your family history, even though it is a slightly fictionalised description. Adding such a slightly fictitious narrative would make a story much more readable to a varied audience than just having a list of facts. I think it would be important for it to be clear that the small boy standing on a quay side watching a tall ship coming to the Harbour was not an actual description of one day in your ancestor's life.

Martin
Gedmatch DNA Kit H062246. Names: Loughborough and Loughbrough, (London, Hull, Pirton and Hartlepool), Watson, (Bedlington, Jarrow & H'pool), Ballard & Glassop (E. London),  Leggett (Corton, Scarborough, Hartlepool, & Barnington, Yorks.)  Young & Wilson, (Hartlepool).  I use GRAMPS 4.2.6 software.