Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Family Roots & Fiction

Yesterday Elizabeth Ludwig talked to us about researching her latest release about Ellis Island. Real events in history often trigger the writer's mind through the research process.

After researching our family history for over thirty years, writing fiction based on history, seems only natural. Like Jaime's post on Monday about Leaving a Legacy, I take one look at a relic of history and my curiosity goes wild. I love that pearl handled ink writing pen!

Relics and momentos hold memories and meaning. But without the stories to go with them, it's like finding a book with missing chapters.

How do some stories get passed on while others are lost in the pages of history? How can it be true that it only takes one generation to lose a legacy?

I've become addicted to the T.V. show Who Do You Think You Are? On the show, a celebrity follows his or her family history back as far as they can, with the help of professional researchers. They document their research journey and tell stories about how the information helped fill in the blanks. Click on the link for more information: Who Do You Think You Are?

I've followed this series from season one on NBC, until this season on TLC. I'm always amazed at how many people don't know their own grandparent's names and it saddens me. I can name my eight great grandparents by first and last name. The Bible recites more than ten generations of "begets" at a time. Genealogies were memorized, recited aloud, and retold--so the story wouldn't be lost.

Several summers ago after a family reunion on my husband's side, I convinced him to go sleuthing for  an old country graveyard looking for a lost x10 great grandfather of his. We found the graveyard and were pleasantly surprised to learn that this grandfather was one of only two Revolutionary War Soldiers buried in Howard County, Indiana. He had fought at Valley Forge. Born in Maryland, a Scots-Irish settler in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, he'd lived to nearly 100 years old at his death in Indiana. How did that story never get passed down by word of mouth?

(my husband's Irish ND hat is on top because John Gullion was an Irishman)

Remember, you are the living link in your story. 
Will you pass on a legacy of stories?
Start by interviewing all your oldest living relatives and writing down their stories. 
Sometimes the truth in your history might turn out to be stranger than fiction.
But it may also hold the blessing of light and understanding.

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter


  1. Such a cool post, Anne. I know quite a bit of history on my mom's side, but not my dad's. It'd be cool to dig deep into my ancestral roots and learn more. ooh, maybe if I become famous NBC would invite me onto their show and they could figure out my past for me. :) But seriously, wonderful post!

  2. Thanks Melissa. I know, seriously would be cool to have that degree of professional assistance if we were rich and famous. :)

  3. Love love love this! I so want to research my obscure family history one day!


Hey friend! Please leave a comment, no lurking allowed ;)