Tuesday, July 26, 2022

A Time to Write: 2. The Most Elusive People

I am working on writing, Our Brown Roots, the history of my paternal grandfather’s family & its many leaves & branches. I am trying to focus my time & efforts on finishing up that huge project but will give some time to posting about the procedure here.

My Closest Family May be the Most Elusive


Does anyone else find this to be true?


For several years I have compiled data on ancestors. Among others, I have found:


Andries Van Valkenberg, c 1540 Netherlands – 1609

My 11th great grandfather


Thomas Lawrence, 1539 - 28 Oct 1593 England

My 11th great grandfather


John Ashley, 1625 England - c 1687 VA

My 9th great grandfather


I have traced & documented these ancestors, their families and their connection to my paternal grandfather and me. 


However, I am still missing information about my closest family members. I am still learning about my paternal grandfather, Roy Jessie Brown and his seven children. It can be easier to learn about an ancestor in a library or in a census report than to ask a cousin about their parent. Memories are not always clear or siblings can differ in their memories. Recent records are harder to access. 1950 is the most recent Federal Census we can study. I have not accessed recent records often & am unfamiliar with them. Researchers, do you have any favorite places to search?

In genealogy you are told to begin your research with what you know, the people who are closest to you. I thought I did but I only knew basic facts. Now I need to know what kind of people they were. What did they do between those birth and death dates? Where did they live and what did they do? Were they kind, curious, adventurous, timid, shy? Do I have their traits?

And, what about my own parents, can I write about them subjectively? Will my brothers have the same memories & thoughts? And, how objective should I be when writing about people who are close to my heart; maybe the emotions are important to keep them come across as living people. These are the thoughts I am dealing with as I finish the final section of my book.

Therefore, I am working hard on writing about my paternal grandparents & their children but it is not easy. They are my last generation to write about. Then it will be down to formatting. 


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1 comment:

  1. Agree that writing about ancestors closer in time to us is harder than writing about ancestors from the distant past. I asked my relatives for their memories, also searched city directories, newspapers, yearbooks, and other sources. Wishing you luck!


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