Mentors Tips - What is the Story?

+27 votes

I have spent the last week or so decompressing from my trip to Roots Tech 2016. I won't bore you with how cool it was to see the WikiTree Volunteers who manned our booth, how exciting it was to meet so many WikiTreers in attendance or how fun it was to sit down at a computer with people who wanted to join WikiTree, then joined right there on the spot, OR with how cool it was to hang-out with Wikitree's Forest Elf or our WikiTreer-In-Chief Chris Whitten (oh, it was so much fun).

But what I will do is share with you what I have read from the many, many Bloggers who attended. Generally their specific take-away from the conference was that the story of our ancestors is increasing in importance. No, not that our Ancestors have a story that we should find out about, but more that our ancestors have a story that we should write about or tell about, in whatever form we chose.

WikiTree gives us a form for this. We can write about their stories in G2G when we ask questions. We can post photographs with descriptions of what our ancestors were doing in those photographs. We can also post their story to their profile page. I know, I know...your already know that. But do you do it? Post their story to their profiles?

I have and I haven't. I have posted a few of my Ancestors stories. But mostly, I work on adding sources (including the actual data if I can get it) to the Biography Section, but I don't often flesh-out the story as well. I have been thinking about this since before Roots Tech and reading the blog posts from other bloggers. I have been thinking that I should work some on writing the story of all those facts and sources I have been posting.

I guess this could go along with What's Your WikiTree Add Style? Slow and deliberate or addtheseprofilesfast then come back round to fill in the information. I am the deliberate adder. Though, I think maybe I should add a bit more of the, come back round to fill in the information to my add style. This way maybe I can work on telling the story too. Well, isn't that a part of what the Biography section is for? Telling the story?

So the trend identified by so many of the Roots Tech Attendees is that more Genealogists are moving towards telling the story of the Ancestors they are researching as well as all the traditional, charts and trees. What is the story in your research, right now, today? Yes you. look down at what it is you are working on and tell us a story - by posting it to the profile and then link us all to it in your answer to this post.

I can't wait to see what the stories are.



in The Tree House by Mags Gaulden G2G6 Pilot (524k points)
edited by Mags Gaulden

2 Answers

+7 votes
Great post Mags!!!
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
+3 votes
This isn't so much an answer, as a further question.  How do you tell a story, if you don't know a story to tell?  I'm thinking of my way-back-when ancestors: all I know about them is their BMB.  And it gets especially tough with females.  A woman was born/baptised, she married, she had babies, she didn't work outside the home, she died and was buried.  How do you make a story out of that?
by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
You can tell the story of the times she lived in - what a housewife or a farmers wife did in that era. So you can frame her life around what happened historically in the area and so on. Mags
One of the things that I've noticed since I started, is the more research you do, the more you learn...and if you let your mind really get into it you can begin to picture scenarios in your mind (some kind of embarrassing, that I would never add), but if you follow their descendants you can see how their parents and grandparents influenced them. But it does depend on your style. Like Mags I tend to get facts in first, then go back and add their story. But as I add the facts I leave notes where I have them written down to come back to as to where I think there is a story to tell, if I'm on a hot trail. I'll go ahead and add them if the trail is running cold.

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