Should I use my mothers biography/memories she wrote for me.

+12 votes
120 views
Years ago I asked my mother to write about her childhood. She finally did, calls it Memories. I think it took her years, and ends (last entry 5 Jul 2006) during her last years before she died of multiple myeloma in 2006. It is a sad but very honest story. Much information on her maternal and paternal family. She says she was surprised she remembered so much. And wonders what all she has forgotten. Near the end she also veers into her later life and of her children that I would have to omit.

I was thinking of putting it on a space page and connecting to the people mentioned.

She was born in 1928 so during the depression years life was tough. I just ran across it again.. been packed away for years. She made binded copies for all of us. It is 39 pages, but at page 35 I would have to start editing, maybe earlier. I guess I would make it a PDF.

What are your thoughts on this? It is sad, makes me cry in places for what my mother lived through, but many happy memories for her as well, but such an honest description of her life. But maybe not something others would want to read. But most coming to her page would be family and they may. Sort of torn.
WikiTree profile: Dorothy Morris
in Policy and Style by Terry McClintock G2G6 Mach 3 (36.3k points)
edited by Terry McClintock
This reminds me of someone I am connected to who traveled from Connecticut to Ohio in 1810. She kept a diary of her experiences, but it was intended for only one of her relatives. About 100 years later, it was decided to publish the information. It became a book, titled "A Journey to Ohio in 1810" by Margaret Van Horn Dwight. The book came out in 1913. The Western Reserve Historical Society has a copy of the original book. Part of Ohio was the Western Reserve of Connecticut.
I believe I have read about her Journey. Or one similar to it.
Due to her writings, I just found what happened to her uncle Ed Shoemaker who had seemed to disappear after the 1930 census. He was changing a tire during a snow storm on my mothers 8th birthday. He was killed. Found his death cert which gives his birth date and place. And an obit.

6 Answers

+12 votes
Absolutely!  The memoirs of your mother are a first-person document.  What a treasure you have that no one else will ever read unless you share it.
by Th Fager G2G1 (1.6k points)
I agree. Such a document is Genealogical Gold! I would love to read her first-hand account of her life and times. It can be hard to imagine what life was actually like.
I agree; my mother did such a document. Miriam's Memories.  I think it's a great idea.
+6 votes
I think a Space page and links to profiles of names that are mentioned is a brilliant idea. As long as said profiles have been created
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (658k points)
+9 votes
Wow, what an absolute treasure to have. Yes, I would definitely add it to Wikitree!

The last 5-6 years, I have been contacting all of my cousins, and spending an hour or two asking them about their stories. I've collected 70-80 so far, and have hundreds of pages of stories. Perhaps one day those will make it to Wikitree as well!
by Alex Stronach G2G6 Pilot (184k points)
+5 votes
Yes, please do it.  There may be some technical issues.  If you have transcribed it into a Word document, uploading a PDF should work.  I have uploaded a 43-page transcription.  If you have scanned the pages of a handwritten document, it may be too large to upload, but you could do it in parts.
by Julie Kelts G2G6 Mach 9 (98.2k points)
Not even sure how to go about it. I can scan it into a PDF on my printer. But I don't think it will be editable. I don't have word. I might have to type it out.
Yes, that's what I did---I typed out the document.  I do a lot of transcriptions, although mostly only a few paragraphs to a few pages.  I find them useful in giving me a much better understanding of the documents involved.
+3 votes

I agree with others that this is a wonderful thing to have & that it should be included in the genealogical record. My grandfather Parks was interested in family history and wrote a few pages of autobiography, a few pages of biography on his father and a few on each of his grandfathers. Beyond my grandfather, the few pages on the others make them real in a way that the plain facts of when and where born, etc. can't. Grandpa's writing has cleared up confusion & errors in the historical record.

Someone suggested you should re-type what you have. That person may have had a sadistic streak.smiley Might I suggest that you photocopy the pages that have information you don't want to include, that you take a black magic marker and redact material to be excluded (on the photocopy, not the original), and that you use these redacted pages when you put together the PDF to post here.

ago by Zane Parks G2G3 (3.5k points)
That was me and I wasn't being sadistic.  There are good reasons to transcribe any important document.  For one thing, I know from experience that most people will not read carefully through a long handwritten document; therefore, much information can be lost or misunderstood.  Also, if it is digital, you can paste excerpts elsewhere.  There are lots of good reasons.

Also, as I pointed out, a long PDF made up of scans will probably not upload in one piece.
I agree. I didn't mean to insult. Maybe I'm lazy or getting old. No maybe about it. I have transcribed shorter pieces, but the idea of transcribing 40+ pages makes me tired.

No problem, Zane.  I responded not because I was offended, but because I wanted to make the point that there are some good reasons for transcribing.  I agree that 39 pages is a lot, but because it is her mother, maybe Terry will do it as a labor of love, and have the advantage of being familiar with her mother's handwriting.

Looking at your profile, I guess you are older than me, but not by much. smiley

I have started, up to page 12. Yikes, it has been a long time since I typed that much at one time. Taking a day off... I think I will need someone to read it over, for typos, before I release it. Sometimes others can see the little mistakes better. So many little words that can go astray and not show up easily.

I actually had to chop my nails off, a real pain typing.
Good for you, Terry!  I'd be willing to proofread it, if you wish.
+2 votes

What an incredible gift from your mother!!   Yes, please post it and link to those mentioned.  The other sources you find will help authenticate her facts  and adds credibility to the writings you can't source independently.    (Like finding Uncle Shoemaker's death certificate.)

I scanned a 27 page WWII diary and the 13.7 megabyte pdf was small enough to upload...... 

ago by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (149k points)
edited ago by Peggy McReynolds

Related questions

+4 votes
0 answers
+6 votes
1 answer
+8 votes
1 answer
+6 votes
0 answers
+7 votes
4 answers
+9 votes
2 answers
193 views asked Sep 22, 2015 in Genealogy Help by Brandy McDowell G2G Crew (610 points)
+6 votes
2 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright

...