It’s hard to believe, but I am writing my last assignment for the ProGen Study Group. This journey started over a year ago and I have found it to be invaluable. If you are interested in learning more or perhaps signing up yourself, go to their website… https://progenstudygroups.com/.
For the next two months, we are writing a family narrative, a form of writing that brings a different perspective. The assignments so far have been looking up from an ancestor and finding or proving parentage. The family narrative starts with the parents and proves their connection to the child. This is also a much more creative form of writing.
My focus so far has been on the Kroesen family on my dad’s side. I wanted to change things up a bit, so I decided to pick an ancestor from my mom’s side. If you’ve been reading my blog, he won’t be new to you…John C. McKamey. He was my 2x great-grandfather who perished in the Fraterville Mine explosion. You can read my first post here and the follow-up post here.
Instead of a structured format, a family narrative lets you bring in elements of history, social history, economics, religion, etc. Genealogy is so much more than just names and dates. This allows you to bring real context into your ancestors’ lives and show what it must have been like to live as they lived.
Even though this form of writing is much freer, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. I’m still a math and science girl and writing does not come second nature to me. Luckily, as with all ProGen assignments, I’ll get feedback from my peers and be able to rewrite it for the final month of May. Once I graduate in June, it’ll be up to me to put all I’ve learned into practice.
Now it’s your turn…take those names and dates and go further. Dig into your ancestors’ lives. You will get to know them so much better!
Genealogy tip: The beauty of writing about your ancestors is there is no wrong way to do it. You can take whatever perspective you like.
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