The Strangers in The Box

Families sometimes wonder how to pass the history of previous generations down to the next generations.

If you are lucky and have already been on the receiving end of some work done by past generations you have something to work with especially if you have photos as well as stories, after all a Family Tree on it’s own doesn’t seem too exciting unless you find you are related to someone famous and have heard of their story.

Family Trees like Ancestry do however help to identify where someone sits in the scheme of things and how they are related to you. Initially you may subscribe to Ancestry but you don’t have to. You can add to your own Tree online or via a computer program that can be purchased. The Computer Program for Ancestry is Family Tree Maker and used to be part of Ancestry and now it is owned by, Software MacKiev, a company in Ukraine, however you can still work in either and then synchronise them.

Another useful and free tree is Wikitree, where you can look up people you may not have on your own Ancestry Tree who are more distant relatives you haven’t added. Wikitree aims to have only one entry for every person so if there are more than one they like to merge them together, with every entries owners permission.

What to do with old written material that was done years ago and passed down?

Write a book? Well initially it could be transcribed onto computer friendly programs like Word and then saved as PDF’s and then saved to a storage device/s for family members. If you don’t want to write a book, you can write individual stories over time on a blog site such as WordPress. Hopefully that remains for the future generations. I purposely stayed with a free site so it should continue into the future.

Usually kids aren’t interested until they also retire.

Writing a book is major challenge and the history is still limited to the number of books printed but usually enough to cover family members. In saying that we came across an author in Norman C Hutchinson who had written a book about a suffragist, Annie Lister who married Sid Watson of Gregory Downs. We then encouraged him to write a book about Grandie Watson from Walwa and his other children. Only 300 copies were printed and Norm had planned to make it an e book as well but it didn’t happen before he passed away.


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