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Claire Brown

Dear Stephanie,
Thanks for the advice on finding meaning in the family stories around us. It reminded me that about 20 years ago I purchased one of those fill-in-the blank books for my Dad to help track family history and he died a few years after that, never having used the book. Now I am searching family history and while the relatives I have known are now all deceased, I have discovered a relatave in her late 80's (living in another state)and am reviewing in my mind how I will introduce myself, explain how we are related, and what questions I may have for her. More so I am interested in stories she may have about the relatives I knew. I agree it is a process of discovery about me and my family, like assembling pieces of a puzzle. I'll keep you posted. And thanks again for sharing your advice.
Best regards,

Linda Austin

Hi Stephanie, I think those memory books are good for people (or their family members) who have no intention of writing a book - many fearful they are not good writers, who think nobody cares, who think a complete book is too much work - maybe the biggest drawback. I've found audio taping best because the recorder is tiny and forgetable. Hand writing notes takes too much time and interferes with the flow, and videotaping can be very intimidating. I've found having a small group of family present can make it a more comfortable and fun experience, and the family remembers stories to bring up.

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