Whittier Area Genealogical Society
Whittier Area Genealogical Society
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February 2, 2023 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for February 2023
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8th  from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd  from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
Current Writers Group members will receive a reminder before each meeting.  The Zoom link will be included in the email with the February 4th  meeting reminder.  All are welcome. 
 
Our February prompts are:
  1. Look for ideas were the past affects the present.  As an example, perhaps you still use your grandmother’s recipes, or pieces of her china for special occasions.  Make a list of items you still own, and perhaps use, that belonged to a loved one.  Be sure to connect the person to the item and why it has significance to you.
  1. In any family story, the people are the most important component.  Choose one of the “characters” in your family and bring them to life by describing their mannerisms, habits, sayings, clothing, scent, hobbies, or challenges.  How have they touched your life?
  1. Family history is a big project, so focus on starting small in your writing.  Focus on one particular event or memory that you find most interesting and describe why it is important to you and has remained a part of your life story.
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
January 4, 2023 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for January 2023
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11th from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, JANUART 25th  from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
Current Writers Group members will receive a reminder before each meeting.  The Zoom link will be included in the email with the January 7th meeting reminder.  All are welcome. 
 
Our January prompts are:
  1. Female ancestor roadblocks?  Have you hit a brick wall in finding one of your female lines or have you been successful in your search?  Explain how you overcame the roadblocks on this important line in your family tree, or how you plan to change your approach in order to achieve success.
  1. Have your DNA results agreed with your paper research?  Where do they diverge?  Do they offer other avenues of research to follow?  Do they support what you have documented?  What are your next steps?
  1. Do you have an embarrassing ancestor?  Not all of our predecessors were paragons of virtue.  Have you found one of these ‘characters’ in your research?  How, or should, you represent them in your family history narrative? 
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
 

November 29, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for December 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14th from 1 – 3 pm (PT).  There will be NO in-person meeting in DECEMBER due to the proximity to Christmas.  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion on December 14th.
 
Current Writers Group members will receive a reminder before each meeting.  The ZOOM link will be included in the email with the December meeting reminder.  All are welcome.
Our December prompts are:
  1. Tell a story from your life that you’ve never told before.  What did you learn “the hard way?”  What did you learn about yourself?  Why hasn’t this story been told before?  Does this story represent a turning point in your life?
  1. Trace the ancestry of an niece-, nephew-, aunt-, uncle-, or cousin-by-marriage and write about where their history began and how it became connected with your family.  What values, customs, languages, or traits have been handed down to your family through these connections?
  1. Do you have an ancestor or relative who was in the military?  Which branch of service?  When did they enlist or get drafted?  When were they discharged?  What was their rank in the service?  Did they serve during a war/conflict?  Did they receive any medals/honors/citations?  Did they survive their service?
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
November 2, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for November 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9th from 1-3 pm (PT). There will be NO in-person meeting in NOVEMBER due to the proximity to Thanksgiving.  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion on November 9th.
 
Current Writers Group members will receive a reminder before each meeting.  The Zoom link will be included in the email with the November meeting reminder.  All are welcome. 
 
Our November prompts are:
  1. Preserving memories:
  • What was your childhood home like?
  • Why did your parents give you your name?
  • What were your parents’ occupations?
  • What is your earliest memory?
  • What makes you the happiest?
  • What has changed the most since you were a child?
  • What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
  • What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
  • What is the silliest thing you’ve ever done?
  1. Do you have a surprising 1950 US census discovery?
  • Unexpected occupations?
  • New/different county, city, foreign country designation?
  • New family member you never knew about?
  • Did your relatives answer the extra questions on the bottom of the form?  Any surprising revelations?
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
October 1, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for October 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12th from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26th  from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
Current Writers Group members will receive a reminder before each meeting.  The Zoom link will be included in the email with the October 8th meeting reminder.  All are welcome. 
 
Our October prompts are:
  1. Have you uncovered a family secret through your genealogical research or DNA testing?  Will you keep the knowledge to yourself, or will you inform the family?  If you choose to inform them, how will you approach the subject?   How will this affect you as the family historian?
  1. You are more than a name in your family tree.  What do you want future generations to know about you?
  1. Discovering migratory patterns in your family tree.  Using your family tree research, where were your ancestors living in the 1850 U.S. Census?  Follow their movements forward using the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census records to see if there is a migratory pattern. Where and when did the various branches of your family meet up or did they travel together to new locations?
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
September 2, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for September 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14th from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
Current Writers Group members will receive a reminder before each meeting.  The Zoom link will be included in the email with the September 14th meeting reminder.  All are welcome. 
 
Our September prompts are:
  1. Did you have any ancestors in the following wars?  What do you know about their service?  How are they related to you?  Did they enlist or were they drafted?  Tell their story.
Revolutionary War: 1775-1783
War of 1812:1812-1815
Mexican War:1846-1848
Civil War:1861-1865
Spanish-American War:1898
Philippine Insurrection:1899-1902
World War I:1917-1918
World War II:1941-1945
Korean Conflict:1950-1953
Vietnam War:1964-1972
  1. What’s the most meaningful personal letter you ever received?  Or, wrote?  In what way has this letter affected you?
  1. Write a short story about the most memorable person in your life and how they influenced your perspective and relationship to the world around you.
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
August 1, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for August 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10th from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24th from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
August prompts:
  1. Do you have any British nonconformist or dissenting ancestors? (i.e. Methodists, Presbyterians, Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, Unitarians, or Congregationalists)  Were they persecuted?  Jailed?  Forcibly evicted?
          Checkout these websites:
  1. How did your parents or grandparents meet?  Find the common point where their two lives intersected.
  • Residence (census, property and tax records, directories)
  • Social circles
  • Community organizations
  • Occupations (jobs, trades, industries)
  • Ethnic group
  • Educational background
  • As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
July 2, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for July 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, JULY 13th from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, JULY 27th from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
July prompts:
  1. Did you have a storyteller in the family?  Write down some of the stories that you remember to pass on to your family.  Be sure to identify who told the stories.
  1. Write about your high school years.  Which subjects did you excel at and which ones were a challenge?  Were you involved in sports, clubs, music, art, the yearbook committee, etc.?  What memories – good or bad – stand out most about those years? 
  1. Choose one heirloom and answer the following questions:
What is it?
When did you acquire it?
When was it made?
What is it made of?
Who gave it to you?
Who gave it to them?
If it is handmade, who made it?
Where is it now?
Where did it come from?
How did it come to you?
Why is it important to you?
(Include a photo if possible)
 
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
May 29, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for Jun 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8th from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22nd from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
June prompts:
 
  1. Do you have ancestors who participated in the Civil War?  For which side did they fight?  What information do you have about the branch of service they joined?  When did they muster in and out?  Do you have pension information?  If they fought for the Union, did they join a Grand Army of the Republic post?  Do your ancestors’ gravestones indicate their branch of service?
 
  1. Father’s Day is June 19th.  Write a story about your father, grandfather, husband, brother or father-figure and how that individual influenced your life.  Did you get your sense of humor from him?  Or, learn a skill?  Did he teach you perseverance? Or, how to throw a baseball or football, swing a golf club, or how to fish?  Focus on one or two aspects of your relationship.
 
  1. What have you discovered about yourself during the previous two years of pandemic restrictions?  Are you a procrastinator, an organizer, a researcher, a planner, a hobbyist, a writer, a reader, or something else?  Where have you focused your energies during Covid?  What were the results?
 
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
April 30, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for May 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, MAY 11th from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, MAY 25th from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
May prompts:
  1. Did you have a mystery in your family tree?  A family member who seemed to have no origin?  How did you solve it?  Did you use DNA to help confirm your results?
  1. Did you have a teamster in your family tree?  Stagecoach driver, produce wagon driver, horse-drawn public transportation, freight wagon, or canal driver?  Use census records, county histories, newspaper articles and city directories to fill out your teamster’s life.
  1. Have you found evidence of an immigrant ancestor who changed their name after arriving in the United States?  Did they change it to make it easier to pronounce?  To sound more “American,” to ease integration, streamline bureaucracy, or as an aid to establishing a business? 
  1. Did you have an ancestor who lived through an historic event such as major earthquake or fire, shipwreck, pandemic, famine or war?  Using historical records, write a story about what your ancestor must have experienced during the event.
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.