Whittier Area Genealogical Society
Whittier Area Genealogical Society
Category:
Timeframe:

Search: For: Search Clear Search
Entries Per Page: 
Page:   of  2Next Page


Blog Entries: 1 to 10 of 12
November 29, 2021 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for December 2021
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8th from 1-3 pm (PT).  The Writers Group will NOT MEET on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22nd due to the Christmas holiday.  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
December prompt:  Holidays and Family History
 
Holiday season is the perfect time to gather together and talk about family histories, stories, mementos, memories, and those who are no longer with us.  Take along a notepad or use your recording app on your smartphone to records your thoughts and insights gathered while reminiscing.
 
What ever happened to that favorite stuffed animal from childhood?  Who has grandmother’s favorite holiday recipes?  Who remembers what it was like when the earthquake, flood, fire, etc. devastated the neighborhood?  Where are all the family photographs and albums?  Who can identify the faces in all those old albums? 
 
What is the oldest tradition in your family?  Do you know how it started?  Have you passed down this story to your descendants?  What ‘tales’ do your mementos tell?  How do the things we’ve collected build on the story of our lives?  It’s time to fill in the blanks!
 
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
 
See you on ZOOM on December 8th!
October 27, 2021 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for November 2021
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10th from 1-3 pm (PT).  The Writers Group will NOT MEET on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24th due to the Thanksgiving holiday.  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
NOVEMBER THEME:  LIFE AND TIMES
 
PETS
  1. How old were you when you had your first pet?  What kind of pet did you have?  Where/how did you get your pet?  What are some of your favorite stories about any of your pets?  Were/are pets an important part of your family life? 
 
FAMILY HISTORY
  1. What were the names of your parents and grandparents?  Do you know where they came from?  Did they pass on family traditions to you?  Did your grandparents/great-grandparents speak a language other than English?  How far back can you travel along your family tree?  Have you discovered some of your ancestral roots?  How important is it to   pass on family history to younger generations?
 
NOVEMBER HOLIDAYS
  1. Do you commemorate/celebrate: Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah?  Describe your childhood family traditions.  Has the passage of time altered how you observe these occasions?  How?  Are there special mementos, heirlooms, or decorations that you display during the holidays? 
 
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
September 24, 2021 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for October 2021
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13th from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27th  from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
October theme:  Getting Personal 
  1. Write about your children.  What are their names?  If you had to pick one word to describe each of them, what would it be?  Why?  What do you see as each child’s greatest strength or gift?  What has been your proudest moment with each child?  Do you have family traditions or special activities that you would like to have your children carry on?  How do you want your children to remember you?
  1. How did you and your spouse meet?  How long did you know each other before you knew you wanted to be together?  What character or personality traits first drew you to each other?  What do you think are the most important things to consider when choosing a life mate?  Were your family traditions easily blended or vastly different?
  1. Where did you grow up?  Small town or big city?  Name some favorite childhood memories about where you grew up.  What was your family like when you were growing up?  How many children in the family?  Were you the oldest, youngest, or middle child?  Who was your role model or hero growing up?  Which of your parents do you most resemble, both physically and personality-wise?  Name something that you have accomplished that has given you a deep sense of fulfillment.
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
August 28, 2021 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for September 2021
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
September prompts: 
  1. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 to pay tribute to the contribution and achievements of American workers.  During the Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s, people worked 12-hour days seven days a week under poor and unsafe working conditions which led to riots and the first labor day parade on September 5, 1882.  Have you found early laborers in your family tree?  Write a story about their working and living conditions during the Industrial Revolution.
  1. Traditionally, September marked the first day of school for the academic year.  Write down the memories you have of your children’s first day of kindergarten, junior or middle school, high school and/or college. 
  1. Does your family have a cherished story or tradition that has been passed down through time?  Have you proved or disproved this ancestral account?  Write a story about what you’ve discovered during your genealogical research.  Is the story a true narrative or simply folklore? 
  1. Have you had your DNA tested?  Do your results conflict or confirm your paper research?  How did your results affect your feeling of ‘identity’?  What new insights have you discovered and have they sparked your curiosity to learn more about your genetic heritage?
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
August 3, 2021 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for August 2021
The Life Story Writing Group will meet on Wednesday, August 11th from 1 – 3 p.m. on Zoom.  The current Writers Group members will receive an email prior to the meeting with the Zoom link information.  If you are not currently on the mailing list, email newcomerok@charter.net and you will be added.  Join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
Here are our prompts for August:
  • What is your genealogical challenge?  Is there a document you need to find to finish researching one of your ancestors, or need in order to break through a brick wall?  Using the tips and insights we learned from Tamara Hallo at our last WAGS meeting, frame your question in terms of TYPE of document, PLACE of the event, DATE of the event, and the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, and WHY of your research focus.  Try FamilySearch.org to help you find your answers.  Tell us what you found and how.
  • What are some of the various languages found in your family tree?  Who spoke them?  Have they disappeared from use, or are they still found in your vocabulary?  Prayers?  Songs?  Special foods or occasions?
  • January 1st and your family.  It might be interesting to see which (if any) of your ancestors were born on – or married, or died on – New Year’s Day.  Write a paragraph or two about what you find.  Be sure to include the year, some background about the individual, and how you are related.
If none of these prompts are of interest, as always, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
June 21, 2021 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for July 2021
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a zoom meeting on WEDNESDAY, JULY 14th from 1 – 3 p.m. (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.  Current Writers Group members will receive an email prior to the meeting with the zoom link information.  If you are not currently on the mailing list, email newcomerok@charter.net and you'll be added. 
 
Here are our July prompts:
 
  1. Although June is considered the month to celebrate fathers, why not write a story about your father, step-father, or someone who was influential in your life.  Write about one of your grandfathers, or one of your early fore-fathers.  Write about something they taught you, or something that was totally unique about them; their humor, wit, what they loved to do for fun or recreation.  Be creative, write about their life as seen through your eyes.
 
  1. Taking a cue from Rick Frohling’s recent WAGS talk about the meaning of names, write down the first, middle and nicknames of yourself, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. and research the origins, meanings, and cultural history of these names.  What clues might these names hold in helping to identify family links through naming conventions?  Were you or other members of your family named for someone further back on the family tree, or are you an original?  How did those nicknames come into being?  Have you found family members that have changed their names over the years, or went by initials, or nicknames?  Has the spelling changed over time?  Could the origin of the names help you to focus your family research in a new locale?  Here are a few sites to help in your research:  www.names.org; www.behindthename.com; https://babynames.com
 
As always, if neither of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
May 16, 2021 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for June 2021
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a zoom meeting on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9th from 1 – 3 pm (PT).  Current Writers Group members will receive an email prior to the meeting with the zoom link information.  If you are not currently on the mailing list, email newcomerok@charter.net and you’ll be added.  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
Here are our prompts for June:
  • Focus on an ancestor’s hometown and research what it was like during their lifetime.  Use historical photos, city directories, gazetteers, county, state, or country history books, Google Earth (to see it real time), and Wikipedia for historical timelines to learn as much as you can about their place of origin.  Check local and world events during your ancestor’s early life and incorporate them into your writing. 
  • Every picture tells a story.  What story does your picture tell?  Choose a photograph from a previous generation and answer the following questions:  What is the format?  (daguerreotype, tintype, cartes de visite, etc.)  Describe the clothing and hairstyles to help determine the time period.  Where was the photograph taken?  (photo studio, outdoor setting, etc.)  Describe what is happening in the photograph.  (wedding, family gathering, military, etc.)  What is the “provenance” of the photograph?  How did it come to be in your possession?  Which branch of your family is represented in the photograph?  And, finally, who is in the photograph and how are they related to you?
  • Create a family timeline that begins with an immigrant ancestor and then trace how and where their descendants have spread out over the years.  In other words, how did your family get from point A (immigrant ancestor) to point B (you)?  Include a map to show the migration patterns that correspond with the timeline.  How far has your family spread over the years?
If none of these prompts are of interest, as always, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
April 22, 2021 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for May 2021
The Life Story Writing Group will meet on Wednesday, May 12th from 1 – 3 p.m. on Zoom.  Current Writers Group members will receive an email prior to the meeting with the Zoom link information.  If you are not currently on the mailing list, email newcomerok@charter.net and you will be added.  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
Here are our prompts for May:
 
  • Mother’s Day is May 9th – Write a story, memory, or short chronicle of the life of your mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, or wife.  Include photos, mementos, or other documents to highlight the incredible women in your life.
 
  • Memorial Day is May 31st – Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the United States Military.  It was originally called Decoration Day to honor those who fell during the Civil War.  Write a story about an ancestor who gave the ultimate sacrifice to his or her country.
 
If neither of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
March 20, 2021 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for April 2021
The Life Story Writing Group will meet on Wednesday, April 14th from 1 – 3 p.m. on Zoom.  Current Writers Group members will receive an email prior to the meeting with the Zoom link information.  If you are not currently on the mailing list, email  newcomerok@charter.net and you will be added.   Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion. 
 
Here are our prompts for April:
  • Occupations – Blacksmith, Railroad worker, Chef, Logger, Farmer, Carpenter, Doctor, Musician, Photographer, etc.
  • What occupations did your ancestors have? 
  • What do you know about those occupations? 
  • What did that occupation “look” like?
  • What tools or training were needed for these occupations? 
  • Were there multi-generational occupations in your family tree?
 
Tell their story using census records, city directories, or other vital records and illustrate it with images from old photographs, Google I mages, Library of Congress digital collection, etc. 
  •  Marriage
  • Who had the longest marriage in your family tree?
  • Why do you think it lasted so long?
  • Who had the shortest and why?
  • Who had the most marriages?
  • Are there “spinsters” or “confirmed bachelors” in your family tree?
  • Did someone in your tree elope against family wishes?
  • Any first cousin marriages? 
                    Dig into those records and see what you can find.
 
If neither of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
 
 
February 23, 2021 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for March 2021
The Life Story Writing Group will meet on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10th from 1 – 3 p.m. on zoom.  Current Writers Group members will receive an email prior to the meeting with the zoom link information.  If you are not currently on the mailing list, email newcomerok@charter.net and you will be added.  Join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
The March prompts are:
 
  1. Award season has come around, so why not write your own award script about your ancestors and recognize them for the various accomplishments in their lives.  Here are a few award categories to consider (but, feel free to create as many as you like):  Founding Father/Mother Award; True Grit Award; Wounded Warrior Medal; Most Dramatic Demise Award; Marital Bliss Prize; Black Sheep of the Family Trophy; Surname Permutation Prize; Best Maiden Name Ribbon; Longest Name Medal; Independent Spirit Trophy; Notorious Kinfolk Cup; and Brick Wall Statuette for Most Frustrating Ancestor.  Write a short paragraph about each recipient.
 
  1. This ancestor challenge was suggested by Lisa Alzo.  Collect as much of the following information about an ancestor as you can, and write up your findings in story form.
 
  1. Full name, birth and/or death dates; location, weather, time of day
  2. List all the places this person resided over their lifetime
  3. Education, occupation, military service, marriage, divorce
  4. Did this person do something news worthy?  Have a special talent?
 
The idea of this exercise is to turn dry facts into an interesting short story about an ancestor’s life experiences.
 
If neither of these prompts are of interest, as always, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.