[APG Public List] Citing family tradition

Ida Skarson McCormick idamc at seanet.com
Wed Nov 24 11:05:40 MST 2010


It is important to document the stories even if you don't have exact 
dates. Sometimes we heard the same stories over and over during a period 
of years.

You can start with an interview format for the source and rename the 
fields whatever is appropriate, if interview doesn't quite fit, with 
date ranges if you don't know exact dates your grandmother told you 
something. You might also consider putting her years of birth and death 
in parentheses after her name as author/storyteller.

It is important to analyze how the storyteller would have known a 
certain fact if it is not obvious and to write up the analysis with more 
footnotes from other sources to support it if necessary.

My grandfather told me an important story in April the year I was nine, 
and he was 87. Other things he told me were later during a year and a 
season (summer) when I was a teenager. I made notes in shorthand then, 
but don't ask me where they are now or if I could still read them. It 
was he who sparked my interest in genealogy. In grade school I started 
keeping lists of a horde of relatives before knowing there was such a 
thing as a pedigree chart or family group sheet.

When my mother was in her eighties I had her write out many of the 
stories about her childhood which I had heard over the years. They are 
in no particular order, just as she thought of them. I encouraged that 
and gave her a memory hook (the Great Northern Railway) to hang them on 
as she was writing. She didn't want to tape anything, and we were many 
miles apart.

--Ida Skarson McCormick, idamc at seanet.com, Seattle

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