Friday, August 31, 2007

Better Than Coins Falling Out of the Slot Machine

I'm on the hunt for my ancestors. I've been working at this for about eight years now, and have quite an extensive family tree completed.

But there are certain family lines that have gaping holes. They sit in the back of my mind, just like the storylines for my novels. Some of them have been waiting for all of those eight years for me to come and find them. Thank God for the internet and all of the people posting information for me to find. Thank you, thank you, all of you!

Very recently I've had success in closing gaps for several family lines and the wonder of it fills me with elation. Sometimes the reality of what I'm discovering is hard to believe, placing the events of history right at my doorstep. It's something I've been taught at school as a piece of national history, but now it's my personal history. Tragic horrors that make great scenes in movies were lived through by my ancestors, whose blood runs through my veins.

I have quite a few fictional characters who tug at my heart, whose lives are filled with anguish and who show enormous bravery during the course of the story. Now I realize my ancestors could give these characters a run for their money. Perhaps they want me to tell their tales in fictional form. I've just uncovered a goldmine of stories that could keep me busy for the rest of my life!


Toni in the Midst said...

That is sooooo cool to consider ancestors for possible inclusion in fiction. Love it. Go dig it up, Julia.

Dara Edmondson said...

Maybe they're already speaking through your characters. Sounds like fascinating stuff.

annette said...

Good for you, Julia. My family tree has been done on both sides, but there's still gaps. I keep saying some day I'll look into those gaps.

Annie Mac said...

I love genealogy. I've got quite a history for my father's side of the family but little on my mother's - something to dig into when I have the time.

Devon Ellington said... has a terrific genealogy forum, with lots of helpful people. I'm trying to remember the site run by the Mormons -- they have ever so much on microfiche, and you can search online, for free, and then order the microfiche for a small fee and get the copies -- I found an entire branch of the family I didn't know existed!

If you dig around on, you can still get the tracking sheets and pedigree sheets for free.

Some of my pseudonyms were created in homage to my female ancestors.

Miss Frou Frou said...

I started tracing my mother's family tree... lots of mysteries there... should go back to it now there is so much available on the 'net.

And I've often thought my father's story would make an epic tale of fiction!