One Memory at a Time: Inspiration & Advice for Writing Your Family Story by D.G. Fulford. (2000, 156 pages, hardcover, $16.95) Doubleday, 1540 Broadway, New York NY 10036.
Memories are a big part of your history and Fulford encourages you to simply remember your past. There are questions like “Do you remember being afraid to enter the first grade? Have you experienced a natural disaster? Who did you go to the prom with? Did your mother wear a fancy perfume?” All of these questions will send you back in time and help you remember little things for you to pass on to future generations.
One Memory at a Time urges you to realize that there is no right or wrong way to conduct your family history project. Instead of using a strict, step-by-step process of conducting research, this book offers suggestions for what may work best for you. Nine chapters are broken into smaller parts to help you navigate the book and notes set apart from the text highlight points in each section.
Fulford is an award-winning writer, nationally best-selling author, instructor, speaker and former columnist for the Daily News of Los Angeles and New York Times News Service. Her first book, To Our Children’s Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to Come, written with her brother Bob Greene, is America’s top selling guide to writing family histories.
From Memories to Manuscript, the Five-step Method of Writing Your Life Story by Joan R. Neubauer. Ancestry, 266 W Center St, Orem UT 84057; 1994, 40 pages, soft-cover, $5.95.
The steps outlined by the author are a great review/reminder of what must be outlined to write one’s own story. She also recognizes issues like frustration, feeling like you’ve lost control on your way to the goal of your own story. She breaks the project into manageable pieces and details each. Worth a look if you are preserving your own fascinating tale.
We were remiss and are corrected by Lisa (McCullough) Youngblood, Green Bay, Wisconsin. In a small article in our Winter 2000 edition, Filling the time capsule, Youngblood said “you may want to check your facts regarding color photos only lasting 50 years and black and white ones lasting 100 years. In 1997, I had the privilege of hearing Henry Wilhelm, director of research at Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. and widely regarded as the world’s foremost expert on the care and preservation of color photographs. His landmark book The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs, is considered the definitive work on the subject. He told us that color images are actually more stable than black and white. Because color is the preferred film for most people, more research has gone into making it more stable. Also, black and white images are now usually printed on resin coated (RC) paper, just like color photographs. If the black and white images were printed on cotton-based fibers they would be more stable than the same images printed on the RC paper. But, take my word for it, it’s very expensive and almost always has to be shipped out.
“In my field of preservation specialists, it is no longer the case to suggest families take at least one roll of black and white film for long term storage. The technology has advanced so that most all 35mm prints will last a lifetime or more.”
Lisa Makosewski, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a great source of wonderful hints from her McLaughlin Family Reunion. Here are some new ones.
“Another thing that worked well was renting a digital camera to take pictures to insert directly onto the family tree. We didn’t want to purchase a digital camera because we weren’t sure we would like the pictures. For $50, we rented a $700 camera for the weekend. Good deal! In addition, we created a table to list everyone’s name, disk and frame number. Then, as we took “mug shots,” we found the person’s name, and simply wrote in the disk and frame numbers of the shot. This was a great help in identifying pictures. We were meeting many people, for the first time. We would never have remembered who was who. Photographing and tracking was a two person job; one to take pictures and one to keep track of names, disk and frame numbers.
Evelyn from Texas e-mailed that at their reunion, they had a poster with lots of old photos of family members at a younger time. They numbered photos then played guess who? The one who correctly identified the most photos won. She says the game brings back memories, stories and tales.