Gather family stories during the holidays

If you’ve ever wondered about your ancestors and the stories that have shaped your family, consider writing your own family history. Not only is this a personal project that can help you better understand your own identity, but it’s also a way of preserving the stories of your ancestors and ensuring that they are not forgotten. And by sharing your family history with others, you can help to build a sense of community and fill in gaps in traditional histories.

One example of a fascinating family history is the story of our mother’s grandparents, the Trosts. The Trost family line can be traced directly back to the early 16th century, along with the Veit and Egen families that they mixed with. In 1651, 8th great grandparents Franz Joachim Nichauß Trost and Catharina Egen married at Böhringen, 10 miles east of the Trosts’ hometown of Dettingen an der Erms. Around the same time, a cousin of Catharina’s, Anna Maria Egen, married Stephen Veit. It wasn’t until 1798, when Johann Georg Trost of Dettingen an der Erms and Anna Maria Veit of Großbettlingen married, that the Trost and Veit families were finally united. A marriage in the making for six generations. The equivalent of the modern-day “it couple”.

First person narratives and family histories are not just historical documents, but human stories that reveal the struggles, triumphs, and everyday experiences of the people who came before us. Leverage the information you have from genealogy sites. Writing your own family history can bring these stories to life and help others to understand and appreciate the people who have shaped your family and your community.

David Teniers the Younger 1610 – 1690

The holiday season is a great time to gather information and share family stories. It’s a time when our families come together and have the opportunity to talk and reminisce about the past. Take this opportunity to gather as much information as possible, whether through conversations with older relatives, going through old photos and documents, or simply listening and writing down the stories that are shared.

Writing your family history is a deeply personal and reflective process that can help you better understand your own identity and the experiences that have shaped your family and community. By writing your family history, you are investing in yourself and your heritage. So this holiday season, consider starting or continuing to write your own family history and help to keep the memories of your ancestors alive for future generations.

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