Whittier Area Genealogical Society
Whittier Area Genealogical Society
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April 30, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for May 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, MAY 11th from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, MAY 25th from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
May prompts:
  1. Did you have a mystery in your family tree?  A family member who seemed to have no origin?  How did you solve it?  Did you use DNA to help confirm your results?
  1. Did you have a teamster in your family tree?  Stagecoach driver, produce wagon driver, horse-drawn public transportation, freight wagon, or canal driver?  Use census records, county histories, newspaper articles and city directories to fill out your teamster’s life.
  1. Have you found evidence of an immigrant ancestor who changed their name after arriving in the United States?  Did they change it to make it easier to pronounce?  To sound more “American,” to ease integration, streamline bureaucracy, or as an aid to establishing a business? 
  1. Did you have an ancestor who lived through an historic event such as major earthquake or fire, shipwreck, pandemic, famine or war?  Using historical records, write a story about what your ancestor must have experienced during the event.
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
March 31, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for April 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13th, from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27th from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
April prompts:
 
Focus on your collateral relatives:  Collateral relatives are your siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other branches of your family tree that descend from your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, etc.  Make a list of every collateral relative you can remember and fill in their information: full name, birth date and place, spouse, children, marriage date and place, and death date and place.  Using city directories, census records, newspaper articles, and your personal knowledge, write a paragraph or two about each of your collaterals. 
 
Focus on family stories:  What family stories were passed down to you?  Were these stories about a specific individual or an experience?  Have you ever checked to see if they are true or merely folklore?  Investigate the details behind the story and prove or disprove the tale.
 
As always, if neither of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
See you on April 13th and 27th.
February 26, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for March 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9th, from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23rd from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
March prompts: 
 
What has been your most intriguing/historical/confusing/rewarding genealogical find?  How did you discover this information and how does it fit into your family history?  Was it part of your family lore or a family secret?  How did you authenticate your findings?
 
How did you become interested in genealogy, family history, and/or genealogical research?  What sparked your interest?  Was someone in your family a story teller?  Were you seeking to preserve your family heritage, connect with family, preserve traditions, or seeking a connection to past generations?  Who or what was your greatest influence when it came to “Finding Your Roots?”
 
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
 
See you on March 9th and 23rd!
January 29, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for February 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9th, from 1-3 pm (PT) and an in-person meeting at PARNELL PARK on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd from 1-3 pm (PT).  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
February prompts: 
 
Tell the story of the first house in which you lived.  When was it built?  What do you remember about it?  How many rooms did it have?  How many family members resided therein?  Using historical records, can you find out how much it originally cost?  What was the style of architecture?  Did the house have any historical significance?  What are your strongest memories about this house?  Is the house still occupied?
 
Who is the earliest known ancestor in your family that you can name?  What do you know about them from your research?  How are they linked to you?  Were they an immigrant to America?  When?  How?  Why?  What was their native language?  Did any of their native customs continue down to the present time?  What more would you like to know about them? How did you find this ancestor?  Family records?  Census research?  DNA results?  How has finding and documenting this ancestor impacted you personally?
 
As always, if none of these prompts are of interest, feel free to write about any topic that interests you.
See you on February 9th and 23rd!
January 21, 2022 By: Kristina Newcomer
Writing Suggestions for January 2022
The WAGS Life Story Writing Group will have a ZOOM meeting on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12th from 1-3 pm (PT) and on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26th from 1-3 pm (PT) at PARNELL PARK.  Please join us for friendly sharing and discussion.
 
January prompt: Fourteen Answers (with thanks to Stu Gothold)
 
Answer the following:
  1. My name is:
  2. My age as of (date):
  3. My first memory is:
  4. A defining moment in my life:
  5. How I decided on my vocation:
  6. The happiest moment of my life:
  7. The saddest moment of my life:
  8. What I would like to have written on my tombstone or in my obituary:
  9. The person I admire most and why:
  10. My personal hope for the future:
  11. My proudest achievement:
  12. My favorite thing:
  13. My most interesting childhood story:
  14. My favorite artifact or possession:
As always, if this prompt does not interest you, feel free to write about any topic that does.
See you on ZOOM on the 12th and at PARNELL PARK on the 26th.

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.