Thursday, April 15, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 15 - Write a Letter

Challenge 15 of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy written by Amy Coffin is:

Write a letter. It these days of emotionless email, the art of letter writing is getting lost. Pick one of your information needs or queries and write a letter requesting information. You may want to write to a small library or a relative asking for family history information. If you’re requesting a return reply, be sure to include any forms that are required, funds (if necessary) or a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return correspondence. If you write a genealogy blog, include a post about the information you requested and from whom.

So I really struggled with this week's challenge. I really didn't want to write a letter. But then I remembered that I really needed to write a few.

Last year, I decided to start sending my three living grandparents questionaires to fill out with questions about their lives. I wanted to learn the stories of their lives and not just the names, dates and places. So I made of list of topics that I could ask them. (Examples were: how they met, their wedding, jobs, parents, historical events, etc.) I sent them 3 questions to start begin.

In order to keep my questions in order, I printed each question on a piece of paper and labeled the top with the name of whose question it was. All my grandparents answered my questions (briefly, but at least they answered them).

I had intended to send questions every few months. But then I never sent any more. So this challenge has made me go back and try to get more stories out of my grandparents. I sent them each two questions this time. One is about their weddings and one is about jobs that they had. I look forward to their answers and am grateful that this challenge has forced me to start this project again.

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