Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eiswerth Family Story Book Project

I spent 2012 gathering family stories from my dad and his brothers and sisters. I previously wrote about the process in three posts:
For most weeks between January and September, I requested stories from my family. The project evolved over the year from attempting to fill in the holes in my grandmother's stories to asking my family to write any story they had about a certain topic. It was great to see how one person's stories made the others remember other things about their childhoods.

Each week I edited the stories submitted that week together and sent it back to my family for review. Sometimes I would get a few corrections or even a few more stories. By the fall, I had 29 Word documents that needed to be corralled into chapters and finally into a book.

In the end, I had a 100 page book with 15 chapters. The chapters were:
  1. The Eiswerth Family (summaries of the main characters in the book)
  2. Eiswerth Homes
  3. Eiswerth, Reeder and Shaw (my grandfather's construction company)
  4. Running the Eiswerth Home (stories of my grandmother's struggles raising 7 children, gardening and cleaning)
  5. School
  6. Fun and Games
  7. Spring
  8. Summer
  9. Fall
  10. Winter
  11. Childhood Trouble (yes they needed a whole chapter for this)
  12. Illnesses and Injuries
  13. Pets (also know as dinner)
  14. Other Stories
  15. Sayings (a list of things my grandparents said to their children and when they said them)
I used to publish the book and sent my family a private link in order to order as many copies as they wanted. Since this book is about the living, I didn't want to make it available to the masses. Plus, if you're not in my family you might get nightmares from reading the stories (as my husband tells me that he has after editing the book).

I've received many positive comments about the book. My grandmother read stories that she had never heard before and I'm sure some of the children will be in trouble the next time they see her. My aunt says that I know too much about the family now. And my cousins are excited to read the stories and can't stop reading. I'm glad that I took the time last year to preserve these stories for years to come.


  1. What a great idea! I have trouble getting my family to listen to the 'stories' I've figured out - if they contribute they'll be much more interested. Good job!

  2. Congratulations on getting your book done and published, Tina! What a great accomplishment, as well as a legacy for the future. Glad to hear your family is enjoying it!