Category Archives: familystories

Dig Up a Family Story

Don’t tell me you don’t have a family story. I will pry one out of you in the blink of an eye! We all have a family and a personal set of stories, they are part of what makes us who we are. That family story may not be the 1950’s family image, family to you may be a gang of street friends who were there when you needed them. Family may be the people in your military unit. A family is a loose term for the people we are connected to. Some of the best relatives are not related!

Maybe your childhood included one of the cheek pinching Grandma’s with the strong cologne. Was your Grandfather the guy who could fix anything? Which Aunt spoiled you just a bit and you could see it irked your mother? This is the way to dig up a family story. Have you got one yet?

Now that you have a story what next?

  1. Dress the story

How did the character dress? If you were too little to remember, does someone have a photo? If not then how about a internet search for fashions from  those years. I love Pinterest for fashion based


2. What was  the conflict in the story?

Was it your Mom bothered that the Aunt bought you something more expensive than she did? Did that Grandfather hook you up with a not so safe mode of transport? Did your gang of friends dare you

into a stupid stunt?

3. Resolution

Not all stories fall into the “Happily Ever After” category, it’s OK! Even if an event will happen again, you can always say, “I’m wiser, until next time” Find a way to close your story, Don’t leave the

listener hanging.

Stupid Stunt: There are a lot of those stories, and I know a few. This post has prompted me to think of a story my Dad told. On Halloween night, one year of his youth, my Dad and his gang of friends stole the Mayors outhouse and put it in the middle of the town green. Now that  will be a fun story to construct.

OuthouseDid you come up with a story? Tell me a bit in the comments.

My blog is dedicated to family and historical family stories, If you would like to attend a workshop ( in Connecticut) I am hosting my workshop “My Roots are Showing; Collecting and Telling Family Stories”  March 20, 2016 1-5 the afternoon will be workshop followed by open mic here is the Facebook Event page:  or for more info email me at

Here are links to other blogs on family stories:

Take Back Childhood

Can you count 10 moments in childhood that you remember as being near perfect? Here are some of mine. These memories have a new job…. #1) Lazy summer days, no agenda, just staying outside all day! #2) Ice Cream Cones – take it back tonight, go out for ice cream! #3) Swimming, the Beach or… Continue Reading

Prompt July 4 Family Stories

 July 4th and you are planning a picnic. Nothing newsworthy just some family and friends coming over. This year make it special,  collect a few memories from your guests. Ask ahead for a couple of favorite recipes to prepare and share. Be sure everyone gets a copy of the recipe to take home. Then ask for the story behind… Continue Reading

Ancestors at Sea

Did your ancestors work  the sea? What immigrant ship did your ancestors arrive on?  Tell family stories with accuracy to detail, with a visit to a nautical museum or website. Here are some places to begin your voyage of discovery, the family stories from the sea. The whale boat above, is an image from Mystic Seaport,… Continue Reading

5 Ways to Preserve Family Stories

The teen sat on the park bench, hungry, tired, jobless, a boy of New Haven, Connecticut. He wondered what the world would hold for him. He sat staring into space, after awhile his focus landed on a beautiful girl across the street, near the corner of Church and Chapel Streets. She was made of wood! It was… Continue Reading

5 Tips for Memorial Day Family Stories

Memorial Day 2015  Who in your family has a story that needs to be collected before it’s too late? How did they serve our nation? Where were they sent in the service? What branch of the military were they in? My father; the late Herman F. Marshall, a member of the U.S. Army, during WWII.… Continue Reading

A Fairy Tale from a Family Story

You finally have the kids bathed and in bed. They have had a glass of water, you read a story and they still won’t sleep. Don’t despair they need a family story from the best storyteller in the world – YOU! HOW? What Fairy Tale, Aesop Fable or Mother Goose story  or folk tale are… Continue Reading

Family Recipes, 5 Questions for Family Stories

  Food and Family, the two can hardly be separated.  Family events and every day suppers hold lots of food memories and they are a good place to start collecting family stories too. Everyone has a food story to share! Are you ready to collect a family story? You can ask your kids your elders… Continue Reading

What Does Your Family Sound Like?

Every family has a certain playlist. That constant background music or noise that is seldom acknowledged. When I was a teen I babysat for a family, it was a no TV house, the constant background there was classical music piped softly to every room. It was a serene household, but I always had to fight… Continue Reading

Ties to a Shipyard Story

Allen, that is a family name, my Paternal Grandmother was Pauline Allen Marshall. She was from Port Greville, Nova Scotia Canada.  Here she is as a young woman in Rye New Hampshire.   She came to the United States as a young teen to work in the Amoskeag Mills in Manchester, NH. Allen is an… Continue Reading

The Button Box – Focus on Family Stories

        I have my Grandmother’s button box. Most women saved buttons back in the day, back when people counted every penny and certainly didn’t want to spend any extra on something like a button. Buttons were salvaged from clothes going to rags, buttons found, buttons saved when a coat made shorter, buttons for shirts and… Continue Reading

Archaeology and Family Stories

  It was as if I entered a portal to time and crossed over to the American Revolution. Was this a table in the offices of Archaeological and Historical Services, Inc or my great, great, great, great- Grandmothers kitchen table?   While researching a family story online I found an archaeological report… Continue Reading

The Patriot Gave Everything – Focus on Family Stories

Are you aware of the thousands who died for the cause of America, not in battles of our Revolution, but as prisoners of war held by the British under the most horrific of conditions. Their story is mostly forgotten, their lives given to the new nation undervalued by history, unserved by classroom text. The stories of… Continue Reading

To Stave Off Alzheimer’s, Learn a Language? Tell a Story!

To Stave Off Alzheimer’s, Learn a Language? Tell a Story!

Dementia and Alzheimer’s a cruel duo that have played out the last few years as they have stricken my father and left him a shadow of the man he was. How sad the memories of  Grandaughter’s weddings have slipped away and memories of the days when  brides were little girls. How  much we lose when… Continue Reading