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Ancestors in a narrative document

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JennyT Report 5 Feb 2018 12:02

I am trying to make a narrative document of my ancestors but cannot make my mind up which order to put them in. For instance If I start with my Dad and put his dad on the next page, do I then go up to the previous generations through all the males, or after Dad's dad do I go to Dad's mum? But who comes next then? Or would it be better to do all grandparents then all great grandparents, and so on? Has anyone else done such a document?
I have 2 thick files at the moment - one of my Dad's side and one for my mother's.


AnninGlos Report 5 Feb 2018 14:40

Not sure there is any set rule but it needs to read well without confusing. If it is just to pass on to family I think I would write a sheet each for my parents, then for each of their parents following your tree back. I do have narratives on mine but they front the file of that generation so at the front of my paternal grandparents file is a sheet for my Grandfather and one for my Grandmother.

I think it is personal choice.


JennyT Report 5 Feb 2018 15:55

Yes it is just to show to family. It will include details of baptisms, marriages and burials as well as census details, and with a small number of photos that I've scanned and pasted in - of people and grave headstones. I have managed to confuse myself at times, especially where people have the same name. I think I shall also create an appendix for extra relevant information and then some sort of index at the front.
Thank you for your reply - it has given me some ideas.


AnninGlos Report 6 Feb 2018 13:43

If fotr family it is less confusing to keep the generations together and to work back. You could do two separate one going back from your Mum and one from your Dad, or try and do both at once. I have done a large 12x12 scrap book with photos etc that also gives an overview of the tree. (Not that any of mine seem remotely interested).


JennyT Report 6 Feb 2018 20:08

Yes I think the generations together, so I am trying that now. I've done paternal and maternal ancestors separately as I have found more on my Dad's side with the name being more unusual; plus Sheffield Indexers have been really useful for baptisms and burials. My Mum's side is much thinner because of common names and lack of census records for some people.


Kense Report 7 Mar 2018 10:21

There is a standard numbering system called ahnentafel, where the person of interest is 1, the father and mother are 2 & 3, the paternal grandparents 4 & 5, maternal grandparents 6 & 7 and so on. The males are all even numbers and the females odd numbers (except for number 1).


Using that sequence keeps the generations together.


AnninGlos Report 7 Mar 2018 14:13

Thanks Kense.


JennyT Report 7 Mar 2018 16:39

Oh Thank you. That is really helpful. I looked up the link and will need to read it a few times to take it in properly (I've saved it in my favourites for easy reference). The funny thing is that I would have put the males as odd numbers and the females as even. Anyway it is going to help me a bit better where I have for instance a father and son with the same name. Thank you so much. :-)


Martin Report 3 Aug 2018 23:34

For two years I have been thinking about this, but it is so hard to stop it becoming a long list of people and dates. I have thought about incorporating local, national and international events and people to add interest. Things like a great grandfather getting electricity for the first time, or a grandmother watching a child listen to the radio etc. All the heartbreak with a teenage son going off to war.



AnninGlos Report 6 Aug 2018 16:12

Martin you need to stop thinking about it and start writing. If you don't want it to be too filled with dates etc, write it as a story. Write about each generation in separate chapters, when you have got it all down on paper you can then play around with it, just enjoy doing it. As with all writing, the first sentence is the hardest. :-D