I have spent most of my life interested in family history, and about the last fifteen years researching the history of my Leary and Keckler ancestors. Having collected names, dates, and places, from oral family history and the Internet I realized that it was time to put my writing skills together with my research.
First and foremost I began the Genealogy Do-Over of 2015, by Thomas MacEntee where I quickly learned how unorganized my research really is. Well, as is the case, my do-over was sidetracked by real life. My complete do-over became a skim by the seat of my pants and hope like hell that I get this right.
During week four of the Genealogy Do-Over someone brought my attention to the 2015 Family History Writing Challenge brought to us by “The Armchair Genealogist”. This is where fact meets writer and page at the same time. Woohoo, just the challenge that I need to pull things together. I purchased the suggested workbooks in pdf format, printed them, and brought pen to paper so that I could prepare my research for writing purposes.
It quickly became apparent that I know very little of my great-great-grandfather, other than that he sailed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from Yorkshire, England. When it came to proving that I really did descend from him and his wife I had nothing.
Halt! What if I re-think this, step back a couple of generations to my maternal grandmother? All I have to do is prove her relationship to her father and then to her grandfather, and I’ll be good as gold.
I wrote all of the “facts” that I know about Grandmom Keckler (maiden name, Crosland), then I set out to locate the sources for my information. Let’s just say that the facts were all in my head and the writing challenge was to begin in a mere six days. There was no way I would have time to locate and obtain the appropriate records to prove all of my knowledge in six days!
So, I begin my journey with the “facts” of a grandmother I am quickly learning that I know nothing about. I will write the stories that I and others have been told for the Family History Writing Challenge of 2015. In March, when the challenge has been completed I will begin to research and prove or disprove the “knowledge” that I have been given — or made up, I’m not even sure anymore!