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Learning Your Family's Stories with Guest Blogger Amanda Wen

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Learning Your Family's Stories with Guest Blogger Amanda Wen

Erica here: I am delighted to welcome today's guest-blogger, Amanda Wen. Amanda is a debut author, and her new book is called Roots of Wood and Stone, a split time set in Sedgwick County, Kansas. As a native Kansan, I was so excited when I read the synopsis for this book. Amanda is published by Kregel, my publisher, so we're not only Kansans at heart, we're pub-mates! If you get a chance, I recommend following/friending Amanda on social media. Her posts about her kids, affectionately dubbed "The Wenlets" are hysterical!

Learning Your Family's Stories with Guest Blogger Amanda Wen
Amanda Wen

If you’ve been a writer for any length of time, you’ve probably been asked—or perhaps wondered yourself—where to get story ideas. For my debut, Roots of Wood and Stone, the answer centers around a century-old farmhouse, an ancestor’s memoir, and my mom’s hobby of genealogy.

Mom’s been tracing our ancestry longer than I’ve been alive, so my childhood is peppered with vacations to places like Bean Blossom, Indiana (really!). While my mother combed through census records and property deeds, my brother and I would spend hours in small town libraries and courthouses devouring Dave Barry and Calvin and Hobbes, watching the clock, and trying to ignore our snack-deprived stomachs. As a kid, this resulted in decidedly lukewarm enthusiasm for my mom’s hobby, but now as an adult and a writer, I’m immensely grateful for all the stories she learned over the years, some of which have found their way into fiction.

But if you didn’t spend your formative years vacationing to Middle-Of-Nowhere, West Virginia, all is not lost. I’m here with a few easy pointers to help you start learning your family’s stories, and possibly even sowing seeds for your own.

If you’re fortunate enough to still have your parents or grandparents around, take time to listen to—and maybe even record!—their stories. You might be surprised what they already know about who you are and where you came from. In addition—and historical writers can attest to this—such conversations are invaluable when it comes to details like food, slang terms, and trends of bygone eras. But even if you’re a contemporary writer, story ideas can still surface. Maybe your grandparents’ meet-cute can find its way into your next contemporary romance!


Learning Your Family's Stories with Guest Blogger Amanda Wen
From Amanda's Family Archives

The Internet is also chock-full of resources for genealogists. Ancestry.com, a site my mom has used for years, contains a wealth of birth, marriage, and death certificates, passenger registries, military records, census indices, and more. If someone else has already looked into your family, that information will be there, so you might find a photo of an ancestor you never even knew existed! You may learn that one of your forbears was killed by a falling icicle (as one of mine was) or that your great-great-grandmother was carried across the Isthmus of Panama on the back of a native guide (also a true family story). Ancestry has a monthly subscription fee for those who really get into it, but if all you’re needing is ideas, their free 14-day trial should suffice. 


Another amazing—and free!—online resource is
Find A Grave. Tombstone inscriptions frequently include valuable genealogical information like birth and death dates as well as names of parents, children, or spouses. Before the Interwebz, the only way to find this information was to physically visit the cemetery. This meant that, yes, our family vacations also involved trudging through cemeteries in indescribably remote places, scraping away lichen to reveal worn inscriptions, and very often picking thorns out of our socks for hours afterward (“What’d you do on your vacation?” “I went to Disney World! What about you?” “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you…”). But now with Find A Grave, you can pay a virtual visit to any cemetery with just a few clicks of your fingers.

As with Ancestry, Find A Grave often contains a wealth of information submitted by other users. This information can and often does include obituaries, photos, and links to other family members, all of which can easily spark story ideas. Through Find A Grave, I learned the story of my great-great-great grandmother, Sarah Stevens, who, along with her infant son, George, died shortly after she and her husband, William, arrived as early settlers of Sedgwick County, Kansas. Included in her online memorial is a quote from a biography of her husband: “[William] was visited with a sore affliction in the death of his wife, which occurred the following year, 13 May 1871, while she was still a young woman, being but thirty-eight years of age.”

This quote really sparked my imagination. What would a recently-arrived pioneer do when gutted by such a “sore affliction?” How would he cope with the tasks of running a farm and raising his other children and emerge with his faith intact (as was the case with William Stevens)? These questions, and the resulting rumination, eventually found their way into the pages of Roots of Wood and Stone in the character arc of my historical-timeline hero, Jack Brennan.

I won’t spoil Jack’s story for you, but I will give you a post-script to the story of William and Sarah Stevens. One of their older children, Mattie, was my great-great-grandmother. She went on to marry another pioneer, an Irish immigrant named Francis Little. That memoir I mentioned at the beginning of this post was Francis’s memoir, and that farmhouse? That was Francis and Mattie’s house. While researching the book, I learned that a distant cousin still has access to the (now-abandoned) home and offered to give me a personal tour.

Of course I invited my mom.

I hope I’ve helped spark a new way to get inspiration for all you Seekers, and I can’t wait to see what stories emerge as you all mine your heritage for ideas. Have you ever put any of your family history in a story? Any memorable ancestor stories you’d like to share? I’d love to know! Leave me a comment below, and one lucky commenter will win a signed paperback copy of Roots of Wood and Stone!


Learning Your Family's Stories with Guest Blogger Amanda Wen
Releasing TOMORROW!
Get your copy today!

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.

In addition to her writing, Amanda is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and worship teams, as well as serving as a choral accompanist. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her husband, their three adorable and hilarious Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat. Roots of Wood and Stone is her debut novel.

Social Links:

               Website: www.amandawen.com

               Newsletter (with free short story): http://eepurl.com/c_xqXr

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorAmandaWen

               Insta: www.instagram.com/authoramandawen




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57 Comments on Seekerville: The Journey Continues: Learning Your Family's Stories with Guest Blogger Amanda Wen

  • kaybee
    on January 25, 2021 | 08:07 kaybeesaid :
    "Amanda, these are such good tips. I'm my family archivist and I have become the caretaker of the photo collection. from faded black-and-whites to 1950s garish color to weddings and graduations. I'm trying to scan everything in, but am sidetracked because I'm not sure who some of the people are, we're talking 1920s, 30s and 40s here. It's so good to know where we came from.
    My grandparents eloped to Canada. He was Irish and she was French-Canadian. Both sets of parents disapproved, so they ran away. I don't remember if they weren't of age yet or didn't have what passed for passports in the early 20th century, but whatever, the Canadian authorities threw them in jail which is where they spent at least one night of their honeymoon. But it must have worked out because here I am. I wrote a short story about it one time, wasn't very good, but I may try it again in some form.
    It is 16 degrees above zero in my part of New Hampshire, which is the southern and warmer section. Sheesh.
    Off to Bible study, may be back later.
    Your Kaybee
    Dressing in layers in New Hampshire"
  • Jan Drexler
    on January 25, 2021 | 08:44 Jan Drexlersaid :
    "Hi Amanda! And congratulations on your debut!

    You're a writer after my own heart! My debut was also a re-told family story, and I continued the trend with most of my other books. I haunt Ancestry.com and Find a Grave whenever I'm researching a new story - they are both gold mines of information!

    I'm looking forward to reading your book!"
  • Ruth Logan Herne
    on January 25, 2021 | 09:02 Ruth Logan Hernesaid :
    "Amanda, so good to see you here! I've loved your looks on Facebook and the book looks marvelous... good for you! And I'm laughing at what Jan said because as I read your post, I thought of Jan, drawing from her history to make a new present! Wonderful! The seeds of the present lie in fertile soils of the past... and sometimes along rock-strewn paths. And we forge on. "
  • Glynis
    on January 25, 2021 | 09:27 Glynissaid :
    "Thanks so much for staopping by! I am fortunate to have had a writer for a grandfather and we have stacks and stacks of family stories about his German Mennonite background. Plus, my father has been doing a great job over the years of compiling family trees of both his and my mom's families. In addition to all that, my sister and I gifted my father with a subscription to StoryWorth.com. They send him a question a week and he answers it with as much or as little as he wants. He can add pictures, as well, and at the end of the year they will put it all together in a book and send it to us. It's brilliant and I'm wishing I'd thought of it. So even if your family member is not a writer, this is a great way to find out family stories you might not even know about!

    Congrats on the debut, Amanda! The book looks great!"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 09:41 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Wow!!! 16 degrees is cold. It's 30-something here and rainy, but I won't complain. :)

    Your grandparents' story is fascinating!! I do hope you try to write it again someday; I would LOVE to read it."
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 09:41 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Thank you so much, Jan!! So fun to find another author who gets inspired by family history! "
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 09:42 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Amen!!! I couldn't have said it better myself! "
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 09:42 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Oooh, StoryWorth is a site I'm not familiar with. It sounds wonderful; I'll have to check it out! Thanks so much for the tip! And I'm so glad your family has compiled their stories. "
  • Karen Sargent
    on January 25, 2021 | 11:08 Karen Sargentsaid :
    "Amanda, first congrats on your debut! We lived in Kansas for a couple years after my husband graduated from college. His first job was as a deputy for Johnson County. :) Second, how incredible that your mom's passion for genealogy has influenced your writing, that the true stories she discovered help you discover your fiction stories. What a special way to honor all the time your mom spent researching ancestors."
  • Debby Giusti
    on January 25, 2021 | 11:22 Debby Giustisaid :
    "Glynis, your grandfather's stories sound like a treasure waiting to be explored! How fascinating for you and your family!"
  • Debby Giusti
    on January 25, 2021 | 11:36 Debby Giustisaid :
    "Amanda,
    I know a little about my lineage, but would love more information. Thanks for mention of Find A Grave! I plan to head to that site soon!

    My great-grandparents on my mother's side hailed from Fulda, Germany. When my husband was stationed in Germany with the military, we toured Fulda and found Saint Thomas Church where my great-grandparents were married. In the 1800s, a group from that church relocated to Ohio and built a church there that they named Saint Thomas. Two weeks prior to our visit to Fulda, a group of travelers from Saint Thomas Church in Ohio had visited the Saint Thomas Church in Fulda. I would love to have met them. Perhaps I could have found a distant relative among the bunch!"
  • Angeline
    on January 25, 2021 | 12:06 Angelinesaid :
    "Congratulations on your debut! When I was in high school I actually wrote a report on my grandfather, my mother wanted us to remember the history that our grandparents have lived through"
  • Sandy Smith
    on January 25, 2021 | 12:14 Sandy Smithsaid :
    "Welcome, Amanda! Great post. I love time split novels so please enter me in the drawing! I live in Nebraska, so I have a lot of Nebraska pioneer stories in my family. My sister is the genealogist in our family. She and I took a memorable trip to find a cemetery, which we still laugh about today. A family story that I think I should try to put into my writing is my grandparents' marriage. They were on their way to the wedding in the car with the pastor. It was very muddy and the car got stuck so they couldn't make it to the church. The marriage license was going to expire at midnight, so they were married in the car. (Not sure about witnesses!)

    I took Erica's suggestion at the top of this post and sent you a FB friend request!"
  • Lynne
    on January 25, 2021 | 13:06 Lynnesaid :
    "I will be looking that up! My mom is one of our family historians and this sounds like a wonderful idea for her."
  • Erica Vetsch
    on January 25, 2021 | 13:18 Erica Vetschsaid :
    "KB! That is such a fascinating story about your grandparents. That would make a cracking good story!"
  • Erica Vetsch
    on January 25, 2021 | 13:20 Erica Vetschsaid :
    "StoryWorth sounds amazing! And what a treasure trove that you have to draw on for your family history, Glynis! I'm envious!"
  • Erica Vetsch
    on January 25, 2021 | 13:22 Erica Vetschsaid :
    "Hi, Karen! I got my marriage license in Johnson County! :) I was living across the state line in Belton, but we were getting married in Kansas.

    Is your husband still in law enforcement? Tell him thank you from Seekerville for his service to his community! "
  • Erica Vetsch
    on January 25, 2021 | 13:23 Erica Vetschsaid :
    "Debby, my dad served in Hanau defending the Fulda Gap! I love that you were able to find the church where your great-grandparents got married. That must have been special to stand inside and imagine what that day was like, and how it led to YOU!"
  • Erica Vetsch
    on January 25, 2021 | 13:24 Erica Vetschsaid :
    "Married in a car! That would make a great novella! Write it up!!

    You won't regret friending Amanda on social media. Her posts are great!!!"
  • Lynne
    on January 25, 2021 | 13:31 Lynnesaid :
    "Amanda, you are a girl after my own heart! For nearly forty years I have collected stories from older people on cassette tapes and journals. Not all of them were relatives of mine, but they had some fantastic stories to tell of their grandparents and great grandparents. In my books I have somewhat of a collage of their stories.

    My series starts out with my grandmother becoming an orphan, (true story), then is 'fictionally enhanced'. Book 3 tells the heart wrenching true events of my great great grandfather who was a full blooded Indian, unjustly accused of murder. I need to add a disclaimer to this book - "Tissues Necessary". It does go on from there to be 'fictionally enhanced' because this tale is still a carefully guarded family secret. When the last of his granddaughters passes, the letters she holds in her possession between my great great grandparents, will go to my cousin and hopefully she will share with me! Mystery.

    I love the phrases they used, and the 'wives tales'. I am still learning a lot from the past. Another place I turn to for inspiration is You Tube. So many wonderful documentaries with pictures and details of the times that help fill in the gaps and put vivid details into my stories.

    I look forward to reading your book and would love to be in the drawing! "
  • Debby Giusti
    on January 25, 2021 | 13:38 Debby Giustisaid :
    "Erica,
    Hanau was about a thirty minute drive from where my husband and I (and three children) lived in Aschaffenburg.

    As an aside, at the end of WWII, my dad, a captain at the time, led his company into Fulda as the Russians pulled out so he was literally the first America there. He came back to Ohio to marry my mother, and she joined him in Germany some weeks later and was one of the first America women in Fulda.

    When my husband and I lived in Germany, my father came to visit. My mother had passed away a couple years earlier. We visited the house they had rented in Fulda after the war, and the current German home owners invited us in for coffee. A treasured, but poignant visit, for sure. "
  • Debby Giusti
    on January 25, 2021 | 13:38 Debby Giustisaid :
    "How special, Angeline. I hope you saved that report!"
  • Winnie
    on January 25, 2021 | 14:08 Winniesaid :
    "Fascinating post, Amanda! I love family history, and I'm currently the keeper of the family books and paraphernalia which takes up an inordinate amount of space in my guest bedroom closet!

    We were able to visit the house where my grandfather grew up in Switzerland. He was born in 1890 and came to America in 1915. My mother's cousin still lived nearby and gave us a tour. There were still some family pictures and other "artifacts", although nobody had lived there for many years.

    For those interested in researching family history, another great resource is FamilySearch.org, which is a free site with over 5 billion searchable records. I find it's very user friendly. It gives you record hints for sources which you can easily attach to an individual's personal record. It also interfaces with Ancestry, so you can use both.

    Your book sounds so intriguing. I have it on my wish list, so I'd love to have my name thrown into the hat for a chance to win."
  • Lee-Ann B
    on January 25, 2021 | 14:21 Lee-Ann Bsaid :
    "Hi Amanda, congrats on your debut! I just finished reading it this weekend and am looking forward to being a part of your blog tour. :)

    I have a cousin who is the family genealogist. He's spent years creating our family tree, both maternal and paternal. The two books he created are about 6 inches thick with small print of just names, dates and locations. It's fascinating to look through. He's traced our family history all the way back to the 1600s. He says to continue his research he needs to go to Ireland (so apparently we have some Irish blood!). I don't really know any stories though, or even if we have famous relatives. I only know the stories my mom has shared."
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on January 25, 2021 | 14:30 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Fascinating post, Amanda. Full of wonderful tips. I think I know more about my husband's lineage than I do my own, so this is all helpful information. Thanks."
  • Lori
    on January 25, 2021 | 15:18 Lorisaid :
    "congrats on your book. that is so funny what you call your kids. this is a wonderfully interesting post. i love to look at old photos and learn about them. my husband works on his and mine genealogy. he found so much just by looking at graves and such. my sister in law has wnated to know what skeletons were in the "closet" so far no skeletons LOL on my side though there are a number of men who had two families. a number of men who fought in different wars. most of them got land grants and were farmers. even before land grants came around. such cool information. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net"
  • Erica Vetsch
    on January 25, 2021 | 16:14 Erica Vetschsaid :
    "You have some lovely memories of your time in Germany. I love to hear my dad talk about his years there."
  • Ann
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:07 Annsaid :
    "Family stories ... wow, I am old enough that at one time sitting around telling stories was considered legit entertainment! My grandma kept diaries for about 60 years and after she passed my mom gave them to me. I don't think Mom could bear to look through them. I started to transcribe the oldest, from 1936, which includes the years when my mom was a toddler and my grandparents were working 100-hour weeks on their dairy farm. It's bitter sweet to have my grandma's perspective as a young farm wife knowing she would soon be widowed and have family going through World War II."
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:40 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Small world! My brother was in law enforcement in Johnson County for a while; now he's gone to the other side and is a firefighter in the same area.

    And thank you! I think it's super neat to be able to fictionalize my family's stories; my mom is over the moon!"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:41 Amanda Wensaid :
    "You're welcome, Debby! I hope Find A Grave has some helpful information for you!

    How cool that you were able to see your great-grandparents' church! It wouldn't surprise me at all if you have a distant relative in that Ohio bunch..."
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:42 Amanda Wensaid :
    "That is a great assignment! I'm glad you were able to learn about your grandfather's life! Those memories are precious indeed. "
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:43 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Married in a car is a FANTASTIC story! I second Erica's suggestion; write that! That's amazing! And thanks for the friend request! It's lovely to meet you!"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:44 Amanda Wensaid :
    "I'm SO glad you collected those stories on recording! Those memories are priceless! And your series sounds fascinating! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your stories!"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:45 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Ha, yes, my mom has a spare bedroom at her house that's full of family treasures!

    SO cool that you got to see your grandfather's childhood home! Your tour is very similar to one I got of the house that inspired the book; nobody had lived there for a long time but it's still standing! Thank you so much for stopping by."
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:47 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Thanks so much for hopping on the tour! I'm glad you enjoyed the book!

    Yup, my mom got to that point with our family. She wanted to trace all of us back to the immigrants, but she quickly discovered that the vast majority of our family has been in the USA for centuries! Our Irish family, who came over in 1861, is our most recent batch of immigrants, and my parents' 50th anniversary trip a couple years ago included a stop in Ireland where that branch of the family is from. "
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:47 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Thank you!! Hope this sparks some creativity and/or gives you some knowledge as you find your roots!"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:48 Amanda Wensaid :
    "We really need to get back to storytelling as family entertainment! And wow, what a treasure those diaries are!! I'm so glad you have them! Thank you for stopping by!"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 25, 2021 | 17:49 Amanda Wensaid :
    "What I find interesting is that even everyday, non-famous ancestors usually have fascinating stories, and it sounds like yours are no exception! Thanks so much for stopping by!"
  • Sarah Taylor
    on January 25, 2021 | 18:53 Sarah Taylorsaid :
    "Thank you for sharing what a wonderful post and I always love learning about my ancestors!"
  • Karen Jennings
    on January 25, 2021 | 20:26 Karen Jenningssaid :
    "Hi Amanda, I love your post! I've been doing genealogy since 1984. Since then I've gone back 10 generations on my father's side and filled 36 3-ring binders full of photographs, letters, records, memorabilia, recipes, and so on. I'm fortunate to live in the same area that my mother and father's family lines lived, so I've visited all the courthouses, libraries, cemeteries, etc. My family lines left quite the paper trail! I'm a contributor to Find A Grave, also. My favorite genealogical thing to do is visit old cemeteries. I write fiction and have just finished my paternal great-grandmother's story. Your own story sounds great, and much luck in the future! "
  • Lucy Reynolds
    on January 25, 2021 | 22:03 Lucy Reynolds said :
    "Hello, Amanda. I don’t vacation in middle of nowhere WV but I live there. 😂 Your book sounds fascinating. I have used ancestry and connected with cousins I didn’t know. I have also used find a grave. Thank you for sharing. Blessings "
  • Elizabeth Litton
    on January 26, 2021 | 09:43 Elizabeth Littonsaid :
    "My maternal great-grandmother was known as the "Belle of Naked Creek" in Page County, VA. She eloped with her sister's boyfriend and the couple married on the Harper's Ferry Bridge (out of state), so that her parents couldn't annul the marriage. I guess everything worked out eventually, because the couple lived near her family for several years! :D

    eclitton at gmail dot com"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 26, 2021 | 10:13 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Thanks, Sarah!! I'm glad you enjoyed the post!
    "
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 26, 2021 | 10:15 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Wow, Karen!! That's amazing! I'm thrilled you've been able to find out so much about your family! You and my mom would be kindred spirits. And I'm glad you're fictionalizing your family's stories, too. Best wishes with your writing!"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 26, 2021 | 10:16 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Ha, that's fabulous! I am grateful for all the traveling we've gotten to do as a family; thanks largely to my mom's research I've visited 39 out of the 50 states (with the other 11 on my bucket list). So neat that you've connected with cousins, too! Thanks for stopping by!"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 26, 2021 | 10:16 Amanda Wensaid :
    "What a fascinating story (and nickname!!)! Thanks for sharing that!"
  • Mary Connealy
    on January 26, 2021 | 14:51 Mary Connealysaid :
    "Wow, Im' always trying to kill someone off. I can have an icicle fall on them?
    I actually had a great-great-who knows how many greats-grandfather die because a branch fell on his head.
    To me this always sounded like a thinly veiled murder. "A branch?" The sheriff, busily taking notes, looks up. "Fell on his head? And who...Mrs. Connealy, was holding the other end of that branch?""
  • Mary Connealy
    on January 26, 2021 | 14:53 Mary Connealysaid :
    "I love your advice to go LISTEN to your grandparents and parents. I have so so so many questions I'd love to ask my grandmother...dead now for decades. But only as I started writing and realized I was weaving old family stories into my work, did I realize she was a blank slate and even more, Grandpa was. He died before I was born and I know general things about him. But I wish I knew their love story. I just wish I knew so much more! Of course I can just fill in the blanks with fiction. HAH! Probably what I'd do anyway if the story didn't suit my purposes!"
  • Paula Shreckhise
    on January 26, 2021 | 16:46 Paula Shreckhisesaid :
    "Fascinating stuff!
    My husband did a lot of research on our families and made a cd for our four kids.
    My mother published her memoirs at age 99. She died at age 101 in 2018. She was a missionary kid in China. There are incredible stories of her family. At around 1900, My grandfather sent to Tiffany for a ring for my grandmother. He sent $25. They sent the setting at no extra cost. I still have the diamond but not the original setting. I treasure that book.
    My father was born in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania so my mother planned day trips on our two week vacations in the summer. We saw lots of historical sites and lots of relatives.
    Needless to say I love history.
    "
  • Patty
    on January 28, 2021 | 09:34 Pattysaid :
    "My aunt on my mom side of the family has done a lot of family research. But we don’t live near each other so I haven’t sat down and gone through much of it with her. But I do remember her saying we were related to Winston Churchill... besides ancestry.com there is another online genealogy site called familysearch(dot)com that I have looked about a bit, and several generations back I did find some Churchills!"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 28, 2021 | 10:04 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Yes, I definitely wish I'd listened to my grandparents' stories more carefully. My dad's parents both died long before I was born, but my mom's parents lived well into their 90s (my grandpa was just 6 months shy of 100 when he died in 2014), so I did hear lots of their stories. I've got a pretty good balance of just enough facts to inspire me with just enough blanks to fill in with fiction. Thanks for your comment! "
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 28, 2021 | 10:06 Amanda Wensaid :
    "WOW, your mother's story sounds fascinating, Paula! I'm glad she published her memoirs, and I would love to read them. My husband's parents are from China originally, and my mother-in-law was raised in a Christian home thanks to missionaries. (As family story has it, her mother had a dream one night of a man she didn't know but felt drawn to, then the next day she was out and saw a picture of that man outside a church, so she went inside and the missionaries introduced her to Jesus). Thanks for sharing!"
  • Amanda Wen
    on January 28, 2021 | 10:06 Amanda Wensaid :
    "Ooh, I didn't know about Family Search! I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!"
  • Paula Shreckhise
    on January 28, 2021 | 13:59 Paula Shreckhisesaid :
    "It is called A Child of Two Countries: My China Legacy by Mary Beck Ecker.
    It has photos that my grandfather took.
    That’s some dream your mother in law’s mother had! "
  • Mariam Max
    on February 03, 2021 | 01:04 Mariam Maxsaid :
    "This comment has been removed by a blog administrator."
  • Diamond Green
    on February 03, 2021 | 08:45 Diamond Greensaid :
    "This comment has been removed by a blog administrator."
  • Unknown
    on March 24, 2021 | 04:40 Unknownsaid :
    "This comment has been removed by a blog administrator."
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