Wednesday, December 5, 2012

HISTORICAL EVENTS: PART OF YOUR FAMILY HERITAGE, TOO!

     Don't forget to research and record the larger historical events that have impacted you and your ancestors. What local, national, and international events impacted your family directly? Tornadoes or earthquakes? Political upheaval? Wars? Don't forget to point out in your stories that your ancestors lived during certain world  and local events.
     For example, during the latter part of the 1840's, Philadelphia experienced great riots involving Irish immigrants. People were injured and killed, and houses and churches were burnt to the ground. My family never spoke of these events, but I discovered that many of my ancestors were living in the center of the violence. My ancestors left no written record of their reactions to these riots, but they did leave Philadelphia soon thereafter. My understanding of their lives and of my ancestors as people grew tremendously as I learned more about the times they experienced in Philadelphia. But not much is written about these local historical events.
     If you are writing your own story, don't forget to include larger international, national, and local events that occurred during your lifetime. What was it like to live through the Depression or the Cold War? Do you remember what the Jersey shore looked like before and after Superstorm Sandy? Where were you when President Kennedy died? How did you feel on 9/11? Do you have an opinion on current world affairs, or an outlook on current issues, that you would like to share with your descendants?