Start journaling your heart out today. Have your very own Journaling Kit™ shipped to your doorstep...FREE!

E-books Workshops
Free Course
Support Us
Founded April 2000. A Writer's Digest Magazine 101 best Web sites for writers (2001 & 2003)
The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
E-book Secrets Exposed

Buy a novel by Lucille Bellucci at and receive these .pdf bonuses:

  • 17 Ways to Make Amazon Your River of Gold
  • Make Money with Radio
  • Success Bound
  • Book Promotion: NOT for Sissies
  • Harvey Mackay Rolodex
  • Top 20 Talk Radio Topics
  • Harrison Bonus
  • Million Dollar Rolodex

    E-mail Lucille at lucil95783 AT aol DOT com to claim your bonuses.
  • Write Any Book in 28 Days... Or Less!
    Write Any Book in 28 Days... Or Less! New course reveals fresh secrets. Click here to learn more.

    The Secret Behind Creativity REVEALED! It's all in the brainwaves. Find out here!

    EasyEbookPro Books

    Click here to advertise with us for 2 whole months for only $35!

    Home Columns

    More Than a Statistic

    When we begin researching our ancestors, we sometimes are overwhelmed by the facts and figures. We find birth, marriage and death dates and may trace these people to other countries and previous centuries. But we feel no real connection to them.

    The fascinating part of genealogy, I've discovered, is learning more about my ancestors and the times in which they lived. Then they become more than a statistic and a picture in a photo album.

    You'll not be able to find out about every ancestor. However, you can learn the era and geographic area in which they lived. If you're a writer, as I am, you want to capture this on paper for the family history. These ancestors may even be people you can include in a book or biography read by others.

    Pick Out a Few

    Select a few ancestors you already know something about. Find others who lived in an era of history or area of the country that interests you. Start with one and then expand your research and writing. Some you'll come upon accidentally as I did Uncle William.

    Discovering Uncle William

    Uncle William was simply a picture in my grandmother's photo album. A stern looking man in 1800's dress, he was complimented by his wife, Aunt Lizzie, who wore a lovely full skirted dress of the day.

    As I researched my grandmother's family, I discovered Uncle William had headed west (western United States) at a young age. He became a fur trapper, sources said. Then I found one place where he had lived in Kansas Territory.

    I wrote to the Kansas State Historical Society and was amazed when they sent me copies of a number of newspaper articles written at the time of his death in 1916. He was known as Buffalo Bill Mathewson (not Cody) because he'd provided starving pioneers with buffalo meat during the early days of Kansas settlement. I discovered Uncle William had done much more and was famous in Kansas.

    I'm now researching him further to write a children's book and complete the family records.

    Need Not Be Famous

    Your ancestors need not be famous. Each person is important to your family and has a story you can tell.

    One of my grandmothers you'll never find in the history books, but she is a heroine to me. She took her young family west after her husband died and struggled to earn a living and pay off bills on a pioneering homestead.

    Other ancestors escaped wars in Germany to settle in the United States in 1710. Stories of the trials and triumphs in the new land make for very interesting reading.

    Some great, great uncles fought in the United States Civil War. Others in the Revolutionary War.

    My mom was a teacher in a one-room school house 65 years ago. Her story needs to be least for her family.

    Where to Research

    We're assuming you've located these ancestors, know where they came from, and where they lived. But you don't know much about them, other than the statistics. Where do you look for information?

    • General history books and online history resources give information about an area and era.

    • Town history books give you specific information about people and events of an region.

    • Historical societies are sources where you might find old letters, newspapers, business reports.

    • Family histories, books researched and written by ancestors, often provide interesting highlights about people and their lifestyles.

    • Old catalogs will give you illustrations of clothing, household goods, farming tools, and other living essentials.

    • Medical reports will tell about the diseases of former days and why so many died young.

    • Military records give information about ancestors who fought in various wars.

    As you continue your research, you'll find additional links (online and in print) and even other people with whom you can share research.

    It's fascinating to discover your ancestors as real people who lived and had feelings and no longer are simply names and dates in a record.

    Copyright © 2001 Mary Emma Allen

    Mary Emma Allen is researching, writing and giving talks about her Uncle Buffalo Bill Mathewson. She also is writing a children's book about the Civil War era, inspired by her ancestors who lived then. Her many publications are listed on her Web site --

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)


    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between

    Journaling Kit - Four Journaling Books to help you put your life and memories on paper


    The Web
    This Site

    Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    Creative Nurturing of the Writer Within

    6 Approaches to Journaling

    21 Ways to Jumpstart Your Muse

    Imagery in Writing


    Children's Writing
    Freelance Writing
    Science Fiction & Fantasy
    Technical Writing


    The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publishers Won't by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

    Home | Articles | Columns | Workshops | E-books | Free Course | Quotes | E-zines | Top Fives | Support Us
    © Copyright 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ & The e-Writer's Place.
    Materials appearing in this Web site are owned and copyrighted by their respective authors and/or writers. Please read our Privacy Policy and TOS. No part of this website may be reproduced without consent from its owner. Original site design by Shery Russ. Hosting & maintenance by
    WriteSparks! Lite free software for writers
    Our sister sites: | | | | | | | | Writers Web Designs | | Aspiring Authors | Books | | | | | |