Thursday, 19 January 2017

Stimulating Memory Sharing

Gathering memories was a frequent topic of several friends at the Family History Center I work at. There was much discussion trying to come up with the right formula for family responsiveness.
It is easy to say ask questions at reunions, family gatherings, visits 
with the older members of the family, but the results are not always what you had hoped for.
I have written several memories on my personal blog most in regards to holidays and many with recipes. It was all my memories. I had asked my husband’s twin to share memories and he would always say, “I don’t remember anything about growing up.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ 
Both you and I know that was true, he just wasn’t focused. To experiment, since I was one of the advisers on getting stories over the holidays, I decided to utilize my Facebook page to try and pull in cousins and siblings of my husband’s family to share some of their stories. It didn’t quite turn out the way I had thought, but it did turn out that I filled a need of the Hero’s cousins.

I first shared this…short post and a scrapbook page from the book… 

"Merry Christmas from the Ellsworth Domestic Goddesses.  Many years ago my oldest daughter put together a cook book of recipes from all the Older Ellsworth ladies back in 2001, the great grandmother, great aunt, grandmother, and aunts for Christmas. Kathleen and Ginny, I loved this picture of Mary with Mom. Two lovely Ellsworth ladies. Megan were there recipes from you and Laura in there? Love all ya'all. "

This was some of the responses:
Derrell Hankins: What a lovely idea! Wish I'd have thought of that... about 50 years ago! (not related on this side)

Kathleen Ellsworth Chelette: Thanks Fran ๐Ÿ’•(The Hero's cousin, sister of Tom)

Fran Langley Ellsworth: You are welcome Kathleen Love ya

Barbara Thole Taylor: What a treasure! (not related on this side, but they are thinking of doing it for their family now.)

Ginny Ellsworth: Love it! Thanks, Fran! (daughter of Tom, a cousin. She has never seen these.)

Laura Wheatley-Hughes: Wonderful. Thanks for keeping memories alive (daughter of the Hero's sister)

Alta Turner: So cute!

Tom Ellsworth: Love to see the other recipes too! (the Hero's cousin)

Fran Langley Ellsworth” I am making a copy for Laura, will make one for you too.

Tom Ellsworth: Fran Langley Ellsworth Thank you!

Kathleen Ellsworth: Chelette Fran if you're making copies could I put my name in the bunch? Thanks

Fran Langley Ellsworth: Of course. You were in my thoughts. Didn't know if you had gotten one.  <3

Kathleen Ellsworth Chelette: Fran Langley Ellsworth thanks Fran you're an  ๐Ÿ˜‡.

This family has not been sharing for some time and now they had something they wanted to keep for a memory. I having 4 books made from mine and a barrier went down for sharing. Also, later my brother-in-law brought it up at a dinner with his sister and we discovered, she had found an original recipe that she had copied wrong for the book. This will be fixed now. ๐Ÿ˜Š
This was the scrapbook page…very simple.

The second event was a “Blog Caroling” prompt from FooteNoteMaven.
I chose to do a cute song my husband had sang to our kids every Christmas. He loved it and after I posted the scrapbook page with the short post, I found my brother-in-law loved it too. When we had our dinner he began remembering all the fun songs they had sung at Christmas as kids and looked them up on YouTube. His sister added what she had remembered. 
This is the Scrapbook Page and the short post:
"When the Hero and I would talk about Christmas plays and our children were in the Church party Manger scenes, he would always break out in song about "The Angel in the Christmas Play". This Christmas song was written in 1949 by Spike Lee.  The Hero would have been about 3 when it first came out. 
Wonder if our children remember the song... Good question."

There were several other posts I made including old group photos of the family that stimulated conversations about when, where they were at the time of the photo and who was doing what at that time.  It was fun seeing the cousins come together across the miles, who have not been together for years, and engage each other with their thoughts as memories. That would not have happened if I had not reached out to them and had given them a visual stimulus.
This was my personal success story this year of extracting fun and personal stories from family. I hope you had a great experience too. ๐Ÿ˜Š


  1. These are some great ideas. You are crafty Fran, very crafty.

    1. Carol, how did I miss your comment. Yeah, I am. ;-) But love working with others, if you can just pull them in.


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