Virginia Woolf says, "A memoir is not what happens, but the person to whom things happen."

What a wonderful way to preserve history, the sharing of personal experiences. This could by far be the most exciting page of DeWittVille if those of you who hold the stories will share them with us. I am totally convinced that there are many stories from all generations that are in need of transposing into print. I am also certain that I have only heard but a drip into the story well, stories of bountiful trout streams, curious haircuts.... recovered snowmobiles? Cabins whose walls wore many a shirttails, summer vacations that certain cousins will never forget.

Here are some more ideas of things to write about:

  • Tell us about your school days: likes, dislikes, teachers, normal routine in a day?
  • Things you remember most about your parents.
  • What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?
  • Did you have chores and responsibilities at home?
  • How did you spend summer vacations as a child?
  • What did you enjoy doing during your teenage or later years? What was most difficult?
  • favorite pet? why?
  • foods u love or hated?
  • pranks??
  • Discipline at your house?
  • favorite family activity?
  • favorite song when growning up?
  • how did you meet your spouse? any courting stories? any "married life" stories?
  • what are some vivid memories of your parents, grandparents, other relatives?
  • could you ever have been called ornery? why?
  • which things from your growing up have you made a point of passing on in your own family , and which things have you made it a point to not carry on?
  • proudest moments? moments you most wish to forget?
  • Recall the firsts in your life: first boyfriend/girlfriend, first day of school, first paycheck, first home on your own, first child. First car. You get the idea.

Later Years:

  • At what age did you have your first child?
  • How did you decide on the name?
  • How did you adjust to motherhood? Fatherhood?
  • Did any of your children resemble you or other ancestors?
  • Tell me a favorite story about a child in your family.
  • What were some of the difficulties of family life?

More indepth:

Are there any traditional first names, middle names, or nicknames in your family? Is there a naming tradition, such as always giving the firstborn son the name of his paternal grandfather?

What stories have come down to you about your parents? Grandparents? More distant ancestors? How have these relatives described their lives to you? What have you learned from them about their childhood, adolescence, schooling, marriage, work, religion, political activity, recreation?

How did your parents, grandparents, and other relatives come to meet and marry? Are there family stories of lost love, jilted brides, unusual courtships, arranged marriages, elopements, runaway lovers?

Have any historical events affected your family? For example, how did your family survive the Depression? Did conflict over some national event such as a world war or the Vietnam War cause a serious break or changes in family relationships?


Another idea: Something that would be interesting is if someone could draw a floor plan of the house you grew up in and take us on a tour.


Any stories or experiences coming to mind?

What a gift it would be to hear the recollections that would help us who weren't there get a better understanding of who these people are that often are only names, vague memories or old photos. Share with us those stories that make real to us that child, that teenager, that young parent of years past, the memories that make you who you are.

You can email them as soon as you would like. Your memoirs, writings, experiences, notes or thoughts will start appearing here as soon as they start arriving.

Please email: Memoirs Email


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