Jacki Kellum Free Writing Class Exercise 9 – Explore Your Family Tree to Write Historical Fiction

Today, in the USA, we are observing Columbus Day, which honors Columbus’s voyage across the ocean to  discover the Americas. To further the celebration of Columbus Day, today’s writing exercise has to do with recognizing our ancestors–especially those who immigrated from somewhere else.

I am fortunate that one of my great aunts researched my family’s genealogical record, and I was delighted to discover that my family members can trace our roots to England. I know the names of my family who lived there, and I know when they immigrated to the Eastern coast of the USA. That is my heritage on my mother’s side, but I know less about my father’s family. who were poor Germans. I have been told that they immigrated through New Orleans.

I am not sure why it matters who our ancestors are, but somehow, I do care. Yesterday, I learned that some of my ancestors were Quakers and that one of them was killed in a Quaker uprising at the Isle of Man. His wife immigrated to America and joined the Quakers in Pennsylvania, but before her journey across the ocean, she had fled to Ireland. Something about this story shouts the great start of some historical fiction writing.

There are many good reasons for researching our pasts, but my main reason for doing so is to collect the seeds for my writing. Today’s writing exercise is for you to tell what you know about one of your ancestors. You may not have any genealogical records at all yet, and your grandmother might be as far back in history as you can go. That is fine. Start there. Shake your family tree, and write about someone in your past.

Jacki Kellum Free Writing Class Exercise 9 – Write about One of Your Ancestors

©Jacki Kellum October 10, 2016

As I have said before, in sharing these exercises, I am Blogging to Book. For that reason, you may not share any of the Free Jacki Kellum Writing Exercises or the other discussion about the exercises.  They are free for you to use but not free to reproduce or to share.



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