How to Use Family Lore to Discover the Real Stories


Every family has old stories about their ancestors, even if it’s just their parents or grandparents. Some families, though, have family legends that go back generations and have been told time and time again through a century or more. These family history stories are often like a game of “telephone.” Each generation that hears the story gets a slightly different version of it as details are embellished or forgotten through the decades. By the time the story reaches you, it may be nothing like what really happened.
Even family legends that are vastly different from the real set of events that spawned them usually still have some tiny grain of truth in them, even if it is just the names of the people involved in the story. As a genealogist, those stories are naturally interesting to you. You also want to know the real truth behind them, because being a genealogist means telling the true stories of your family. Here’s how to use your family legends as jumping off points for real research that can lead you to the truth behind the tale...