To go along with this month’s theme of historical fiction, last week’s prompt asked what time periods you like to read about in fiction. This week’s prompt encourages to look for story ideas closer to home. Delving into family history for writing inspiration, whether it’s researching a family story or learning about genealogy, can give you the spark for a unique story.
One family story that has always intrigued me was one my maternal grandmother told us. One of her distant grandfathers–she wasn’t sure who–had supposedly married a woman who was a Russian Jew and lived in Harrisburg, PA. They had four children, two boys and two girls and were possibly living in West Virginia. The marriage broke up. The woman took the two girls back to Harrisburg, while her grandfather kept the boys. He remarried and had other children. My grandmother didn’t know if we were descended from the children of the first marriage or the second.
This story provokes all kinds of questions. What would it have been like before the Civil War for a Christian to marry a Jew? Had the wife converted? What broke up the marriage? Did the father ever see his daughters again? Did the mother see her sons? Lots of questions here to fuel a fiction story.
Now it’s your turn. What family history do you know that can inspire stories?