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Storyteller

The Storyteller has always held a special place in society. In Ireland, as in other cultures, the storyteller (seanchai, pronounced shan-a-key) was the guardian of oral traditions (folklore poems, epics, proverbs, & songs). The starting point for most family tree research is the oral history of that particular family. But regretfully, family lore is lost over time and usually goes back only a couple of generations. Doing family history research, one can't help but wonder and regret what stories were told by our ancestors that have since been lost in the mists of time.

The richness of family history is not communicated by a collection of births, marriages and deaths. Family history is so much more than facts and figures, but getting it across is a perpetual challenge.

This section of the website is designed to encourage people to publish examples from their own oral histories before they are lost forever. This may range from biographies of individuals or entire families, to humourous anecdotes, to completely fanciful short stories based on real people from their own family trees. The latter technique was used in the book Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald. Wikipedia describes it as:  one of the most significant German language works of fiction for the period since the Second World War.

And for those who have wondered if there is a novel in their family tree, a simple way to get it published as a real book is to use the online print-on-demand publishing utility at www.lulu.com.  This allows you to upload your work as a pdf file, which is then printed off as a book on a case by case basis for every individual who orders it. This is a great way of publishing something that may only be of interest to your immediate family. 

Also, this is a place to share Success Stories in family history research - accounts of breakthroughs and overcoming Brick Walls. Sharing these stories will encourage others to persevere with their own research and may help them succeed where they have previously failed.

Thank you for sharing!

How To Tell A Story - The Seanachai (Eamon Kelly)



Maurice Gleeson, April 2011

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The Spearin Surname Project at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~spearin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
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Last update: April 2011

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