Fifth Friday Focus: Vacations

When was the last time you took a vacation? It could be a trip to visit family or an excursion halfway around the world (maybe it was both!). Where did you go and who did you take with you?

Good Travelers!

Have you ever stopped to think about the economic luxury that a vacation belies? A few generations ago, most families could not ever hope to afford a large trip even once, let alone on a regular basis. The demands of agricultural life and its seasonal rhythms prevented a farm family from leaving for any extended period of time.

Today, thanks to the Industrial Revolution and the rise of technology, many of us can afford to have leisure time and take a week or two for a “get-away.” Sometimes the trip is long and far away; sometimes a staycation is in order and you become a tourist in your own hometown.

Dust off that photo album and spend a few moments reliving a recent vacation. What new experiences did you have? How did you travel: train, plane, car, boat, or foot? What were the favorite memories made by the people with whom you traveled?

Write down the story of your vacation, share it with your family, and include a copy with your photos. The stereotypical post-trip slideshow may be a tired annoyance, but I can assure you that someone will be interested to read about your travels – leave them a great story to enjoy!

Types of Narratives: Timelines

Here at The Family Yarn we encourage you to pursue Narrative Genealogy – recording in written form the unique story of your family so that future generations can read with interest about where they came from.

Narratives can take a number of forms, and throughout January, we’re talking about different types of narratives and how they can contribute to your family’s story. Catch up with our previous posts on autobiography & memoir, journals & diaries, and vignettes.

While not narratives per se, timelines can be invaluable in helping to craft a narrative for an individual or family.

It Runs In The Family

Some families have rich stories to tell of the first child to get off the farm and go to college, or the machinist's tools passed from generation to generation. Occupations and work can prove to be very interesting themes for your narratives.

Friday Focus: Great-Grandmother (Dad's Dad's Mom)

Nora Laverna Capps was born on 28 August 1882, reportedly in Union County, Tennessee. Nora was the youngest child of Valentine Willis Capps (1833–1914) and Minerva Jane Atkins (1836–1910), who were already in middle age when she was born. Nora had at least nine siblings, the oldest of which (William Scott Capps) was 26 years older than Nora. 

Valentine, Minerva, and Nora Capps, undated (likely early 1890s)

Nora’s older sisters Becky (Rebecca) and Ollie (Frances) lived in Washburn, which was probably the nearest town to the Capps family farm. On visits to her sisters, Nora apparently met Dan Acuff, a merchant in town, whom she married in the fall of 1902. Nora was 20 years old and Dan 34 at the time of their marriage in Knoxville.