Gransnet forums


blog to tell family stories

(53 Posts)
Stillstanding Fri 30-Sep-22 17:38:16

I am considering starting a Blog to tell my grandsons (now 30 and 27), and their descendants, the sort of family stories they would have heard if they were allowed to know me. I have already written a book, self-published for my grandsons and other members of my family, about my findings when I traced our ancestry. Distant cousins have given me really good feedback regarding the book but nothing from my grandsons although the book is dedicated to them and comes up if they Google their own names.

I would like to hear from anyone else who has written a Blog for their grandchildren and their descendants.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 30-Sep-22 17:52:40

I don’t understand the point of a blog. How do you know they would read it? Surely better to write a book and bequeath copies in your will.

BlueBelle Fri 30-Sep-22 18:09:23

She’s already written a book GSM won’t it just be a duplicate
I ve never read a blog or written one so sorry I can’t help

Chestnut Fri 30-Sep-22 18:25:04

Are you saying the book was about your ancestors but the blog will be stories about your life and maybe your parents? That's what I'm getting here. I can perfectly understand that, because altogether you will probably have way too much for a book.

A blog is I believe a sort of online diary and you would just keep adding stories as they come into your head. Anyone can read it. I get that. It sounds a great idea, as long as you're happy that anyone in the world will be able to read your stories. I'm not sure I would want that myself, but I realise everyone publishes everything online these days!

AreWeThereYet Fri 30-Sep-22 19:05:17

I haven't written one but I've seen a few and some are really interesting. One of the best contained 'then and now' photos of where people lived, explaining changes to the area, information about their jobs, their schooling, their family in the area, war service, all sorts of things. Not just who-what-happened-and-when. Can't remember where I saw it, I think it was on Rootschat.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 30-Sep-22 19:28:04

The world and his wife can read a blog. I certainly wouldn’t want to put personal information on one.

VioletSky Fri 30-Sep-22 20:20:16

I don't want to sound harsh but my honest thoughts are:

At 30 and 27, I think if they wanted to know anything they would have reached out by now.

If I were them I would feel deeply uncomfortable that my name or any information about me might be in a book or a blog available to the public, even just my name

And I have questions:

Whose stories would you be sharing in a blog?

Would it contain stories about their parents?

Would it contain direct messages to them?

Because any information you share online could be seen by future employers or other contacts in life and I don't think they would be happy about that either

I'm sorry you are in this situation but it doesn't look like it will change and putting time and energy into this might be better spent doing something for those you have a good relationship with

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 30-Sep-22 21:00:02

I rarely agree with you VS, but on this occasion - spot on.

VioletSky Fri 30-Sep-22 21:28:25

Erm.... thank you... I think

Callistemon21 Fri 30-Sep-22 23:21:20

I agree, Violetsky

although the book is dedicated to them and comes up if they Google their own names

Is the book already published online or is just the dedication available to google?

They may be embarrassed to have all this out in the public domain.
It may be cathartic for you Stillstanding but what impact will it have on their lives?

Chestnut Fri 30-Sep-22 23:44:45

I agree that putting personal information online which is identifiable to them or you is a definite no including names of course. Anything you put online would have to be of a general nature and that could be tricky. If you slip and post something that identifies you or your family that will compromise their privacy. So probably best not to risk putting stuff online.

Mandrake Sat 01-Oct-22 00:53:44

There are huge privacy issues here, including that they can already search these stories under their name. Does the book include stories about their parents? Any people still living? Do you have their permission to tell their stories?

Rosie51 Sat 01-Oct-22 01:07:02

As long as everything published is accurate there surely won't be any legal issues? Whether it is wise or not I make no comment.

Mandrake Sat 01-Oct-22 01:38:10

There's legal, then there's ethical. I would be very upset if my mother decided to publish stories about my life online. They aren't her stories to tell and it shows a total disregard for my privacy. What if I find some of those stories embarrassing or just don't want the whole world to know particular details, even if they are benign? I've never estranged anyone in my life but, with this action, I might just do that for the first time.

Whiff Sat 01-Oct-22 05:54:04

Stillstanding sorry but don't see the point of writing the book and self publishing it . Why blog? To be honest don't really know what one is or would ever both to read or watch one.

If your grandson's had wanted to know anything they would have asked by now they are grown men.

My mom told the family stories and I told my children. My brother has never been interested in stories about the family apart from close family. No interest in aunt's ,uncles etc.

Family history is subjective. What one family member remembers another family member can remember it totally differently. Hence conflict can occur.

You have written the book leave it at that.

Sara1954 Sat 01-Oct-22 07:17:47

I’m sorry, but I also agree with Violet.

I would be very angry indeed if my mother started a blog (highly unlikely) giving out personal information, and let’s be honest, information from her point of view.

Retread Sat 01-Oct-22 08:03:00

I haven't read this whole thread but picking up on a few points:

Not all blog posts are available to all and sundry, e.g. WordPress has an option to access entries only via a code or password (which of course would need to be shared).

My older SIL wrote up family stories and memories 40 years ago. None of us (extended family) were interested at the time, being too young / wrapped up in our own lives etc. This record was rediscovered after SIL's death last year, been widely shared and very well received including by many who weren't interested when she first did it.

So I would say, go for it. smile

Chestnut Sat 01-Oct-22 08:41:06

Good thinking Retread. If the blog is protected by a secure password then the details can be given out in your will. You could include the password with a letter to your grandsons explaining the purpose of the blog and hoping they will enjoy reading it.

I disagree that your grandsons would have shown interest by now. People often don't have any interest in family history until their 50s or 60s. So do not expect any gratitude or interest during your lifetime, they are more likely to read it after you're gone.

Retread Sat 01-Oct-22 14:29:16

Chestnut you're right. And things - and people - change. I forgot to add that my SIL who wrote up her family's history, was estranged from some family members. And yet, the information has been well received by all the family.

Stillstanding Sat 01-Oct-22 16:24:24

Thank you all so much for the feedback. Plenty of fuel for my mind.
Chestnut got the point straight away not so sure about others. Lots of people trace their ancestry and many people post family stories on their trees on various sites. All very public. Ancestry is full of them. So I dont get the point about passwords and secrecy. My book was self published because few people would want to buy it and few people did. I sent free copies to all the distant cousin's I have found because we all pass info and copies of certificates and letters etc. to each other.
The sort of story I am thinking of is how my mother used to pass off our old caravan as "our place in the country" or what my step grandmother said to the then Queen after my grandfather had been presented to the then King. These are not nasty stories to tell behind a password or fake name. I would never do such a thing.
So why go public? Millions of grandparents are prevented from seeing their grand children. This means that millions of young adults have grown up not being able to have contact with their grandparents. Why dont they kick-off about this? Why dont my grandsons want to know me? Letting the world read my weird and wonderful, or maybe just plain boring family stories may get people wanting to find their own grandparents before its too late and so hear their own family stories from their own grandparents.
Ethics? Dont make me laugh. Whats ethical about not letting grandchildren access to their full family.
These stories are not for my grandsons although I heard from family that one of them thinks he has the first science degree in the family. One of my stories is about how I thought I was the first science graduate in the family but I am not. Far from it. O K that might shock him but his mother should have told him that his grandmother is a science graduate. Shall I mention the joint honours I got and he did not? Maybe I will let that one go.

I have no desire to hurt or embarrass anyone. I am a very open and honest person so name rank and number on everything. If writing these stories on a blog would estrange me from my daughter it would be a bit late. She did that 30 years ago when she married into a family where her MIL expected her to cut all ties with her family the moment she changed her name. My daughter swore she would never let that happen but she did. Was that ethical? No. She changed her name and cast off any moral decency I taught her.

Thank you for the feedback. If I succeed with getting this blog going I hope it starts a trend and maybe help end the living grief that so many suffer.

JaneJudge Sat 01-Oct-22 16:32:32

I would advise you to talk all this through with a counsellor

Callistemon21 Sat 01-Oct-22 16:34:44

Lots of people trace their ancestry and many people post family stories on their trees on various sites. All very public. Ancestry is full of them.

Some of them totally inaccurate! I'm descended from Anne Boleyn apparently ?

The other thing about Ancestry and making a tree public is that anyone can find out information from it and track down people in the tree.

Callistemon21 Sat 01-Oct-22 16:36:54

You could write down all these anecdotes and perhaps leave copies with your solicitor for your grandsons, together with your will.

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 01-Oct-22 16:46:29

I think Jane’s advice is very wise. Maybe you need to accept that if your grandsons wanted to have contact with you then, at their age, they would. When my husband left us my son, then 7, refused to have any contact with his father’s family. He is now 37 and has remained resolute about that. The grandparents never saw him again. He has no interest whatsoever in his father’s family. His decision, supported by the court.

VioletSky Sat 01-Oct-22 17:23:16

Your grandchildren are adults and whatever their reasons, do not want a relationship with you.

Putting their names online in such a highbrow way is still stalking and harassment I'm afraid.

I too think you need to talk this through in counselling