May 19, 2013 by auntkatefirmin
I find myself in a thicket of stories. I started out writing a narrative in book form for my mother in order to shape the story of what I was discovering about the Firmin family. Because I’ve always loved the story of Aunt Kate finding her English cousins I started there. Of course, by 1947 when Kate made the first connection it was almost exactly100 years after her father was born. The cousins had never met their grandparents. The brothers and sisters of Kate’s father John had scattered to three continents – some of them leaving no traces. It’s an interesting lens trying to discover what could be verified, and what had been blurred or garbled with time and distance. As a focus, it became limiting.
So I took a different approach to telling the story. I started over with John Firmin & Sarah Kenning and their world. What were their streets like and were they rich, poor or somewhere in-between? How could I track them in the world before the census? I found many traces of them and their children. I branched into related families, in particular the Halls. Kate’s paternal grandmother was Emily Hall, daughter of a London cow-keeper, Thomas Hall.
Along the way I turned up a wealth of bits and pieces and I found I was leaving out all sorts of things that didn’t fit on the page. So I started again – this time as a blog. I can make an interactive narrative easily. The discoveries can flow with less concern for page layout or word count. When I find out I made a mistake I can write a post about it.
I’m already meeting new folks that that share my interests and perhaps I’ll find some long-lost cousins! After all, we never did find Aunt Kate’s Uncle Tom.