Story Writing Reminder

No matter what item you have from your past, write down the item’s story.

Before you forget.

Items don’t have to be family Bibles, letters, fancy jewelry, or similar items. They can be milk cans, hay hooks, irons, skillets, or even plants. But their story should be recorded. The writing of the story may even generate additional memories or questions.

This tiger lily’s predecessor was owned by my great-grandmother at least as early as the 1940s and likely sooner. Its history briefly:

  • at home of Mimka and Tjode (Goldenstein) Habben west of Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois–at least in the 1940s and 1950s
  • home of John and Dorothy (Habben) Ufkes, north of Ferris, Hancock County, Illinois–probably from the 1940s through 1960
  • home of John and Dorothy (Habben) Ufkes, east of Basco, Hancock County, Illinois–1960 through 1987
  • home of John and Dorothy (Habben) Ufkes, Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, 1987-early 2000s.
  • my home

Thinking about where everyone lived and when got me to thinking about things not really related to the plant. Documenting the “existence” of an item may raise more genealogical questions that you originally thought.


5 thoughts on “Story Writing Reminder

  1. amy j ferrill

    Grammar check! You posted: It’s history briefly: You just said: “It is history briefly.” There’s a big difference between its and it’s. It’s going to be a sunny day is an example of how to use it correctly,

  2. Dana Rahm Sutton

    A great reminder that often things which remind of us our recent
    ancestors may have little monetary value. As MasterCard likes to say,
    “The Memories are Priceless.”

  3. Barb Glassel

    Great photo! Captured my attention, and really drove home your point, that almost anything can and should lead to recording a person’s details.. It reminded me of my mom, a Wisconsin farm wife, and her wish to grow a Turk’s Cap Lily in our yard again! When relatives gave her orange daylilies, she was grateful, but told us kids the kind she had lost, was curvier, like a Turk’s cap. Eventually, somebody did find one for her, which probably only survived after deer stopped visiting our front yard. Mom thought her gardening skills were at fult, but it must have bee the deer!
    I now know Turk’s Cap is a Wisconsin native wildflower, and 4 species of it grew here in the 1840’s or earlier, much treasured by early settlers. So, Michael, did your relatives mention deer, and special efforts to protect their Illinois Turk’s cap Lilies?! One little story leads to others!

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      The only stories I have are who had them and how they were passed down to me. I now know more about the flowers (as a plant) than I did before I made this post.

      And one story often leads to another.


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