Anecdotes & Biography

Besides the standard genealogical data, documents and pictures we are also interested in nice stories and short biographies to make the Genealogy more interesting to read.

Stories have to be nice to read or at least informative, and certainly no gossip. To prevent problems we won't accept anecdotes that might get other family members angry or ashamed. Even though others may confirm someone really was a bad person - there may always be others who think about that in a different way and may be hurt by such stories and we want to prevent that. If f.i. your grandfather was a "collaborator" (someone who helped the enemy) in the second world war and you want to write a book about it, you are of course free to do so. We just prefer to use different stories, and there are plenty of them. We know there is a risk these stories won't match with the complete reality but we take that for granted. We want to bring our family members together, not further apart !

When there is a story from a long time ago we are less strict. We know f.i. a story from a 17th century police report about a young Trommel, son of an alderman, who drove so fast with his horsewagon near the town of Middelharnis that he lost control and his friend who sat beside him was killed in the accident. He got a very large fine of 1000 guilders because after examining the remains of his horsewagon the police concluded that there was no mechanical problem so he just drove as a mad man.

As this happened more than 10 generations ago no one will have a problem with this story and it really adds something to otherwise sometimes boring names and dates. So if you doubt if your story may pass our "censorship" just send it in - at least it will be saved and may be used in the future when another generation may not have a problem with it anymore.

Biographies are preferably less than 1 page in length, a few lines often are enough. The main purpose is to get a mental picture of someone so he or she will be more than just a name. Even if you only know his occupation and the name of the company he worked for this can be helpful. It will be even better if you can tell something about his education, his upbringing and the family he lived in, how he got to know his partner, where he lived and worked, which church he attended, which hobby he had, if he played a musical instrument, which role he played in society etc. There is more risk involved when you try to say something about his character - see what was written above about stories so keep to the rule "only speak good of the dead".

Of course it is also very nice to make some larger comments about photographs.