Great genealogy stories can be told by anyone

Great genealogy stories can be told by anyone

Genealogy story counterfeiter

One of the most visited links in a recent EasyGenie newsletter was to "Stitched up," a blog post by amateur genealogist Ed Ball, recounting the amazing 1840s tale of his ancestor John William Balls who was arrested for counterfeiting coins.

I won't reveal the ending (you can read the story here) but I will share one paragraph that showed how far the accused wife's was willing to go to get her husband freed: 

"Despite John being imprisoned, Eliza refused to accept that her husband was guilty. She employed the services of an attorney to bring a charge of conspiracy against the corrupt policemen, accusing them of entrapping John in order to gain financial reward."

The story was so well researched and written, I reached out to the young blogger Ed Ball, the great-great-great grandson of John William Balls, to ask if he was a professional writer or storyteller. His answer:

"Nope, other than the odd policy or strategy document at work!"

It goes to show that great genealogy stories aren't only the domain of professional genealogists, TV programs like Finding Your Roots, or five-star authors like Dani Shapiro.

I encourage everyone reading Ed Ball's account to consider how they might put down on paper a parent's or grandparent's story, or even an ancestor further back in time. The tools are there, from online newspaper archives to older relatives who can fill in the details about a remarkable person in your tree. We also have tools for recording ancestors' stories on paper or PDF

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