Horizon Passenger Lists

image of the Horizon passenger list

I recently created a Facebook page for the Martin Handcart Company, since there wasn’t one and since my great-great-grandmother was part of that company. I’ve started to gather information about the Martin Company and today I discovered that Mormon Migration website not only has a list of the passengers on the Horizon (the ship that the Martin Handcart Company took from Liverpool, England to Boston, Massachusetts) but they have images of the pages from the ship’s book where all the names where originally record. I’m really excited to take some time and find Mary Taylor and her family.

I love the power of the internet to share images of documents like these. Have you found something similar through the internet in your family history?

“My Grandma Mary” on Amazon!

 

I just checked on Amazon and “My Grandma Mary” is there and available for sale! It is amazing to see it there for real. I Just had to share this milestone in family stories here. Plus we got it done by Pioneer Day, which is July 24th. The day that Brigham Young and the first batch of Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. I seems like a fitting day to complete this step of my journey to learn about Mary Taylor and share her story.

“My Grandma Mary” update – hidden pictures

So I’ve official finished editing “My Grandma Mary” and now we are just waiting for the box of books I’ve ordered to print! I’m so excited and nervous as the same time. That takes me to the next step in the Doable approaching to telling your family stories, link. This book brings a whole new area to learn in sharing it with a broader audience.

One of the fun things about this book is that we have put hidden images throughout the book that represent other stories from the Martin Handcart Company that we didn’t put into the main storyline. The book refers to this blog for help in finding these images. I decided to do 4 levels of hints. The first level of hints in under the “My Grandma Mary” tab above and the rest I wrote as post that you can see below. I have links to these posts of the “My Grandma Mary” tab. Hopefully that this will work well in helping those who get stuck finding all the images. Some of them are really pretty easy but some are much harder. DOABLE Sidebar L

“My Grandma Mary” update

I got the proof for “My Grandma Mary” on Friday afternoon! Yeah! Overall it looks good but a few of the illustrations are too dark and I forgot the retail price on the back cover. So today I’ve adjusted illustrations and made some more edits. I plan to upload the revisions tomorrow and go from there. One disadvantage of Lightning Source is that there is a charge for every time you upload a new file.

“My Grandma Mary” update

I seem to have jumped through all the hoops to get a proof copy of “My Grandma Mary” printed by Lightning Source! I got an email today confirming the order from last week. The holiday has slowed things down but if I understand how it works, I should have the proof copy in my hand this week! I’m really excited to see it. If everything looks good than I will make it available for sell asap. My mom is usually really patient about histories but on this one she asks me about it every time I talk to her. It has taken a long time to get to this point. I’ve learned so much. But I’m sure there is a lot more to learn.

One thing I’ve realized is I’m glad there are places like Blurb and places like Lightning Source. Even though they are both print on demand companies their business models and target customers are completely different. I can see that I’ll be using both companies in the future depending on the project. For small runs, Blurb is a better choice. For books with a larger audience Lightning Source can be the better choice. While Blurb has a higher price per book they have no set up costs and no on going cost to keep the book available to print. While LSI has a much cheaper price per book they set up cost of about $100 mean you have to order at least a certain number of books to make it more cost-effective than Blurb. In the case of “My Grandma Mary” you have to order at least 5 copies to make LSI a more cost-effective option.

I’m still waiting to see how the quality of Lightning Source compares to Blurb.

 

Adjectives for Focus

DOABLE Sidebar DMaking a list of adjectives that describe  what you want your finished story project to be can help you stay focused on the desired outcome. Think of the words not only as guides but also as inspiration as you move forward with your project. It would be a great to post your list of adjectives where you can see them and remember why you are doing your story project. You could add sketches or pictures or anything that helps to communicate the feelings you want your project to generate in those you will share it with.

Using “My Grandma Mary” again as an example, here are a list of adjectives for what I hoped to do:

  • appealing (I wanted it to draw the child into the story)
  • accurate (I wanted it be true to the known facts)
  • ageless (I hoped to appeal to many age groups for many years to come)
  • appropriate (I wanted the information shared to take into account the age of the target audience)
  • courageous (I wanted the courage of Mary and the other pioneer to be felt)
  • determined (I wanted the reader to understand that it took determination to reach Utah)
  • grandmotherly (I wanted the reader to relate to Mary Taylor as if she were their own grandma)
  • happy (I wanted the happy times of Mary’s life and journey to be present too)
  • hopeful (I wanted the kids to know that they can have hope even when things are at their worst)
  • hungry (I wanted them to understand how very hungry she was)
  • inspirational (I wanted Mary’s story to inspire them)
  • short (I wanted to keep the story short and easily read in a few minutes)
  • spiritual (I wanted the reader to feel Mary’s testimony)
  • thankful (I wanted the reader to feel Mary’s gratitude despite the trials of her life)

Another thing to keep in mind as you start on a new story project is who the intended audience is. With “My Grandma Mary” I kept in mind that I wanted it to most appealing for kids between 5 and 10 years old. Remembering this helped with many important decisions along the way.

Try making an adjective list about a new story project or one that you are already working on and see if the process is helpful for you.

The Many Mediums of a Story Project

DOABLE Sidebar DLet’s say that you’ve narrowed down your story project and have a good idea of what you want to do and why you want to do this story project, the next big question is what medium to do want to use to tell this story?

I’ll use my great-great-grandmother, Mary Taylor again as an example. I knew I wanted to do a story project about her and I had decided that I wanted to focus on her journey from England to Utah with the Martin Handcart company. I also knew that I wanted to do something that would be appealing to kids. I figured that if it was approachable for kids, adults would take time to learn about Mary Taylor too.

So looking at the 100 story projects post, and narrow it down. My first run through I deleted things that weren’t about her journey. That got me down to about 40 Then I deleted those that would not be very appealing to children. That took off about 20 more. Next I looked again at which ones would really tell the story of her journey and not just aspects of her experience and would appeal to kids ages 5 to 10. That got me down to the following list:

  1. make a story book with illustration of Mary’s childhood and journey to Zion (did that – it is so close to being ready to publish)
  2. make that story book into an ebook
  3. make that story book into an enhanced ebook with sound etc.
  4. make that story book into a video with narration and background music
  5. make a coloring book about Mary’s life (I could probably adapt the illustrations from “My Grandma Mary” for this)
  6. design surprise balls that tell a story about Mary Taylor
  7. make puppets to act out stories from Mary Taylor’s life
  8. make a video of the puppet show
  9. put together a story box about Mary Taylor

Looking at this more focused short list you could do some more brainstorming and ask yourself are there some different media that I could use to expand this list. Here are some extra ideas that come to mind:

  • make an animated video using claymation or other media
  • make paper dolls for the characters in Mary’s story
  • instead of having an adult illustrate the book have a child or children draw the images after learning about Mary’s story

The first five could be grouped together, because in completing the first one (make a story book), much of the work is already done for the next three. It is sharing it and enhancing it in different ways. Using different media. In some ways the story box could be the final end of several story projects about Mary Taylor all with the goal in mind of creating a story box about her life and/or her journey to Utah in 1856. The box could contain the story book and/or ebook, video etc, a coloring book, puppets and a script or scripts to perform or a video, and a surprise ball as a kind of summary of Mary’s story and trinkets to remind the kids what they learned about their ancestor. That would be really cool.

I didn’t make this list when I started the story book about Mary’s journey, but if I had I would then need to choose which story project to do first. The story box would be out because it is more appropriate as a long-term goal. Someone with more experience with puppets and script writing might pick that as a first project. But since my experience is mainly with books I would probably still pick that as my first project. Even the color book idea is a natural extension of the story book. If I was more comfortable with video that could be the starter project and then the book would be taken from still of the video. There are lots of options and mediums. Which one or ones you choose depends on you, your talents, your interests and your resources. The story book project turned out to be perfect for me because my niece was on board to illustrate it.

Does this example help you to see how to take a long list that you have brainstormed and narrow it down. There is not one right answer for a story project. Follow your intuition and move forward. This can be a fun process so let it inspire you. Then keep that vision alive as you take the many steps to complete your story project.

I’ve been inspired by this brainstorming exercise, I hope you have too. Now it is time for you to do something similar for your next story project!