#52snapshots–Week 10

I finally managed to figure out a way to write about the DNA secrets that emerged through DNA testing of various family members. I wrote a letter to my great-grandmother and explained why I’m not able to find her family as I had promised when I set out on the family history journey some 30 years ago. The secrets that came up are not my secrets to tell, and while I certainly have my theories, there isn’t anything I can do about them without the cooperation of those family members involved. They don’t seem to want to engage in any real exploration. I find it highly frustrating. Even when I reach out to others in my DNA matches where it’s obvious we have a somewhat close relationship, their lack of response also frustrates me. On the plus side, some DNA matches have responded and I’ve been able to fill out the branches of the family tree.

At AWP this past week, I attended a session on family secrets in memoir where Inheritance author Dani Shapiro participated as a panelist. The idea for a letter to my great-grandmother developed from listening to panelists. I plan to routinely listen to Shapiro’s Family Secrets podcasts.

This Week

This week, inspired by a photo a second cousin sent me of his grandfather, my great-uncle, I want to write about Hillel Meyer Krasner, the first Krasner to immigrate. I never knew him. One of his daughters is still alive at 105, so maybe she can tell me something.

Other Work in Progress

I did send out my “boys go off to war” essay to a few places and am exploring venues for other snapshots. Received a few rejections along the way, too, but that’s always part of the journey. If nothing else, I am adding some flesh to the genealogy bones by digging more deeply into photographs, objects, and stories.

Are any of you attempting these #52snapshots?

About Barbara Krasner

History writer and award-winning author Barbara Krasner writes Jewish-themed poetry, articles, nonfiction books, and novels for children and adults.
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2 Responses to #52snapshots–Week 10

  1. Thanks for the link to Family Secrets podcasts. My three sisters and I did DNA testing and discovered our oldest sister is a half-sister! What a shock that was. We knew our mother was pregnant and she and Dad married, but none of us ever suspected he might not be her father. She is busy finding matches and thinks she is getting close to discovering who her biological father is. Unfortunately, no one from our parent’s generation is still living, so no help there. Thanks for an interesting post. Good luck with your essay.

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