First Person – Graphic Novel – Research #2

The next stage of my research was find the images that I was going to use for the story for the 4 generations. I am very lucky to have known a lot about my family history as it’s something that my grandparents have been interesting in finding out, which has meant that I have grown up hearing about my family. I’m also fortunate to have a extensive family tree which I was able to access to give me dates that I would need. From this I was able to draw together a timeline of how my novel would work, as mentioned before the novel would be chronological as this would make the most sense.

The timeline starts with the birth of my great grandmother, see her growing up getting married to my great grandfather. It then leads on to show my grandmother being born growing up and meeting my grandfather before marrying in 1970. Leading onto my dad being born growing up meeting my mother then having me. Along the timeline as well I have also added a few key events that I think are important to mention as they hold true to the fact that family is one of the most important values to us.

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As part of my research I was able to find photographs to show these key events on the timeline. Again, as family This lead to more questions and stories which enabled me to start to shape the narrative of my story and select which elements I was going to be able to include. I was able to start putting names to faces (names that I had read on the family trees) this enabled me to start to envisage the story even further. 

Chat with my Grandparents

As my story was starting to take shape I new that there were a few gaps in there, I had questions like where why my great grandmother had the nickname ‘Billie’ from? and How did my grandparents meet living so far away. I’m lucky to live near them so I was able to go around and have a chat with them.

According to my Gran, when a cousin of my great grandmother (Ada Webb) visited from Canada she brought over her born son William who was known as Bill. The family were fascinated with the little guy as they were mainly girls in the family. Not long after they left my great great grandmother gave birth to my great grandmother. Her sister Leonora (Nora) said ‘well we have our own Billie now”. From then on she was known as Billie by family.

The other main question that I asked my grandparents was how they met. They met through family friends, Lily and Archie Hall were very distant relatives of my great-grandfather Harry’s family (his brother – in – laws cousin). While Arch and Lily knew my other great grandfather Myrddin through the choirs in Cardiff. Another family friend was Trevor who was transferred to another job in Cardiff would stay with Lily and Arch while he waited for his family to move to Cardiff for his new job. Growing my both my Gu and Gran without knowing both spent time with Lily, Arch and Trevor. It wasn’t until my Gran moved to college in Cardiff and stayed with Lily and Arch who she said were like having a second set of parents. That Trevor informed my Gu that ‘ he had just the girl for him’ that they finally met. This was in 1967 when they met and after my grand stay in Cardiff indefinitely to be with my Gu. They were then married in 1970.

From finding out these stories it has allowed me to piece together the gaps that were in the narrative, knowing this will allow me to put the narrative better. From speaking to my grandparents and looking at the photographs I feel as though the story of my family is super important to me.

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