Family Histories – Portraits

Journals, biographical essays & creative non-fiction.
Although many experts offer training in genealogy, Ms. Brown is more interested in the process of organizing and writing narrative histories of each family or an individual…thus creating “portraits” in words, a new genre of creative non-fiction. Below are some examples:

The Grove Hill Eleven, about the eleven children of Nathaniel Burwell Harvey and Elrica Rorer, by John Barton
James Roy Micou, about the Micou family, 1st cousins of Andrew Lewis Ingles, by Fannie Roy Micou
What Really Happened at Drapers Meadows, by Ellen Brown
Katherine Hill Apperson, This is Your Life, by Ellen Brown

Here are several narrative examples written by Ellen Brown for a Creative Writing class while attending Graduate School at UNC-Asheville, NC.
One of the creative writing assignments was to write about a “sense of place”. This was Ellen’s response:
For the Love of Virginia
Another assignment prompted Ellen to write about her experience in a mother-daughter relationship, the process of aging and the problems she encountered while visiting with the elderly in retirement centers and nursing homes:
Missing Ingredients

Watercolor by Kitty Apperson (Ellen Brown’s mother)
One of her first examples of this genre was written wrote more than ten years ago, as she tried to capture in words her own experience of motherhood after receiving a gift in a jar from her daughter, Kate:
Justice in a Jar

The slideshow below is a family portrait of the Giesen family of Radford, VA generously shared by watercolorist, Emily Thompson: