Storytelling: How to Write the Real?

Now that my mother has passed away, I find myself feeling more free to tell her stories in my viewpoint. What I struggle with is boundaries (big surprise!). Where do her stories end and mine begin? What is ok or not ok to write about? My mother circumvented some of this tension through her art. She wrote poems and fiction. And if you knew her life, you'd know what stories she was telling in her artwork. I know it even more now as I read her short stories and see the titles of some of her artwork how much of the truth of her heart was woven into them.

The stories I find myself most wanting to tell are the stories of my family. My children (now grown) have long since tired of the birthday game of "___ years ago today....." But as a storyteller, I want to keep telling, so I must find other stories to tell or ways to weave the stories of my family into other stories.

So, I'll start with something easy, that won't upset anyone living (or dead) I hope. This is the story of Raymond Wynn's birth.

Raymond Wynn, born in 1904, was the son of Michael Wynn, who was the son of Owen Wynn, who was an Irish immigrant to upstate New York. However, unlike all of his aunts, uncles and cousins, Raymond Wynn was not born in Saranac New York, but instead in Utah. At first I assumed this was a mistake in the Census record. I learned early-on that mistakes like that were very the census records.

Curious, I kept digging and found that Raymond was indeed born in Utah. His father, Michael had the occupation of silver miner and he and his wife had their family out near the silver mines in Park City Utah. I don't know what happened to Raymond there, that's the sad part of genealogy, you can only learn so much from the data and have to make up stories to fill in the gaps. Anyway, he returned to upstate New York (Glenn's Falls) and raised a family of many Wynns. His older brother stayed out west. There is almost no other record of his parents... so there's still a mystery, but isn't life like that? 

PS. If you think you have some fun stories in your family tree, let me know. I love that kind of thing and will happily dig through census records to find a new little piece of information.