The Story of Family

Have you ever learned your family history?

Where you come from, who you’re descended from, what stories lie hidden in the mysteries of the past?  It’s an interesting topic, often full of surprises, and it was an adventure I took part in during one summer in my senior year of college.

Being a student of history, I suppose it was only natural to want to know what happened that made my family, well…my family.  And as I started to dig through old records and genealogy trees, I found a whole bunch of interesting information…

  • My family was very fond of building churches.
  • Many of the men were soldiers.
  • My family came from as far north as Sweden and as far east as Mongolia.
  • My family was really, really fond of sailing (I guess that explains why I wrote Captain Patty).
  • Hardly anyone in my family farmed (which also explains why I tend to be really terrible at keeping plants alive).

These are just a few of the stories from my own family history, and I’m sure if you’ve studied your family’s past, there would be many more stories to tell!  But what’s interesting about genealogy is the stories are all unique.  Some are dramas, some are adventures, some are romances, and some are tragedies.  But each of these stories come together to tell the story of one family throughout the ages, a story that every one of us can tell.

When I first started writing The Adventures of Captain Patty, I originally didn’t have Patty’s last name as Peterson.  But after careful thought, I decided to connect Captain Patty to my first series, The Ripple Affair.  Why?  Because with all my writings, I wanted to tell not just the story of an adulterous prince or an on-the-run navigator.  I wanted to connect the individual stories to tell one, giant great one: the story of the Peterson family.

(SPOILERS)  If you read Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer, you’ll learn from Reuben that he’s a direct descendant of Marcus Peterson, the famous bowman from The Ripple Affair.  And later on, through more eventual stories, you’ll learn that there are other members of the Peterson family with their own stories to tell.  But like my own family genealogy, the fictional Peterson family is full of different stories and personalities with a single story to tell, and my hope is that that story, the story of family, is one you can connect with as well.