Nowadays, people are interested in preserving their heritage for future generations. And like many others you will want to know how to write your family history.
The history of an individual is a story in itself. We all have participated in history trivia questions at one time or the other and are fascinated to learn the historical events with their importance.
It becomes imperative for a person to question his or her own history and roots at some point in their lives. In fact you may have more than one reason to carry out this particular line of research.
Why not check out my 20 Reasons Why Is Genealogy Important guide.
From these initial first steps you begin your descent into digging out the long lost history of your ancestors.
You are not alone and we are here to hold your hand virtually throughout the process. Here are some of the guidelines which will give you a start to do your family history project.
1. Purpose, Scope, and Format
Before you begin anything, it is really important to know the purpose of this project. You should have clear guidelines in your mind on what you want to accomplish by writing your family history.
It might be telling your ancestors’ interesting stories, guidance on your bloodline, preserve your cultural heritage or just some glimpses on organizing the data you gathered.
The scope of the project is really stressed since the beginning. It is the actual roadmap for your destination. You have decided whether you want to write about a single line ancestor, your grandparents only or all of your relative’s family history.
Once you have determined the scope and purpose, the next step is to decide on the format of presenting your findings. The idea of format can be envisioned with the type of audience you want to disseminate the family history information.
Common examples can include a cookbook, narrative, memoir, website, scrapbook or photo album.
2. Anticipate the beginning
The easiest step in anticipating where you have to begin is from how far you will go to search for your bloodline. It is a mega project and only the beginning is hard enough to start with.
Some of the ways of starting are to write your own ideas or information which you received from your parents or family members.
3. Sources of Information
The sources to research your family history are limited due to the fact that mostly the system of keeping records was not computerized and the technology to preserve data was outdated.
You can start to gather your data from the following sources:
a. Close Relatives
It’s best if you talk to a close relative if they can stir you in the right direction. Who knows, they might also be working on preparing the family history.
You can take notes from your parents or grandparents as well if they are alive.
The Top 20 Family History Interview Questions post will really help you on your way with interviewing your relatives.
b. Family Documentations
Family documentation can also be one of the sources of information like the educational documents of your ancestors, land transfer documents, books or notes which they left for their children, will of your grandfather or father, marriage /divorce certificates.
c. Family tree
You can gain a lot of information on your family from your family tree. It is a graphical representation of data which you can easily acquire from your local council records office.
4. Organization of data
Once you have collected all the data pertaining to your family, it’s time for organizing the facts and stories together. This is the point where you have to filter the data to refine it as much as you can.
Remember the scope of your project in mind and work accordingly towards it.
Here, it is critical to use full names of your ancestors and back up all your data with the sources to create credibility.
5. Historical facts and family history
Your ancestors might not document their everyday life but you can always analyze their situation by looking into the social and historical events of that era.
You can create themes with the background of historic events like war, climate change or immigration rules and policies.
You can always grab the attention of your readers by narrating interesting and inspirational stories about your ancestors. Whereas, always remember that you are writing your family history which is based on facts and not a fiction story.
It’s best to take caution and fact at each and every step of the way.
Writing your own family history is a real struggle. It is hard to find the records considering the fact that our ancestor’s times were not so advanced in technology and fewer people cared about telling their story.
On the other hand, you are making your descendants’ life easier by giving them the gift of all the interesting facts and stories about their fore fathers.
The work you will do today will be remembered as a valuable contribution to your family and your offspring. They will have something concrete to stick to and connect with their blood.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed this how to guide to write your family history. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
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