Friday, November 13, 2009

family histories

It is a failing that we all possess, that we wait until it is too late - too late, we belatedly say, to ask our parents, grandparents and other family members about our family histories.

Your task - write and publish your family history.

First, write your family history. The internet is a great resource to learn about family histories. Kimberly Powell from has written an excellent article on how to write a family history. In her article, Kimberly notes that a family history can take different forms including: a descriptive narrative, an album, or even a cookbook. You may have other ideas such as a family heirloom - a quilt, war medal, or anything else that is significant to your family. Whatever you choose, be creative and weave a story around the item that you choose.

Kimberly suggests, "Thinking of your ancestors as characters in your family history story, what problems and obstacles did your ancestors face?" Organize your story of your family around a significant event in history. The selection of historical events is broad, but it includes immigration, up from slavery, education, farm life, and war.

Do your research and ask questions of family members. Don't be surprised if family members don't want to talk. Most people are shy when it comes to talking about the past. A good way of getting around this natural shyness is to prepare ahead of time. Do some research. Know a little about the subject that you are talking about and interest your family member in what you are discussing. Be patient.

Second, publish your family history. If you have a computer and an email, you can publish your family history. You can sign up for a free blog with Google's blogger or any other free blog publisher. Once you have signed up for an account, you can begin publishing your family history. Again, has great tips on how to publish your family history.

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