22 March 2018
If you’ve made good progress on tracing your family tree and your notes are filled with fascinating tales of your ancestors - or if you’re lucky enough to remember stories told by your older relatives - writing up your family history is an excellent way of sharing your stories for your own descendants to enjoy.
Even if you don’t have much to write about yet, starting with your own funny stories and memories can still be enjoyable for the future generation to read.
So why write your family history story? Read on for our top reasons…
1. The finer details
Family history is all about the stories and discovering who your ancestors were. Writing your story adds depth to your family tree and provides those details that records and certificates can’t.
If you have a lot of memories and inspiring ancestral anecdotes to use, you will be at an obvious advantage as your own words will help to really capture your family, but it’s still worthwhile to get the words down even if the stories you have are only things you’ve heard about or discovered through your research.
2. Future family history researchers
Your story could be invaluable to the future generation of aspiring genealogists. We often uncovering fascinating tales about our ancestors through dedicated research. Stumbling across letters and other personal writings is exciting but think how insightful it would have been to read about your ancestors in their own words. Putting your story together will do that for the family history researchers of the future.
3. The bigger picture
While you may just be writing family history stories to keep within your own family and future generations, it’s also important to consider how your story could be used for local history and societies. If your story goes beyond the details of the people in your family and includes information on buildings, houses, streets and the area you live in, it could prove useful for genealogists and historians outside of your family.
4. Get everyone involved
Don’t limit your story to evenings spent hunched over your laptop. Why not include drawings, photographs and copies of documents? Doing so could mean you invite other family members to contribute their knowledge and resources to complete the story.
To take this a step further, writing your family history story could even be a collaborative project with other family members if you all have different stories to tell. This might take some of the pressure off you if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
By getting the words down, you might encourage others to write up their family history. Whether that’s a friend, neighbour or family member in your generation or the younger generation to come, your story could be an inspiration.