11 July 2016
Make your research better than ever & have fun along the way
For ideas on how to keep better family history notes, learn something new, and record and preserve the treasured labour of love that is your family history, you need to read Helen Tovey's 20 essential research tips included in Family Tree August - you can get a copy here!
Some of the ‘projects’ are extremely practical – like backing up your research (tempting to put off, but vital that you don’t). And others are indulgent and enjoyable, but nonetheless valuable in making sure that you create a well-researched, colourful family history, to enjoy today and to pass on to your descendants with pride.
Three of our favourite tips are included here to whet your appetite, but be sure to get hold of Family Tree August to enjoy the rest - Helen's ideas will help you grow a family tree to be proud of!
Organise a family gathering
Choose a date and place and send out the invitations to the ‘clan’ gathering! Whether you go large or invite just a select few, spending time with family, poring over old photos, sharing family stories and reminiscences is going to be a special day. To set the scene, get your family history on display, with your family tree (don’t worry about gaps – perhaps your relations can help you fill them in), old photos and memorabilia.
Plan a road trip
Visiting those places that have a connection to your ancestors’ lives will be rewarding and enlightening, and will mean so much more (especially if you’ve read widely on the area before making that trip).
Having a day out at the town where your ancestors lived, walking the battlefield they once fought over, paying your respects at the grave where they now lie buried... These are family history events certainly not to be missed.
Record voices & video stories
There’s something unique and poignant about spoken memories, so grab your recording device and preserve those favourite family anecdotes – you’ll be so glad you did.
The oldest form of storytelling is, of course, oral history. But with the written word, oral history was put to one side, perhaps seen as an inferior sort of history, subject to forgetfulness and inaccuracies. For years and years now, however, many of us have had ready access to recording devices, so that – even in this age filled with words – we can record our family’s precious spoken stories.
Who are you going to record and what stories are they going to tell? The main questions to ask include:
- Earliest memories?
- Favourite family anecdotes?
- Tales of childhood and siblings?
- Experiences of migration or war?
Everyone has stories to tell, and with every passing year they only grow more precious, so make sure they’re saved.
Don't miss '20 easy ways to make an awesome family history' in the August issue of Family Tree. Download the issue now or subscribe and save.