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5 Reasons to write your family’s story

woman's hands hovering over old typewriter

Genealogists are thrill seekers. Who else would enjoy piecing together a brittle yellow page from a dusty old scrapbook just so you can determine once and for all if the entry is really about your ancestor? Or the research high you got when you went line-by-line trying to decipher cursive handwriting from an ancestor’s will and you found that crucial missing link? Or what about that time you spent until 2AM researching online when you swore you would only spend 5 more minutes before going to bed? Yes, we are thrill seekers–the nerdy kind.

But doing research is only half the story. The other half is telling the story from that research. Author and researcher, Brene Brown, reminds us that stories are data with soul. We do our ancestors a disservice if all we focus on is only on their birth, marriage and death dates and let their stories perish.

Be open to the idea of not just collecting their information, but telling their story.

5 Reasons Why you need to take time to Write your Family’s Story

  1. Your family’s stories may be lost forever. Think about it. How many of your relatives are interested in doing genealogy? If it’s like my family you only have a few. Now of those few, how many are willing to take the time to record the stories? I thought so. You need to be that one. Start today.
  2. Writing your story is a gift to yourself and future generations. This goes hand in hand with number one. If you write your family story, you can enjoy it and add it to your research. Others can add it to their research as well. Your family will live on!
  3. People are looking for meaning and connection. Don’t be fooled by the sound bite culture we live in. People are craving connections and meaningful relationships. You can provide that by taking the time to write the stories that make your family unique. Then share them through email, Facebook or blogging. They will discover that they aren’t the only ones who faced similar situations.
  4. Every life has a story. I cannot tell you how many times, I’ve heard, “My family isn’t special. Nothing interesting happened.” Not every story you write will be filled with action, adventure, romance and drama. Some stories are the quiet character dramas. Even if it’s not interesting to you, it will be to someone. Tell their story anyway.
  5. You may inspire someone! Once you have captured the story, don’t forget to share it. It is in sharing that your ancestor will live on. Who knows, you may inspire some one to write or become a genealogist.

Whatever your reason, I hope you take time to write.

Happy Writing!


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