Genealogy: Prayer is the most important tool I have as a genealogist

Genealogy Prayer is the most important tool I have as a genealogistBy Barry J. Ewell

I have thought a lot about the topic of prayer and genealogy and just how to approach the concept without offending or preaching. Prayer is the most important tool I have as a genealogist. I remember one of my very first experiences as a genealogist, where I had chosen to work on one family line with very little success. I felt the need to include prayer but didn’t. As time went on, I became more and more frustrated. Continue reading

Family History: Every life is a story

Your StoryBy Barry J. Ewell
As we live our lives, we become a very special, one-of-a-kind, cherished set of memories. Stories about the family’s past may include immigration or emigration, old neighborhoods, military service, marriages, births, deaths, famous or infamous family members, culture, religion, political endeavors, education, and social and economic status. Continue reading

Family History: Five questions we all ask about writing personal/family histories

Five questions we all ask about writing persona historiesBy Barry J. Ewell

The following are five questions I have found to be common among those who have a desire to write a persona/family history:

1. What is a personal history?
Personal histories are a documented, detailed record of a person’s life—the thoughts, feelings, events, people, and places of an individual’s past. Histories are usually arranged chronologically and have a blend of one or more of the following elements: Continue reading

Family History: Phase I preparation—Setup and organization

Phase I preparation—Setup and organizationBy Barry J. Ewell

I want to share with you the preparation process I go through with getting ready to begin the preparing for the process of writing a personal and/or family history.  I will address the this in two parts:

  • Part I preparation—Setup and organization
  • Part II preparation—Gather, interview, and research

Define the Life Stages. The hardest part of creating a personal history is deciding where to start. I suggest you begin by simply breaking down the person’s life or experience into an outline consisting of key blocks of time. As you discover, uncover, Continue reading

Family History: Phase II preparation—Gather, interview, and research

TypeBy Barry J. Ewell

Gather, Catalog, Clues, and Questions. Once you have the file set up, gather together what you currently have associated with the person.

Assume you know nothing. You are the detective seeking to understand what you have and what your next steps will be. You are simply gathering information. This is not a time to edit and decide what is or is not important. It is the first round; as you move beyond this stage and begin to interview others, you will uncover new artifacts, other individuals to Continue reading