Sharing Family History: Write and share your story

Sharing Family History: Write and share your storyBy Barry J. Ewell

Create a family newsletter
Consider creating a family newsletter. Get others involved. Be creative. A well-written newsletter is a great way of keeping families together. Newsletters can include stories about an ancestor or share research successes and assignments. You might have an entire issue dedicated to family history or a regular feature on family history. It can be circulated every month or four times a year. Make sure Grandparents, parents and children each write.

Create a family web site
A family Web site is a great way of involving family members who have computer skills. Let them design, create, and maintain the Web site, while you and others contribute the information.  The website serves as a digital scrapbook and meeting spot. You can share family photos, favorite recipes, funny stories, and even your family tree research which helps to encourage extended family members to take an interest in the family’s history.

Write a family history book
A family history book is a major undertaking, but it might provide a wonderful opportunity to involve extended family members. You might ask them to contribute information on their own family or research information on a specific ancestral family.

Scrapbook your family heritage
Showcase and protect your precious family photos, heirlooms, and memories in a heritage scrapbook album.

Develop a book of family lore
Compile family recipes and any anecdotes that go with these foods. Add family sayings, funny stories, traditions, timelines, anything you’d like to record for coming generations.

Write a family history blog
A family history blog is a chronological posting of articles, stories, news, tips, and information on the family’s history. The website is dynamic, with the front page changing with the addition of new material. It is also interactive, as comments are allowed; giving people an opportunity to comment and give feedback on the information you have to offer. A family history blog can be maintained by one person or dozens.

Create a five generation Ancestor Book
Create a five generation Ancestor Book that includes a photo and a one page biography of each ancestor on your pedigree chart.

Encourage family members to keep journals
Sundays are a good time for making weekly entries. Remember to make it a family rule that each person’s journal is private and must not be read without the owner’s permission.

If your children are too young to keep journals themselves, you can start a notebook for them.

  • Use plastic protector sheets to preserve birth certificates, blessing and baptism certificates, and other important papers.
  • Ask your young child to tell about an event in his own words and write it down for him.
  • Each year on the child’s birthday write a short history of the preceding year, recalling the child’s growth and recording amusing anecdotes so quickly forgotten otherwise.

Create personal histories
Encourage family members to create personal histories and tell their own stories.

  • Keep a journal, create a scrapbook, or write stories about your life.
  • Use a camera take pictures of events and save those photographs in an album.