The way to grow your family tree is to do more genealogy research. Most genealogists have at least some success with this task. If you hit a “brick wall”, you can seek help from other genealogists. Growing your family history is not as straightforward because it relies on entirely different resources than genealogy work does. Here are some ways to grow your family history.
Label Family Photos
How often have you taken a batch of photos at a family event, uploaded them to your computer, and forgot all about them? One way to grow your family history is to take the time to label your digital photos. Start by organizing them into albums – with one album for each event. Title the album with the name of the event and the date it happened.
After you’ve sorted out all your digital family photos, its time to identify the people who are in the photos. You can choose to title the photo with the first last name of the individuals who are in it. Another option is to name people based on how they relate to you.
Write Down Stories
Many families have a series of “old family stories” that get handed down from one generation to the next. These are the stories that you’ve heard thousands of times from relatives at family gatherings. Usually, there is one relative who ends up being the keeper of the stories – and who is the only one who shares them.
Take the time to write down those stories before they are forgotten. Ask your storytelling relative if he or she will let you record them telling the “old family stories”. Make a record in video or in audio. Write down the story on your family history blog to share with your relatives. Doing so preserves those stories for future generations to find.
You should also write down the family stories from your own life. Start with the events from childhood that were particularly memorable. Did your family have to cope with a blizzard when you were a kid? What were your birthday parties like? How did your youngest sibling respond when your parents brought home a new baby?
Celebrate Ancestors on Special Days
March is Women’s History Month. Celebrate your female ancestors that month by making one of grandma’s recipes and feeding your family. Find a way to display a quilt that one of your female ancestor’s made. Teach your daughters and sons how to knit or crochet – just like one of your female relatives once taught you that skill.
Other good days to celebrate specific family members are: Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and the birthday of a specific relative.
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