Writing your family history can seem like a monumental task. Genealogists who don’t consider themselves to be good writers might feel as though they cannot possibly write their family history. It can be an intimidating project to start, but there are plenty of good reasons why you should write your family history.
The New York Public Library posted a blog with 20 reasons why you should write your family history. Genealogists who have been thinking about writing their family history, but are afraid to, should read it. The blog gives compelling reasons that might be exactly what you need to hear in order to get started on the task.
There’s no one better than you.
You are the very best person to write about your family history. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that another genealogist in your family is already working on it. Chances are, each of you thinks that someone else will probably write the family history for them.
Even if someone else in your family is writing your family history, you should still go ahead and write about at least some of it. No one other than you can share your individual experiences, your unique perspective, and your memories.
It can be therapeutic.
There is something about writing that provides its own form of therapy. Writing about family history that involves a loved one who has since passed away can help you get through your grieving process. It can also help you to gain insights on deeper meanings that were involved in a particular family story. Looking back upon it might reveal hidden reasons that explain why a relative did or said something hurtful.
Write about women.
If you’ve ever tried to find the birth certificate of a female ancestor who changed her surname after she got married you know firsthand how difficult it can be to find information about the women in your family tree. Women often get erased from history. The stories of their lives, accomplishments, and ideas sometimes are rewritten in a way that takes away their contributions and attributes them to a male colleague or relative.
When you write about the women in your family, you are preserving information about those women for future generations to find. Tell their stories. Let the world know the amazing things your female ancestors achieved.
Memories get fuzzy over time.
Those family stories that you have heard a thousand times might seem too trivial and familiar to write about. If you don’t write those stories down, there is a chance you will forget them. Memories tend to get fuzzy as years pass. Write the stories down so future generations can know them. Don’t let them fade away.
Image by Fredrik Rubensson on Flickr.
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