Writing an Interesting Family History

Family History-1You have spent months or years on researching your family story … now it really needs to be put in a written history format. Not so hard if you get yourself organized and have a plan of action.

Do the following steps to accomplish a written and interesting family history that everyone will want to read.

If you have location many branches of the family tree, you do need to break it down to just one branch and maybe only three generations at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself. What can be even better, if there is a very interest one ancestor in that family branch, concentrate on that individual – a biographical write-up on that person. The other ancestors and descendants can be brought into the story, but make it center on a specific person or one lineage.  Family History-2

Once you have decided your direction, which branch or individual, pull together your sheets, records, photos, etc on that topic. If something is solely on your computer, make a print copy. This way you can sort and rearrange a bit easier.

Place the information in a chronicle order (a timeline). Review what you have and see if one item or two are still missing. Try to locate any missing parts.

Now starting the writing portion. For an interesting family narrative (history) that will be read and cherished for generations, you might want to brush up on your writing skills, especially if you haven’t written stories recently. Enroll in a creative writing class at any of the locals schools or colleges. Take the time to read other professional biographical writings what have been published already.

Family History-3A reminder, you are telling a story — a true, real life adventure on a specific family or individual. Include the funny, the embarrassing, the sad, heartbreaking or the outrageous events. Also, just because you have the information in a timeline, you don;t need to start with … he was born. You could start with one of the more fascinating events in a family’s or a person’s life. If they traveled across the Great Plains in the 1850s to start a new life in a new land, that will catch everyone’s attention. You could even jump start the family history centered on a specific item or artifact, a family treasure. Is there a piece of unusual jewelry always worn by an ancestor? Did a great grandfather have a military sword … what is the story there?

You can bring your family’s life story to the surface by your writing, they are waiting for their story to be told.

Related FamilyTree.com genealogy blogs:

Family History Books

Reasons to Work on Your Family Tree

Write a Family Vignette

Write Out Your Family History


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