Writing Ideas about your Ancestors

Trying to write a complete – total family history can be quite a bit. If able to do, go for it, that will be treasured by you, present relatives and future generations. But if doing a full and complete family history is too much now, here are some ideas for some shorter family story ideas.

Write about some of the family legends or tales and if you found them to truthful or not. That can include those family ‘secrets’ families didn’t always talk about. Good example would be a divorce in the family from 1900, it was just not talked about. In fact many times a divorced woman or man many times, stated they were a widow or widower rather than say they were divorced.

A totally different idea is to write about an ancestor’s recipes, what they were known to cook every Sunday or on special occasions or for the holidays. If you have the recipe, do include that in the write-up. Also, write if that favorite dish was ever in a county fair contest. You might find such information in the hometown newspapers.

One of my favorite short writings is to focus on one special ancestor. Someone that you personal knew or through your research have gotten to know and are fascinated about them. The one I selected was my great great grandfather, Capt. Joseph Groff, who served on the American Civil War, Union side.

Here is an interesting concept. It is said, “Learn from our history, and we can’t look forward until we’ve looked back.”
Our family history is filled with lessons, small and large. As you examine your family history, write down a few life lessons you feel you or your parents learned from your ancestors. Write about the benefit of sharing these lessons with your children, grandchildren, and future descendants.

Learn more about an ancestor’s hometown, use newspaper articles, local museum information and photos in that research. Write about that hometown especially covering the time frame your ancestor lived there. It does not have to be a hometown their entire life, maybe it was only for 10 years or so but it proved to be an improve period in their life.

You will find all of these ideas can really get the ‘juices’ flowing to learn more and have it in written form.

Photos: Family tales, recipe collection and ancestral hometown (Cottonwood, Arizona).

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Life Posts

Writing an Interesting Family History

How Your Ancestors Communicated

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