20 October 2016

Many Reasons to Write a Family History

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing#/media/File:Stipula_fountain_pen.jpg
[used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

Many Reasons to Write a Family History

Last year the New York Public Library (NYPL) posted 20 Reasons Why You Should Write your Family History and then the Association of Personal Historians (APH) picked up the challenge and did a 20 post series where an APH member expounded on each of the 20 important motivations listed in the NYPL article.

FamilyTree.com also responded with Why You Should Write Your Family History and mentioned “It can be therapeutic”  …


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.

Though I didn’t research into my mom (Margaret Joyce (Fountain) Acey – often mentioned in my posts) until many years after she died, I still found it incredibly therapeutic to see my mother as the person she was and just not what a child remembered of her.  It gave me a way to honor her many accomplishments (many unknown to me until I did my research) and more importantly, it gave me a way to share her in colorized 3-D with the grandchildren later born who never got to meet her.

I think many of us can agree on the whys of writing a family history and the referenced list might just have given us the added inspiration we need to decide to write what has been researched.

Many of us though stumble with actually getting started in the process.  

Remember that anything you do, writing a story, posting a photo with a caption or narrative, upload a recording of any interview, about your family history is a means of sharing.  A 1000-page tome that might never be finished does NOT have to be the objective.  Kimberly Powell, Genealogy Expert, About.com, has a great post, 10 steps to Writing Your Family History, which provides some simple practical advice to assist you in making your “idea” of writing a family history a reality.

I emphasize this as Writing Your Personal History (via Family History Quick Start) shares a very important element of all of this … many of us start and how many finish??!!

For some of us, sitting down and finishing a comprehensive personal history can be quite difficult. Notice that I said finish and not begin because it seems like we’re all very good at beginning things, but it’s the finishing that makes the difference.

Let’s all of us make a difference and produce in whatever format suits, a family history!


What additional reasons why people “should” write family histories would you suggest?


What first step do you consider most critical to getting beyond just saying “it’s time to write the family history?”





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Follow NGS via Facebook, Flipboard, Google+, Twitter, YouTube