20 October 2016

Many Reasons to Write a Family History

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing#/media/File:Stipula_fountain_pen.jpg
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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?”

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