Tips for Family History Writing

In modern times, researching one’s genealogy has turned into a popular hobby. When you have gotten interested in delving in to the past, you’d wish to accomplish all you can to create the history up in a way that isn’t boring. However, maybe a reunion is approaching and you were unanimously elected (except for your personal vote!) to be the writer of the family’s history. How can you get the best story from the real life story of your kin?

First, look for unifying threads among your family. Sure, there could be brown eyes or bald heads that arrive with uncanny regularity, but look deeper into who those people really are or were. Are there plenty of preachers or teachers in your loved ones line? Maybe these were migrant workers or European immigrants not so many generations ago. Perhaps family have been known for his or her musical abilities or their stubbornness. Use these suggestions to weave a thread throughout the story that ties it all together.

If possible, interview the older relatives and note interesting anecdotes about various family members. It doesn’t matter if the story seems just a little unimportant. Happenings from everyday activity interest us all because we can relate to them. Look for family feud questions and humor. Look for excitement and heroism. Look for values and evidence of good character.

Understand that good fiction requires conflict. If you would like your family history to read like an interesting novel, maximize out of conflict, whether it is in war hero stories or man versus sun and rain. Did some of the members of the family travel west in a covered wagon or immigrate to America on a sailing ship? Surely there have been moments of suspense of these events.

Depending on your situation, you can fictionalize the story into a great read or you can report the reality in as creative a way as you can. Just make certain the reader knows the difference. By the way, who is your reader? This is usually a valuable question to ask yourself when you begin any writing task. The truth is, everyone will never be reading your family history. Who will be reading and what type of story will keep them reading?

The title you pick for the family history often means the difference between people attempting to read it and folks dreading it because it sounds like a chore. Use the unifying quality you discovered earlier as you create your title. “The Musical Martins Over time” is a better title than “The History of the Martin Family.”

What sort of format will continue to work best for your genealogy? Will you want to make a professionally bound and published book that each member can take home, or will it be adequate to have everything within a hand-written and crafted loose-leaf notebook? Remember that a professionally printed book will demand a certain amount of money. If you’re just a little tech savvy and have the right software, you can develop a nice booklet on your family computer.

When you’re finished writing your family history, it’s a good idea to let a few of your older family members read the rough draft before it would go to the printers. These patriarchs and matriarchs can let you know if some of your facts are incorrect. Consider letting your writer friends have a look at it to provide you with ideas for improving the readability and design of your writing.

One final note is that whenever writing your family history, if you uncover old grudges and feuds, you will want to minimize them? Search for the positive traits in your family, and your retelling of their story can inspire the generations ahead.


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