Exploring Family History Through the Stories of Those Who Lived It & the Artifacts They Left Behind
Are you writing about your Irish ancestors? Then you're in luck. There's been an enormous increase in the number of Irish records available online this past year. Recent Finds At the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City earlier this month, I heard Myko Clelland of...read more
Doesn’t this photo and romantic note capture your imagination? The essence of youthful joy springs from the photo, but it is the simple note included in a letter that makes us really feel it. Finding the Romance in Your Family Tree When building our family trees, we...read more
As family history writers, we spend hours researching and re-researching online databases and digital archives to locate every last detail about the lives of our ancestors. Our goal is to write the most accurate and engaging pieces about them as possible. Yet, we...read more
To commemorate National Aviation Day this August 19th, we’ve listed and summarized several aviation-related biographies and histories that we found well-written and researched—just what you might need to inspire your aviation-related writing. In each case, the author...read more
This August 19th, the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday, is National Aviation Day, a holiday established in 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to commemorate the development of aviation. Americans are encouraged to observe the day in ways that further...read more
In a past post, we presented writing about family artifacts as a “way in” to your family history. Curiosity about your family heirlooms as well as your ancestors’ everyday objects can lead you to a time past and inspire meaningful writing to add to your family...read more
As family history writers, many of us research the origin of our artifacts and collect the “hard facts” about them, but what we really want to uncover are the meanings and stories our ancestors associated with them.read more
If you want your readers to feel the family members you’re writing about, facts are not enough. To capture your family members’ essence, you’ll want to invoke your creative mind through specific, concrete imagery.read more
If you can visualize, smell, hear, taste, and feel your ancestor’s everyday life world, you can recreate it in your readers’ imaginations.read more
Once you’ve selected a topic, you’re ready to choose a genre to frame it. Simply put, a genre is a format or type of writing. We suggest first adopting creative nonfiction as your overarching genre. Then, with creative nonfiction as your guiding genre, select the creative genre that will best serve your purpose and engage your reader.read more
Do you have the nagging sense there is more to tell about the people, artifacts, and stories behind your family history? Something beyond names and dates?
If you’re like us, you want to dig deeper. You want to know your ancestors as people, and you want the next generation to know us as living, breathing people. You want to write like a storyteller to uncover the story behind the names and fading photographs.
Our site is dedicated to offering strategies for writing about the past and present in ways that will interest, and maybe even captivate, current and future readers.