Finding The Time To Record Family History
Who Has Time To Record Family History?Few of us believe we have time to record family history. Between family, school, work, and social obligations, and doctor, dentist, stylists, and auto shop appointments—how can we squeeze it in?I once thought I’d have nothing but...
Honoring Our Veterans and Finding Family Treasures in Unlikely Places
Honoring Our Veterans One means of honoring our veterans is documenting their service in ways that will engage their descendants' interest. So, with that in mind, I began writing a narrative of my father’s journey to the United States Military Academy (USMA at West...
Vintage-themed Bridal Events: Perfect Venues for Your Family Artifacts
If you have a wedding coming up in your family circle, consider including family artifacts in the décor. Incorporating your treasured family heirlooms into a bridal shower or wedding creates a natural setting for sharing family history and memories. ...
Writing Irish Family History with a Little Luck
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...
Embracing the Romance in Your Family Tree
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...
Share YOUR Life Stories on Grandparent’s Day
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...
Recommended Reading to Inspire Aviation-Focused Family History Writing
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...
5 Ways to Celebrate National Aviation Day with Family History
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...
Writing Descriptive Vignettes Featuring Family Artifacts
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...
Discovering the Stories in Your Family Artifacts
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.
Capturing a Family Member’s Essence
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.
Write Your Family History to Life: Creating an Everyday Life World
If you can visualize, smell, hear, taste, and feel your ancestor’s everyday life world, you can recreate it in your readers’ imaginations.
Write Your Family History to Life: Choosing a Genre to Frame Your Topic
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.
Writing a Family History Biographical Essay, Part 3
Once you have your subject, concept, resources, and research complete, it’s time to develop your writing plan. Jump into the planning whether you have all the content you need or not. Remember, writing is a messy process, and you will probably weave in and out of the steps we suggest many times as you develop and revise your work.
Writing a Family History Biographical Essay, Part 2
Once you have a concept or main idea in mind for your biographical essay, you’ll want to consider whether you have the knowledge and resources needed to write your piece. Begin by listing what you know about your subject and what you need to know before you start planning and writing.
Writing a Family History Biographical Essay, Part 1
Do you want to reveal your family member or ancestor as a unique human being rather than the sum of lifeless facts often found in family history biographical profiles? One way to write a family member or ancestor to life is to write a family history biographical essay.
Write Your Family History to Life: Choosing a Topic
Your first step in writing your family history is selecting a topic. This takes a review of your family history documents and artifacts as well as often told (or never told!) stories. Follow up by asking, “What’s here? What’s missing?”