Understanding Your ...

Understanding Your Ancestors’ Stories

Each of our ancestors has an individual story. One of the greatest services you can do for your family is to write down these stories for others to enjoy. Gathering documents and other facts are part of the process. But, the best finished product isn’t simply a stack of documents. Instead, it’s the written story of your ancestors prepared in a way that others in your family can enjoy it.

But, how can you write a meaningful history of your ancestors? How can you tell their full story – not just a list of dates and places - without fictionalizing their lives? This website and many other sources provide some information about the context of your ancestors’ lives. This section gives some hints on how to gather everything together, glean as much as possible from the records, get an inside view of your ancestors’ lives, put levels of context in your story, and then the ultimate task – how to write it.

Click on one of the links below for more information. This section is new and will continue to expand.

Writing Family History Handout

Gathering Information
   Digging Deeper
   Looking for the Personal Accounts of Others
   Creating the Historical Context
   Drawing the Line Between Fact and Fiction

Visiting Hometowns
   Answering the Basic Questions
   Gathering the Information
   Figuring out Logistics
   Planning Your Itinerary
   Making Contact