14 August 2008

Genealogy for the rest of the family

Most of the genealogists I speak to are enthralled by the discoveries they make in researching their family history. Unearthing and confirming each new fact is inherently satisfying; the simple act of filling in that blank on the family tree tangible proof of progress.

For every ten of those folks there is perhaps only one who has documented the family stories in a way that makes it appealing to the non-genealogist. The majority for one reason or another just haven`t got to that stage ... yet.

If you're in that majority you might want to pick up a copy of the August issue of Family Chronicle magazine. It has three articles with practical advice from experienced genealogist-writers.

Toronto-based Janice Nickerson, a frequent magazine contributor, starts with "Easy Ways to Write Your Family History." She suggests taking small chunks of the story, perhaps just a particular event in an ancestor`s life, and writing one or two pages. You`ll receive the same satisfaction completing one of these that you do in filling in a blank on the family tree. Repeat the process, and you`ll end up with a collection of short items which will be the building blocks for something longer. She includes suggestions for getting help and making the story come alive.

Chloe Y. Miller writes on "Give Your Family History the Write Stuff!" with suggestions on how to kick start the creative process.

Lisa A. Alzo`s article "Four Weeks to Your Family History" is the longest. It gives you a day-by-day prescription. Week one is for Setting Goals and Gathering Materials; week two Getting Back to Basics; week three Nuts and Bolts; and week four Ready, Set, Write.

If you know you want to write, or scrapbook, your family history but have been struggling with getting started there`s advice in these articles you won`t want to miss.

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