Writing Family History

Writing Family History

Why Did You Include Stalin in Your Family History?

Question: I noticed that you added a historical fact about Stalin banishing Trotsky to the marriage story of your ancestor who married in Utah. If she wasn’t Russian and not connected to Stalin or Trotsky, why on earth would you add this fact to your family’s history? ~ Maralee, Cypress, Texas Answer: Social and Political […]

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Writing Family History

How to Arrange Photos in Family Histories

Reader Question: Where should I put the photos in my writing? Should I put the images next to the paragraph I wrote? Should I put them at the end of a chapter? Or should I put all the photos in a photo section?  ~ Robert Murphy, PA Thanks, Robert. Great question. Having written over 120 […]

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Writing Family History

Over 30 Words to Describe Your Ancestor’s Physique

Tall, dark and handsome. Is there any other character description more cliche than that, even if it’s true? Your ancestor might have been marked on military draft cards or passports as Stout and Medium for this build and height. What can you do with these descriptions, combined with photos, to describe your ancestors to your […]

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Writing Family History

Over 80 Words to Describe Your Ancestor’s Facial Features

How would you describe someone to another person who has never met them? Sure you can define their character and positive traits. It would be better to describe their facial features so the second person can locate the first person in a crowd. When it comes to describing our ancestors, we need to use words […]

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Writing Family History

Over 60 Words to Describe Your Ancestor’s Hair

  In previous posts, we’ve discussed the importance of writing about your ancestor’s physical appearance and how to find details about their physique, if you don’t have photos to aid your writing. Today, let’s give you a quick list of adjectives that can help you describe your ancestor’s hair color and style if perhaps you […]

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Genealogy 201
Writing Family History

Where to Find Physical Descriptions of Your Ancestor

Descriptions of our ancestor’s physical appearance can help us see them in our mind’s eye. But how can we discover what they looked like if we don’t have videos or photos to provide evidence? Discover some of the best resources for physical descriptions. Then use these clues to improve your family history writing projects as […]

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Writing Family History

How To Describe Your Ancestor’s Physical Appearance

Fiction novels are compelling not because of the world building, but instead, they have engaging, fully-fleshed out characters. In short, good stories are about people. So why is it that family histories are usually about facts rather than the people behind the facts? What’s more, how can we change that? One quick trick is to […]

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Family History Writing Tips - Should I Include That
Writing Family History

Should I Include That? – Family History Writing Tips

After creating numerous heritage scrapbooks, writing the first draft of 120+ ancestor’s lives and turning two into published books, I’ve learned a few things about storytelling. First, scrapbooks have condensed stories from an ancestor’s life. Narratives written in a novella format can have more depth. Register style family histories lack the depth of a narrative […]

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Write Stories That Lack Documents
Personal History
Writing Family History

Record the Stories That Lack Documentation

Does everything that happens in our life produce documents and photos? And are these moments less important because they lack such evidence? There are so many things that we know about ourselves and our family members that should be recorded. Some funny, some sad, and some just normal but treasured. We can add more to […]

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Writing Family History
YouTube

Enliven Family Histories With One Simple Trick

  Conflict, villains, and plot twists make for fantastic drama in shows like Games of Thrones or Poldark, but does every family history have this much drama? No, or probably not. However, you can add dramatic elements to a story, even if you think your ancestor is a bit on the dull side. I recently […]

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10 Online Resources eGuide