Need a reason to write your family history? Here are 20 … courtesy of the New York Public Library, which posted a fantastic blog on this subject last month.
1. You’ll feel wiser.
2. First person narratives and family histories are important historical documents.
3. You are an important person. You have things to pass on, to your children, to your local history society, to unknown future generations.
4. You and your family are important to somebody, probably many somebodies.
5. Family trees are abstract. Stories add depth.
6. Memories over time become fragmented and distorted. People may not remember the things you told them but did not write down.
7. Writing your family history gives you the chance to depict your ancestors how you see fit.
8. There is a need for diverse family histories about those who have not been represented well in history texts.
9. There is a need for more family histories documenting female lines.
10. There is a need for more family histories about families who are not affluent.
11. Family histories humanize the people you know or knew and remember for those who did not know them.
12. Information raises questions. Genealogy research has brought new facts into your life.
13. It may help you understand your current family dynamics.
14. It will help you build or solidify a sense of family.
15. Writing is reflective. Writing is investing in yourself.
16. It can be therapeutic.
17. Don’t take for granted that the lives of your ancestors are lost. Evidence of the people they have been exists somewhere and is discoverable.
18. It will have a wider impact than you might imagine.
19. Family members and even distant cousins may become more forward in contributing documents, photos, and stories for your genealogical research.
20. You will be encouraged to archive and preserve the documents on which your family history research is based: certificates, letters, diaries, etc.
And just for extra credit. Number 21: It’s extraordinarily rewarding.
Holding a book that you’ve written on you and your family?
Please let me know if I can help.