Our Family Stories

Memories Worth Saving!

  • If not written down, we lose 90% of all our ancestor's stories after 3 generations.

    The same can be said about OUR stories.

  • Family - Our Refuge from the Storm - Our Link to the Past - Our Bridge to the Future

         "Record keeping, including personal and family histories, is extremely vital for all of us. People who care nothing for the past usually have no thought for the future and are selfish in the way they use the present. When there is proper regard for the past and its people, we enrich the present as well as the future."

    Spencer W. Kimball

  • “Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”

    From the book, “Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd

  • "Evidence suggests that the more children know about their family history, the less anxiety, less depression and higher self-esteem they exhibit."

    By Natalie Merrill PhD

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     Stories (also called "memories") are not long histories. They may be one paragraph, or a few paragraphs. A story should be "catchy", describing fun details about an ancestor's experience or even one of your own life experiences. It may also describe a personality trait, a strength, a success, a personal challenge or struggle, and so forth.

     Don't be afraid to use your own writing style. Don't worry about grammatical details, spelling, etc. You own the story and you can tell it how you would like. If you think about it, most of these stories will have a "moral" lesson or teaching aspect that you can attach to the story. These stories, along with any personal feelings, may help others who may be experiencing similar situations so they can also learn from the experience.

     We all have had a rich heritage of life experiences, whether they are good or bad, that we can share with our posterity. Our posterity will better understand that the personal experiences of their ancestors may not be unlike their own.

Write Stories About Your Ancestors!

     Can you imagine if the 15-20+ grandchildren each wrote a few "memories" or stories about their grandfather and put those stories into FamilySearch? With 50+ memories about him, his posterity can begin to better understand his life and hearts will begin to connect.

     Stories are so easily created in FamilySearch for all posterity to read. Would we not want to learn more about our ancestor's lives, accomplishments, challenges, talents, and so forth? Their lives may not have been too different than our own. We may even share similar traits and talents.

     Another fun way to preserve those stories of living family members is to video record them talking about some topic and then share the video clip with other family members. Go one step further and strip the audio track from the video clip as a .mp3 file and then upload that audio file to THEIR FamilySearch account so it remains with them. Don't upload it to your copy of them in your tree. You may need to help them log into their FamilySearch account and attach the audio file to their PersonID. Our local FamilySearch Center has a video recording room that is free to use and we can also help you with creating an audio file to upload to FamilySearch.

What's YOUR Story?

     We also have our own rich heritage, our life challenges and successes that we need to share with our posterity. We should be active in preserving our thoughts, stories, and testimonies for our posterity to remember us by. And…who better to write OUR history than us. We experienced our stories; others have only heard about them.

     If you have trouble thinking of any specific stories, go through your old photos to help you remember some events in your life. Once you have a story in your mind, write it down and then SHARE it with your family. FamilySearch has a "Memories Section" where you can attach photos to the story and easily share this page with family. Along with the story, briefly share your feelings or life insights about that story with them as well.

      If you need any help with scanning photos to attach to your story, our local FamilySearch Center has numerous scanners that can scan slides, photos, and negatives.

Explore Samples of Ancestral Stories

Click the images below for sample stories

Explore Samples of Personal Stories

Click the images below for sample stories

Additional Resources

Family History Education Website Links

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