January 16th, 2010

It’s Time to Shake the Family Tree and Document Your Family Genealogy Before It’s too Late!

Every life is a story. I am sure you have one too. You don’t have to be famous to have your story told. And, you definitely don’t have to wait for someone to tell it for you.

You can do it yourself.

Now is a good time to shake your family tree and document your family genealogy before it’s too late. Before the storytellers are no more, their memories fade and the history is forgotten.

Make the family connection – Are you one of those people as a child you hated to go to Grandma’s house or visit your great Aunt Jane 3000 miles away? How you hated the stories, they used to tell repeatedly. How many times you heard, “When I was your age….” You probably rolled your eyes every time you heard those words.

Yet, if only you paid more attention, grabbed a recording device or wrote it all down. What a difference it would have made. But, listen, it’s never too late to start.

What is your plan? – Now you’ve made up your mind to do research, but do you have a plan?

Do you want to just feel good to know “who you are” and “where you came from?” Create a family tree to display on your wall? Scrapbook your findings? Write a book, produce an award-winning documentary. Or simply, record your family genealogy for future generations. You decide.

But whatever you decide, you are going to need a place to store your findings either digitally on your computer or in filing cabinets where you can easily access documents and notes. Like Xenia said, “a genealogy without documentation is mythology”

Some questions you might want to ask yourself are:

− What are your goals?

− What do you want to get out of doing this?

− What’s your budget?

− What is the final product going to look like?

Gather those childhood pictures – This week, it’s Throw-back week on Facebook. Friends are scouring old albums for old pictures. This would be a good time to collect your childhood pictures. See what you find. Check the back of those photos for dates, names and places. You’d be surprised what you will find.

Make your ancestors come alive – Bring your ancestors to life with their stories. Maybe there is a book of poems written by your grandfather. A letter to your great-aunt from her husband away at war. Letters from the depression era. Documents from an ancestral arrival to the United States. These are pieces of the puzzle, which will bring your family genealogy to life.

Understand your family connection – Before writing anything down, you should understand your family connection. Who they are; where they came from; why did they come here? Is there anyone famous in your family? A through search just might reveal you are related to some famous people. Maybe a US President, a War Hero, Historical figures. You never know what you might find.

Document your story – This is where you can tie it all together. Forge your family tree into a beautiful story for all to see. I guarantee it is fun.

A friend of mine told me today, she was carried away just looking at the vast amount of genealogy resources online. Websites and blogs. Vital Public Records, not only from the United States, but also from many different countries. Church records, hospital records, immigration records. Available for you to search. Some of them are listed in the post called, Review of the Top 40+ FREE Online Genealogy Websites Where You Can Start Your Ancestry Search

Let us see what you found – Whichever format you finally decide to document your family genealogy, it would be interesting to let us see what you found. I guarantee, this will be an exciting journey into the past.

Wouldn’t you agree, it’s time to shake your family tree and document your family genealogy before it’s too late?

I know, I am going to continue my search. I will let you know what I find. I would love if you would let me know what treasures you were able to discover once you shook that family tree. Please comeback and leave a comment or ‘drop me a line’.