While many people today focus their time on genealogy, there are those who find personal family history or memories to be more important to possess. They find developing a family tree to be time consuming and an arduous task. Personal family history is of a more intimate nature.
Several years before my father died, I developed a process of recording many of his stories, thoughts and other information concerning our personal family history. After completing this process, I was able to present the written history to him as a gift on Fathers Day. He loved it; other family members enjoyed it so much, they too requested copies. Now that he is gone, those precious memories and documents are comforting and invaluable. I am thankful to possess these memoirs in my fathers own words.
One of my goals on my website is to promote the preservation of such memories. To follow through with that goal, I’ve decided to include tips here on this blog. I plan to post one tip at a time and if you are lucky, I might even include some of my father’s memories as examples.
- Determine who has information or memories of your family’s past and would be willing to share those memories. Who in your family possesses valuable family information? Who would be willing to talk to you and answer endless questions about the past? Have you heard a particular family member tell the same stories from their past over and over? Don’t miss out on the chance to record those stories. As you/they grow older, the details will fade. You might think that you will remember every story and every detail, but don’t count on it. When I was a teenager, I grew bored with my father’s endless stories of when he went to school, church or lived and worked on the family farm. He’d tell one tale after another -most of which, I could recite word for word. As I became older and matured, I began to ask him infinite questions and soon I discovered a newfound interest in my family’s past. By the time I decided I wanted to preserve family memories, my grandfather and grandmother were deceased. I determined that my father was the best person for me to interview.
Try to think of someone in your family that you could interview. As you can tell in what I was able to gain from my father, dialog, correct use of the English language and perfection isn’t required. As you try to decide who to interview, come back and check for the next post, I’ll give you another tip on getting those memories preserved.