Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

Categories
September, 2014 (11)
August, 2014 (18)
July, 2014 (16)
June, 2014 (18)
May, 2014 (17)
April, 2014 (17)
March, 2014 (17)
February, 2014 (16)
January, 2014 (16)
December, 2013 (11)
November, 2013 (15)
October, 2013 (19)
September, 2013 (20)
August, 2013 (23)
July, 2013 (24)
June, 2013 (14)
May, 2013 (25)
April, 2013 (20)
March, 2013 (24)
February, 2013 (25)
January, 2013 (20)
December, 2012 (19)
November, 2012 (25)
October, 2012 (22)
September, 2012 (24)
August, 2012 (24)
July, 2012 (21)
June, 2012 (22)
May, 2012 (28)
April, 2012 (44)
March, 2012 (36)
February, 2012 (36)
January, 2012 (27)
December, 2011 (22)
November, 2011 (29)
October, 2011 (52)
September, 2011 (26)
August, 2011 (26)
July, 2011 (17)
June, 2011 (31)
May, 2011 (32)
April, 2011 (31)
March, 2011 (31)
February, 2011 (28)
January, 2011 (27)
December, 2010 (34)
November, 2010 (26)
October, 2010 (27)
September, 2010 (27)
August, 2010 (31)
July, 2010 (23)
June, 2010 (30)
May, 2010 (23)
April, 2010 (30)
March, 2010 (30)
February, 2010 (30)
January, 2010 (23)
December, 2009 (19)
November, 2009 (27)
October, 2009 (30)
September, 2009 (25)
August, 2009 (26)
July, 2009 (33)
June, 2009 (32)
May, 2009 (30)
April, 2009 (39)
March, 2009 (35)
February, 2009 (21)
January, 2009 (29)
December, 2008 (15)
November, 2008 (15)
October, 2008 (25)
September, 2008 (30)
August, 2008 (26)
July, 2008 (26)
June, 2008 (22)
May, 2008 (27)
April, 2008 (20)
March, 2008 (20)
February, 2008 (19)
January, 2008 (22)
December, 2007 (21)
November, 2007 (26)
October, 2007 (20)
September, 2007 (17)
August, 2007 (23)
July, 2007 (17)
June, 2007 (13)
May, 2007 (7)

Search

Archives

<November 2009>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25262728293031
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293012345

More Links








# Monday, November 02, 2009
It Works! Writing a Family History Narrative
Posted by Diane

I’ve heard the tip that writing your genealogy research into a narrative forces you to organize your information and for theories about what your ancestors did. I’ve even suggested this tip to people—but I never took my own advice.

Until recently, that is, when relatives started asking for copies of records, and I started feeling guilty that I haven’t already shared them.

But I don’t want to just hand over a stack of papers (or more likely, a CD with a bunch of PDFs) and leave people to interpret them on their own. I wanted to tell the family’s story and provide a framework for the records I've found.

And even though I've looked at these records a million times, in creating my narrative I've spotted some holes and tweaked my timeline. A few examples:
  • I realized (duh!) that I had the 1930 census schedule for my great-grandfather and three of his children, but one wasn’t listed with the family. I found him lodging in a nearby town.
  • I realized my great-grandfather didn’t check in at the state prison until after his sons were placed in an orphanage. That's the reverse of what was on my mental timeline.
  • It occurred to me that I should see if the Lions Club that sponsored part of my grandfather’s college education has minutes from the meeting he attended to thank the group.
I didn’t think I’d accomplished much in my research. But now that I’ve laid it all out, I realize how far I’ve come—and I’m inspired to rev up my efforts.

My narrative isn't anything fancy. I just reviewed my records and notes chronologically, and explained what each document is, what it says about our relatives, and any theories and questions it inspires. I’ll update it as I learn more.

A timeline or a research journal also can help you analyze your work. Try these resources:


Research Tips
Monday, November 02, 2009 4:26:56 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [7]