Monday, October 29, 2007

Tip # 29...Record your own family stories

As a family historian, I always question:

1) What prompted my ancestors to make their decisions,?
2) What were their daily lives like?
3) How did they view the world around them?

Only three simple questions but there are a multitude of answers, none of which I can prove in this lifetime. Chances are good, our descendants will ask the same questions. So, our tip for today is to try to provide them with some answers. Why not celebrate Family History Month by recording your own daily stories?

Duane Roen, a professor of English at ASU, presents workshops throughout Arizona on "Writing Family History.” He offers insight into how he can make cold genealogical facts come alive and how to pass those facts on to the next generation.

Duane recommends writing a daily journal detailing events for your children. Duane follows his own advice and has written memories for his children’s lifetime. Details which could quickly be forgotten will be given to his children as precious keepsakes when they are adults.

I attended two of Duane's workshops and his approach is easy to follow even if you haven't approached a keyboard or picked up a pencil in decades. Through a simple fill-in the answers worksheet, Duane helps you to remember important family events. His workshop is a great way to ignite the desire to record your family stories. For more details, please visit his Web Sites at:

http://community.uui.asu.edu/features/roen.asp
http://www.public.asu.edu/~dhroen/

Keeping a journal is an ideal way to keep the memories close at hand. A paragraph, a sentence or a word or two daily or a few times a week is a fabulous start. It's living history in the making to give your children or grandchildren the insight you may not always be able to share with them.

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