Bring Your Ancestors to Life

Our genealogy research should be more than collecting documents.  Our ancestors were real people and our family histories should try to bring out the human aspects of their lives. Documents and pictures reveal their lives and the events surrounding these events should be explained.

I use summaries of each person to compile all of the facts that I gather. I also mingle pictures with the text to bring the pages alive and to draw interest to the facts. Identifying the people and events in all of the old pictures in the scrapbooks is an important and fun part of your genealogy research. Also the facts listed in the documents that you find should be extracted and analyzed to show another snapshot of your family history.

My summaries start as simple “bullet point” statements and then are expanded to paragraphs as I find more details. I have found using summaries makes my research more efficient because I have one place to look for facts about a person when doing more research on that person. Another important benefit is that the summary gives you a document that is interesting and readable to share with your family.  Letting other members of your family enjoy the information that you find should encourage some of them to search through the photo albums and shoe boxes filled with old papers for things to share and enhance your history.

Once I started my research I became addicted to the hunt for information and when I share what I find I also share my enthusiasm. I know this enthusiasm has been a positive factor for the family and has helped add more information to the family history.

Now get started and enjoy your journey.

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