Jump-Start Your Personal History Writing with #52Stories Project

This sounds like an interesting project. I just learned about it so I haven’t tried it yet. However, you might have an interest. Quoting from the FamilySearch Blog at: https://goo.gl/GkGmvD:

Because it’s human nature to think of our lives in terms of beginnings and endings, the new year gives us the perfect opportunity to make sure we are making the most of that dash, filling in the details of our lives so our loved ones and our posterity are not left wondering what happened in between.

All of us are “in the dash.” But, you may be thinking, “I’ve got plenty of time to record my life story for my posterity. Why start now? Why this year?”

Here’s why: because, in addition to the value of leaving a legacy, great personal and family benefits also arise from personal reflection and journaling.

Personally, you’ll benefit from the practice of reflecting over your life, collecting your thoughts, and making sense of your experiences. The very act of writing things down is therapeutic; it can provide a sense of purpose and control. It may also reveal patterns in your life, increase your gratitude, foster a stronger sense of self, and even make you happier and more successful in your daily life.

You can learn more at: https://goo.gl/GkGmvD and at http://genealogyalacarte.ca/?p=17676.



It has always been my opinion that genealogy has more to it than simply a long spreadsheet of ancestors with their birth, marriage and death dates. Every single one of these ancestors was a real person with a real life, trials, tribulations, family joys and sorrows, an occupation perhaps and on and on. I have always felt it important to add some anecdotal information about them or their surroundings, at least where I can, to make it ‘our family story’. I have shown ‘the chart’ (which is quite large) to many relatives over the years. The first thing they look at is how far back it goes and then they look at where they ‘fit’ and then they say ‘wow’ and ask for a copy and that’s about it. They simply haven’t experienced the emotions I have felt every time I have made progress with the tree. But there is so much to write about to give the tree a life of it’s own. In 1904 my greatgrandparents along with their children including my grandfather who was a teenager, left England to immigrate to Canada. Why? Because the government was giving away free land in the middle of nowhere. (Actually today it’s still in the middle of nowhere). But the important story to be told is how they almost froze to death the first winter. Or a few years later when my grandmother was about to give birth to my aunt in 1914, the closest town was 50 miles away and in a cold February snowstorm their ox pulled wagon tipped over when crossing a frozen creek bed. These are the stories that give meaning to the family tree.

Liked by 1 person

    WOW – that’s a story! Must have been a terrible trip for them all. I’d love to know how today’s children would relate to the story? Can they really understand? Life is so different now and even telling stories about party phone lines makes my granddaughters look at me in wonder. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be told – some day they can brag about their ancestors and how they survived it all. You are so right – these type of stories really do give meaning and understanding and are so much more interesting than names, dates and places! You just need both for a fuller picture of those lives.


Do my grandsons really want the story of my life on a plate? All the fun of genealogy is filling in the gaps, finding out the hidden details. The bits I’m looking at now are the bits other people haven’t recorded in any detail, and which I’m piecing together from different sources..


    They may or may not, but your great, great, great grandsons sure will.


    Hello Eva and Judy. At this point in my life all I can say is ‘yes I wish I had my grandfather’s life on a plate’. My ancestoral quest, so to speak, began when I was in my mid-twenties in 1978 at my grandfather’s funeral. I had some basic knowledge of our family history but nothing in real detail. My parents passed away when I was young so grandfather raised me. He used to tell me stories of his life, stories about his dad and stories about his grandad (my grt grt grandfather) and I remember thinking ‘yup yup yup, you’ve told me that half a dozen times’ but I would politely listen, but NOT really to the details. Now forty years later, I regret that.


I agree with you, Brian. I’m the oldest in a few of my family lines and so many are now asking me for the information and stories about our grandparents. I was always the one who sat quietly at family dinners while the adults talked and since I never bothered anyone, they just kept talking adult talk! I learned a great deal and I hope I have remembered enough to bring some of those people alive through my memories. They don’t remember granddad playing the mouth organ and piano on a river boat while I can close my eyes and hear him tell about it when he was teaching me on the piano he gave me. I’m trying to put as much of my memories into print as possible – their great great grandchildren are interested now and I hope to leave them something about the “dash” that makes sense of the names, dates, and locations in the family history. I think the idea presented gives us a place to start the memories being recorded. It isn’t just about our lives – it’s those we can also remember from our past.
Happy New Year!


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