Detailing your family lineage is very important. Do you know why your family history is just as important? Most people may not think that there is a difference between the two. It seems that people use the two words in the same way as tracing family ancestry.
In fact, genealogy websites often advertise using the words family history. What you find however are websites that have you search books, family tree records, census records, or other such archives. Of course, with the above search methods, you are simply discovering your family roots.
In some circumstances, the history of your family means a very specific part of your life.
For example, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a web page on itsí site www.hhs.gov/familyhistory. This website is the "Surgeon Generalís family history initiative, to encourage all American families to learn more about their family health history".
The goal of the governmentís website is to focus on tracing illnesses suffered by oneís parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives. The idea of course is to predict disorders that appear generation after generation in order to prevent or minimize the effects of potential health problems.
Now, letís look at your goal as it relates to the history of your family. Concentrate on how you can stress more than your familyís lineage information.
When you look at a family tree, you see a lot of wonderful information. You see the names of your parents, their parents, their parentsí parents, and so forth. You see their birth dates. You see their date of death, and you may see a few other details. You may also see the same information for their offspring and siblings.
What you do not see in a family tree is information on where and how they lived. You do not "see" the twist and turns of their life that made them that person, the person they were in that time.
In other words, a family tree, kinship report, descendant report or the like does not give you a flavor about the lives of the people you are researching.
Add "punch" to your family presentations by writing a family history on the major branch (or branches) of the family.
Tell Your Story
Give your readers the big picture bullet points about the life and times of your family. If possible, follow-up with an abbreviated biography of family members.
Of course, if you cannot find past information with which to begin, start with what is already familiar. Start with your own family branch.
If you do not have the information for your branch of the family, then start with yourself and your immediate family. Encourage other kinfolks to do the same.
Provide information on where and how you/other family members lived. Discuss how and from where you/ they migrated. In general, provide your readers with any tidbit of information you discover.
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