How To Write Your Family History From Photographs
Today I had a cup of coffee with a friend who complimented me on this blog. (Thanks Maggie) She followed this up by admitting that she would like to research her family but she can’t because she doesn’t like writing. Now, I like writing. For me it’s like talking which means that right now we are having a one to one conversation! However, for Maggie & many others the whole process of writing is like a visit to the dentist! But, never underestimate the power of coffee. By the time we had finished, our coffee was cold but we had brainstormed how she could record her family history with out the stress & frustration of words, paragraphs, grammar and sequencing!
Family History Download #3
It just so happens that I had already started writing my third family history download with the focus being on photographs this time. It started off the whole brainstorming session and led to many other ideas which I will write about later. This family history template is made up of a single image on each page with a short excerpt explaining the the context of the photo. I have used this simple approach in the classroom to encourage children in their own writing journey by writing underneath one of their own drawings. By substituting photographs with a short description your family history will have started.
Tips For Starting Your Family History
- Think small. Rather than look at the complete family history from 3x great-grandparents to yourself choose one particular point in time. This is exactly the approach I took when I wrote “Not The Beginning”
- Start with yourself. The advantage here is that you have no shortage of memories or memorabilia to access. My favourite would be the “Children’s First Day At School” . Not only will you record a special day but it could also include the local history. If that doesn’t appeal there are also, storms, weddings and holidays to think about.
- Choose a specific topic e.g. My focus for this download was when our family went hop picking in Kent.
- Ask around the family for ideas, photos and don’t forget a chat over coffee! You will be amazed how quickly hidden memories surface with a few verbal and visual prompts.
- Don’t forget to place your story historically. This may sound a bit grand but if you do a little research you may find out that when your father was born in the back of Grand-dads car it was actually the biggest snow storm for 50 years!
- Pick a point in time that interests you. It’s so much easier to work on something that interests you personally. Nothing breeds success like success.
Notes For Template #3
- This particular design was made using “Canva”. It is free to use and this is the link: https://www.canva.com/ I have no affiliation to Canva and I recommend it simply because I use it a lot!
- I chose a very visual design specifically so the focus is on the photo supported by text.
- I uploaded all my own photos and simply “drag and dropped” them into position
- Colours, text and fonts can all be changed to suit your project
- It can be downloaded in various file extensions e.g. png, jpeg, png
- This family history template can be found in the “Scrapbook” collection
” Don’t forget – no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell”Charles de Lint