A “MUST DO” First Step To Writing A Family History Story

Step One To Writing Your Family History

Have you ever wondered what it is like to write a novel? Well, here is your chance to find out. I extend to you a once in a life time offer! You are invited to be part of a collaborative writing event in which we will journal the evolution of Fact to Fiction. My story will based on the journey my Great Grand Uncle, took when he emigrated from Norfolk, England to Kapunda, Australia in 1852. Research will provide the facts. My questions will become the fiction. From first draft to last, your feedback, support and contributions will be acknowledged when (and if) we reach a successful conclusion.

How To Choose What Story To Write

The open invitation above was posted on Facebook a few weeks ago. I received sufficient replies to motivate me to continue. Because of this I felt OK with the bold statement for this section. In “Novelize Your Family History” the question “Why are your writing this particular story?” resonated with me to the extant that I surprised myself with the answer! Let me share the brainstorming process with you.

Brainstorming My Chosen Family Story (unedited)

Connecting To Your Family History Story

28th June 2021 What is the point to the story?

Why was discovering my Great Grand Uncle was buried in Bull Plain Station so important to me? 

Problem or conflict: Me Understanding Me

Where is home? In Herstory it may seem obvious that my childhood experiences were the source of this question. Being a child of my era, I had just accepted my own family history. without evaluation.

Belonging to ?

What is the emotion driving my story?

Lost Standing Place is the Maori concept of turangawaewae (pronounced, to-wrong-a-why-why) is the best way to describe the emotional connection towards a place. I wrote this post. I called “Belongingness” (Yes, it is a word) in 2019 but it only came into my thoughts as I was trying to answer the question of why I had chosen this particular ancestor as my first “novelized” family history story.

13th July 2021 I have just realized that my living on a boat encapsulates the very nature of a lost standing place!

Connecting To Your Story


My emotional connections to Thomas Eastick are many. We both emigrated to a country as far away from England as you can get. The decision to leave was based on the belief that lives would be better in the new land. It is also possible that leaving was a chance to experience something totally different, an adventure or even leaving some conflict behind! Did Thomas find a place to belong to? Did he ever go back? Did he find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I do not have the answers to these questions, yet, but the story has begun and the answers will come!

Shared Contributions To The Writing Process

In my opening statement the idea of a collaborative and reciprocal support group journaling the process of writing a family history story was motivated by the response on my Facebook page. Alternatively, there is always the option to use the more conventional approach of leaving you comments in the section below. However, unless you belong to a writing group, writing stories about your family history can be a lonely task with only your internal voices to spur you on. Admittedly, sharing your unfinished work is a scary step but criticism, like praise, are essential to the success of the finished product. Collaborative Writing could be the motivation you need to start your personal journey to writing your first family history story!

Supporting Blog Posts

A “MUST DO” First Step To Writing Your Family History

Make Words Your Family Heirloom

The Best Family History TED Talks and Videos

Be The Story Teller In Your Family

It’s Story Time: A Tale From Norfolk

3 thoughts on “A “MUST DO” First Step To Writing A Family History Story

Add yours

  1. I really love this idea of finding oneself (or understanding oneself better) by investigating family history. Well done on creating a place where people can share their journey and get constructive feedback in the process.


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