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Family History 4 All

 Learn how to trace YOUR family tree.

Newsletter No. 39 - May 2010.

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Family History For All Blog


1. Our welcome message.

2. Featured Article – How to Get Relatives to Contribute to Your Family History By Dale Garden

3. One Great Family - Resource info' link

4. Next Months Featured Article: Five Subject Categories to Include in a Family History

Author: Dale Garden

1. Our welcome message.

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of your favourite newsletter.

What a month May has been. Airport strikes and volcano ash has kept thousands of people at home. But at least we had a few days of Mediterranean weather to make up for it. I'm glad that our next holiday/vacation is not until' September! (Fingers crossed).

Last issue I introduced my new blog briefly. Click the link to take a look and while you are there don't forget to leave a comment.

You can find it here: http://familyhistory4all.blogspot.com/

2. Featured Article:

How to Get Relatives to Contribute to Your Family History By Dale Garden

Here are a few of the many reasons to recruit relatives - and often family friends - to help you with your family history:

- Their contributions will make your family history much richer and more interesting to readers - The individual personalities of your ancestors will come through in the stories and remembrances of contributors - Family members have treasures, photos of deceased family members and old documents, and especially photos of family heirlooms and hand-me-downs - some you may not even know exist - Contributors will add comments to what you produce - again adding interest and richness to your family history - When a person contributes, it will encourage others to contribute - They will catch mistakes!

Of course, some relatives will be more interested and helpful than others - and some simply may be too busy. Therefore, don't be discouraged if at first, you do not get help from some people. But keep in contact with them and keep them informed because they may become interested at a later time.

It is likely that older relatives may be forthcoming - treat them well!

A good way to get a relative involved is to ask them about their memories of an individual -- biographical material should be a central component to any family history. Experience shows that biographical material is usually the most viewed material in a family history. Some people are likely to tell you memories faster than you can record them! Encourage them to write memories in their own words; some will, some won't, so be flexible - you may be able to encourage them if you say you will edit anything they write.

Example: I asked my sister to tell the story about when our mother attempted to teach her how to kill a chicken on the farm (preparatory to fried or roast chicken eating) - an excerpt:

"When I was thirteen or fourteen, Mom decided that I should learn how to kill chickens (a necessity of life according to her or maybe a passage into womanhood) ... She got the chicken out of the coop, laid it on its side, put her right foot of the feet of the chicken, stretched out the neck, and in a very matter of fact way cut off its head. The body of the chicken would flop all over the place."

Now that adds interesting color to a family history!

When a person gives you a contribution, not only should say, "Thanks", but you should also tell all possible contributors about it - knowing about specific contributions will encourage more contributions.

Give relatives a document outlining possible contributions. This serves a double purpose because it will also be a checklist for material that you will include in your family history. Here is a starter list:

- Remembrances and "stories" about an ancestor - idiosyncrasies, uniqueness - Old photos - ancestors, family reunions, pets, homes, etc. - Digital photos of hand-me-downs, artefacts, documents, etc. - Private correspondence, e.g., old letters for a digital scan image - Wedding licenses and old legal documents - Military documents and photos - Obituaries, newspaper articles, other published material - Memories of what was different "back then" Copyright by Dale Garden 2010

About the Author

I am Dale Garden and I help people learn to write their own online family histories. All about writing online family histories: http://dgaweb.com Tutorials: How to do your own online family history: http://dgablogginglessons.wordpress.com/ Subscribe to my ongoing blog about writing online family histories: http://familyhistoryblogging.wordpress.com/


3. One Great Family 

Visit OneGreatFamily and uncover the stories of your ancestors.


4. Next Months Featured Article: Five Subject Categories to Include in a Family History

Author: Dale Garden

This list is meant to help jog thinking – obviously, subject matter will vary from one family history to another. This list is aimed at an ancestral family history, but it should be helpful for current generation family histories, too...Read the whole article next issue.


I really hope you enjoyed this months newsletter. And in case you forgot earlier - Please sign the  Guestbook.

Jim. Editor

PS. Please forward this newsletter to your friends/relatives if they are interested in family history, with our compliments.

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Or by snail mail to: Jim Ackroyd. Address: 12 Avondale Road. Doncaster. South Yorkshire. UK. DN2 6DE

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