Saturday, March 11, 2006

Why a family history journal?

A few years ago I read a book by Charley Kempthorne:

Kempthorne, Charley. 1996. For all time: a complete guide to
writing your family history. Portsmouth, NH:
Dewey: 929.1
ISBN: 0-86709-381-1

One of his suggestions was to keep a family history research journal, so I started to do so, following his suggestions below. At first I kept it in an MS Word document, and then later as an askSam document, but it seemed it might be more useful if I kept it as a blog, where other family members could see it, and comment and contribute.

Of course not everyone is related to every branch of our family, except us and our children, so not everything will be of interest to everyone. But you can easily search the blog for surnames of interest, and add to the fund of family history knowledge through anecdotes, in comments.

Please use the comments feature!

At the end of each entry in the blog you will see a line on the bottom tghat says "Comments". There are actually two places where you can comment -- choose either, click on it, and add to the fund of family stories and anecdotes we can share!

Anyway, this is how I began, with suggestions from Kempthorne's book. You might like to start a similar blog yourself.

Start a page with the heading “Journal” and write down today’s date… As you read and come to one of the writing suggestions like the one below, do your writing in this journal (Kempthorne 1996:5).

Family stories

Make a list of family stories you’d like to see written up. Don’t list the things you feel are important and ought to be written up so much as the things you’d like to write up, even if they seem mundane and ordinary (Kempthorne 1996:5-6).
1. Ella Hayes driving her uncle’s car and crashing into tree.
2. Keith Greene travelling to Maputo
3. Keith Greene “shit in Italy”
4. Ella Hayes going to St Barnabas Hospital
5. Dorothy Greene “you gotta da bigga appetite”
6. Bridget going to Groenvlei at 3 weeks old

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