Chicago genealogists, have you participated in October’s Family History Month? Have you done any of the following?
- Taught someone how to start genealogy research.
- Visited a local museum, like the Chicago History Museum, to learn more about the history of where your ancestors lived.
- Conducted research in one of Chicago’s great libraries like the Newberry Library or Harold Washington Library?
- Sorted through old photographs with a family member?
- Written down your stories?
- Interviewed a family member and written down their stories?
- Participated in discussions on Social Media outlets like FaceBook, Twitter, or Google+?
One way to incorporate a lot of the ideas, during Family History Month or the rest of the year, is to create a free account with 1000memories.com and begin sharing your family photographs, family tree, and creative writing. 1000memories.com is a social media sharing site that allows users to upload photographs of family members, add a family tree, invite family and friends to participate in sharing and commenting and most importantly, share the family stories through creative writing.
Creative writing is an important part of genealogy and a way for an author to get across his or her thoughts, feelings and emotions without only presenting the facts. The facts are important but so are your thoughts and feelings about a person or event. Creative writing can easily be done at 1000memories.com and here’s how.
In the “My Shoebox” area of 1000memories.com you can share a memory. Upload a photograph and identify the person(s). Then add a story. Write a story about that person or group. Yesterday I loaded a photograph of my great-great grandfather Jan Zajicek and added a story about him allegedly saving the dining room table during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. I expressed the family lore, explained how I found that shocking that he would save a table rather than his family, and my relief after more thoroughly researching him that he was a teenager and not responsible for his family.
If you do not have a photograph but just want to capture your stories, you can do that too on 1000memories.com! You can also add video, audio, documents and quotes.
Need some creative writing ideas for genealogy and 1000memories.com? Try some of these:
- Write about a family reunion you attended. Who did you meet? How did it feel to meet new people and see those you had not in years?
- Write about the death of a close family member. How did they impact your life?
- Write about the birth of a child and your feelings connected to that event. Explain how it changed your family.
- Write stories about specific family members and ask others to comment and add their stories about that individual.
There are many ways to incorporate your thoughts, feelings and emotions into genealogy writing. The important thing is to start writing so future generations will be able to understand their past. So what are you waiting for? Get started during this genealogy-themed month but continue your writing throughout the year!
Looking for some Family History Month articles? Here are a few that I enjoyed. Take a look and leave your comments.
- Dr. Bill Smith’s Examiner article “Genealogy Roundtable for Family History Month – did you participate?”
- Randy Seaver’s Geneamusings post “Is Family History Knowledge Declining? Updated!”
- 1000memories.com’s series “It’s Time to Change the Game” Guest post written by Caroline Pointer.
- And Elyse’s post “Looking Forward When Looking Back.”