What Is Genealogy
Why Study Genealogy?
How Far Can You Go?
3rd Party Stories
Cite Your Sources
Writing A Personal History
No matter how you first encounter into genealogy, eventually you get bitten by the bug and want to start tracing your own family tree. Genealogists work backward in time, starting withh themselves and carefully align each older generation on top of the younger. Consequently a good place to start is with your own personal history.
A personal history is one of the greatest legacies that you can leave for the generations yet to come. The information can be of great value not only to your own children and grandchildren, but also to your siblings' descendants. This is particularly true if you record the stories of your life growing up with your parents, siblings, and other relatives whom you remember.
While a personal history is autobiographical in nature, it need not be as long as a book. You should start small with the basics, and as time permits, fill-in more details and add stories. The major events in your life will form the basic outline as you answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions:
You can also make a list of questions that you would like to answer. If you have any trouble coming up with questions to write about, you can get ideas from lists compiled by oral historians and genealogists. Additionally, lists of personal history (and oral interview) questions are available from many Internet sources, in adult-education classes, and also in books at your local library.
The question and answer method is also a good method to get started with what may otherwise seem a huge and daunting task. Here's how you do it:-
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