Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Writing Family Histories -- Guest Post

This is my sister, she thinks she doesn't have anything to offer our writer's blog. I mean she only published one book. After some arm twisting I finally persuaded her to write a guest blog. So give her a nice warm welcome! Thanks! --Nikki

Hi, y’all! I am Tiffany and after much consideration I thought I would share some of my thoughts on writing. I am by no means a great writer or even a writer. Now I say that but… others tend to think that I am, why I am not sure! I love genealogy and I have taken to writing family histories. So it isn’t your typical type of writing, or your typical publishing since I self publish. When I think about my ability to write I think of my sister and her talent and think that I might have some talent maybe in the size of her pinkie or better yet maybe my talent will fill up let’s say her pinkie toe. I got the boobs and she got the talent! No seriously that’s how it went! Any who, I thought that I would talk about writing a family history and what it is like. It is painful and grueling! I say that lovingly because there are so many things that go into writing one.

Mainly you have to decide who you are gonna write about. Are you going to write only of that person or are you going to write about multiple generations. These are some questions that you have to ask yourself….but don’t worry like all writing things change and others might scream for their story to be told….

KNOW YOUR SUBJECT. Is there enough information that you can write about this person. Are you actually interested in that person and the time that they come from? If your not it will be difficult and there will be lots of research.

RESEARCH. With all writing fact or fiction there is a level of research involved. Writing family histories is all research. You have to research the people, the places they lived, the era that they lived in, interview people, and you need to even research their friends and neighbors. There is a lot of research. This is actually the part that I love the most.

LEARN THE STORIES. You have to learn the stories so that you can tell the stories of these people’s lives. The stories and learning of the person’s personality is the only way you can tell their story and do them justice.

LEARN TO BE IMPARTIAL. This is sometimes hard when you are writing a family history of someone in your own family. Sometimes there are conflicting emotions that come up. Not everyone is going to love and rant and rave about someone, this is okay. We are all human and we make mistakes, mistakes need to be included and told as well. This is how future generations learn from those who have paved the way before us. Make sure that the voice that is heard in your family history is one the Lord would be proud of.

REALIZE WHO YOU ARE DOING IT FOR. When we realize who we are writing a family history for we are able to see the Lords hand in it. Are we doing this for ourselves? Or for our family members? Or are we doing this for the future generations? Or are we doing this to make the Lord proud?

That is it for now. There are many more things that go into writing a family history, but one thing is common among all writing and that is the Lord has blessed us each with a unique view and voice. I believe everyone’s story and life should be told.
Happy Story Telling……


  1. Great information Tiffany. And you ARE a writer. What you do is very difficult. My husband is just now getting started on his genealogy, mostly because he is a convert. He has a lot of interesting relatives in his past and their lives would make a great story. Thanks for the info and welcome to MMW. You've inspired me.

  2. Tiffany, I think the writing you are doing is much harder in many ways than fiction writing. All writing takes work, but writing family histories would be much more difficult for me. Thank you for your post.

  3. Wow, Tiffany. That's awesome. I've actually always been interested in writing family stories. I should just do it. Thanks for giving me the motivation to start.

  4. Great post, Tiff!! If any of you want to see the first 10 pages of her self-published book go to search for Godbehere. The title is "FromHere to There with some Godbeheres"

    Be sure to check it out!

  5. WOW! Tiffany! This was AWESOME! What a great post! And thanks so much for sharing it! You are very inspiring, seriously. All of the sudden I want to tell my family stories! Jenni

  6. Thanks everyone for your loving support!!! I love family history stories!! I hope you all get to pick one and write it! I am sure that y'all would be amazing at it!

  7. Great post. I've been meaning to dive into writing a family history of my grandmother. This is inspiring!



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