Sunday, February 5, 2012

Writing Family Histories: Writing Your Own Story

I’m back…. I know y’all are so excited that you can’t even say my name…. right?! Wait what?... you don’t remember me? So that’s why you don’t know my name??? How did this happen…. Was it because I haven’t guest blogged here in so long… or was it because I was so boring? Well I guess we’ll never know (unless you leave a comment stating otherwise) cuz you get me today! I am Tiffany – the mommy and Nikki is my sister. I write family histories and love it. I know that a lot of you out there are busy working on projects that are already started and maybe don’t have the time or the energy to research, interview and then write a family history! So today I want to talk to you about writing your own life history. It doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to be done in a month. But if you don’t write it who will? I know I spend a lot of time with older members of my family interviewing them so that I can write their life story and there is so much that they can’t remember. But what if they were the one who wrote their life story? Almost all of their memories would be written down, grandchildren and great-grandchildren could learn and grow from the things that were written.  

So that being said you’re still thinking I just don’t have the time, my life isn’t really that interesting, what the heck am I supposed to write about and where the heck should I start! Well I suggest that you get yourself a notebook, a journal, or open a word document. Label it life stories pull it out every Sunday or whenever you need a break from your WIP (work in progress) and do what you do best write! Your writers so y'all just write.

 So where do you start? What do you write about? You can start anywhere and you write about anything! …. Where did you meet your husband? Tell the story. Who are your parents? Tell your children and grandchildren about them (come back to this question often).  What is your favorite food and why? I LOVE this question over the years of asking yourself this one it will change I promise!  Do you know how your parents choose your name? This one is one of my favorite questions because I have a funny story about how I got my name…. Should I share it?? Okay since y’all twisted my arm I’ll tell ya! My parents were told that I was gonna be a boy due to my heart rate so they picked out a boy’s name. Then I got here and I was a girl… they never even thought of girl names so here they were and my Daddy says “Why don’t we name her after our mothers? Jeanie June.” To which my Mama says “What about Tiffany… (her best friends sister named her daughter Tiffany a year before). As she let it hang in the air she thought Suzanne for a middle name and said “How about Tiffany Suzanne?”  I then became Tiffany Suzanne and my Mama always says that I must have been in Heaven saying “Tiffany Suzanne please not Jeanie June anything but Jeanie June” I guess if I got Jeanie June they could have called me JJ instead my Mama called me her Tiffy Sue.  So write about anything:
  • Places you’ve lived   *Influential individuals from your childhood  *Favorite vacations
  • Jobs you’ve had  *Thoughts on politics  *Political views  *Religious views  *Top 5 favorite movies
  • Civic and community service rendered  *Things you like to collect  *Write about your spouse
  • Your hopes and dreams and how they have changed over the years  *The automobiles you’ve had or transportation you’ve used.  *Create a list of places that you’ve visited and when visited.  *Your favorite hobbies  *What do you like to shop for  *Your impressions of the times, wars, developments, etc.
  • Collections of writings or poems that you’ve created  *Listing of certificates and accomplishments
  • Favorite restaurants  *Favorite music  *Operations you’ve had (not the most fun, but interesting)
  • The top 3 most difficult things you’ve ever done or had to go through  *Memberships in clubs or churches
  • Write about your siblings and other relatives, (they’re children may not be as lucky as yours. They may not have written memories of their parents’ youth)
  • Gardens you’ve grown  *Favorite foods  *Games you like to play and why they’re fun
  • Favorite recipes (some families like to hand down recipes). Wouldn’t it be fun if your descendants knew which ones were your favorite and you left the recipes for them?  *Your favorite time of year
  • Sports that you’ve played throughout your life  *Pets you’ve had  *Weather phenomenon you’ve seen or experienced.  *Technological advances you’ve seen in your day  *Spiritual experiences you’ve had
  • Favorite toys you’ve had  *Thoughts on raising children  *Education achieved  *Activities you’ve participated in  *Favorite books

Anyway let's write our stories! Attached you will find a google document of interview questions. Use them, adapt them to you and your family, and share them with others so that they can write their stories! This will be a book of a lifetime and you will write it and it will be your greatest contribution to others on this Earth! YOU ARE WORTH WRITING ABOUT! 

there are software programs that you can use too HERE, I like this one I own it....

~Tiffany -- the mommy 


  1. Thanks so much for guest posting today, Tiffany. This is awesome information. I really like that software you use. I just might have to get it. I am actually kind of motivated to write about myself. THANKS! -- Nikki P.S. If y'all liked Tiffany's post, let her know she is welcome to come back next week!! Maybe ask her some questions about writing family histories. Thanks!

  2. I do like the question about how my parents chose my name & not just mine all my sisters & my brother.



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