Three Tips for a Better Narrative

Your genealogy database is more than just names and dates; they were real, living people and they have a story to tell. Digging to find their stories is always harder than researching dates but the reward is so much better. You will begin to see a picture of who that ancestor was, what their personality was like and you will get to know them as a person.

  1. Interview, Interview, Interview. Talk to every family member that you know. Record the interview with your phone or other device so you don’t miss a moment. Get leads on other family that you may not know. In subsequent posts I will outline ways to interview.
  2. Tell the Truth. As you are digging into the past you may come across stories that are not very flattering. Think of yourself as an investigative journalist; it is your job to gather and record all the information even if it is unfavorable. Recently this happened to me. I was talking with a distant relative who had information on my 3X great grandfather. What she shared was tragic but I’m glad she told me. We do our ancestors and our descendants an injustice if we are not honest.
  3. Add photos to support your story. Not everyone has access to old photos. Add current photos of the house your ancestor lived in, google maps of the area, and photos of their belongings.

Let’s get a conversation going. Tell me what you have done to add to your narrative.

2 thoughts on “Three Tips for a Better Narrative

  1. Enjoyed your post. I find it useful to research the area where an ancestor lived, including historical events. I also study census records and maps in an attempt to learn exactly where they lived in a particular neighborhood. It seems to always lead to a better understanding of that person – and sometimes I even “bump” into records specific to that person!

    1. Thanks for the comment. I agree with you. I also have researched neighbors near my ancestor. I found this gives me additional information on the community and the times in which my ancestor lived. Happy Researching!

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