Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How to share your family history with your family.--Why?

I taught my lecture "How to Inspire your Family with their Family History" Sunday at the Family History Library at BYU. The students there appreciated it and got me thinking in several new directions on the topic. So, I thought I would share some of it with you here over the next couple of weeks and get your feedback as well. I'm going to file this new series under "Sharing your family history" so it will all be there to refer back to.

I start out the lecture with a discussion about why sharing your family history with your family is important. This can include your descendants--children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews; and your contemporaries--brothers and sisters, cousins; and even your ancestors--parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. Hopefully these posts will give you lots of ideas for sharing your research with all of the above.

Why would you want to share what you have found? I have talked about this before, here and here, but here are a few more ideas:
  • Family History bonds families together.
    ›It will strengthen their relationship with you.
  • Family History can give a sense of belonging.
    ›They will have a stronger sense of who they are, what their place is in the world.
  • Family History can create a loving, safe environment.
    ›They will know that there are people who love them and worked so that they could have a nice life.
  • Family History can give them something to live up to.
    ›Tell them about the good qualities in their family
  • Family History can inspire a sense of gratitude.
    ›They will know how much easier life is now.
  • Family History can help them with their problems.
    ›Somebody has probably been there before and survived it.
  • Family History can give them a broader, more unselfish perspective.
    ›They will see the bigger picture of the span of life.
  • Family History encourages good skills.
    ›Logic, detective skills, writing, communication, organization.
  • Family History gives a context for other knowledge.
    ›History geography, languages, religion, culture—Margaret Mitchell, Alex Haley, inspired by their family history. I've often thought a family's history would be a wonderful context for a home-school curriculum. I wish that fit with my family's needs.
  • You could use some help.
    ›They might break through your brick wall someday.
  • It will be moving for you to see the span of your family reaching out/down.
    ›My perspective on my life, history, and the span of our family is amazing when I see my children involved.
  • You may find someone who will carry it on.
    ›No one will care about your research work more than your own family can.

In the posts to follow, we'll talk about how, and I'll shower you with all the ideas and resources I have collected for how to make it interesting to those people who can be most affected by your family's history.

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