Creating a Written History
Do you wish your children could get to know your grandparents? Not just their birth and death dates and locations, but really get a feel for who they were. Here is a simple way to create a cherished history that helps you see beyond the dates.
Message or email your living relatives (siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins) who knew your grandparents and ask them questions like these:
- What is the first thing you think of when you hear the name _________________?
- Describe _____________’s personality:
- What did you learn from _______________?
- What characteristic does ___________________possess that you’d love to develop?
- How do you know that _____________________had faith in Jesus Christ?
- Please tell your favorite memory of ____________________.
- Is there anything else you’d like your family to know about _______________?
Set a date that the questions need to be answered by to be included in the history. Let your relatives know that if they only want to answer one of the questions that that is fine. Any comments they provide will be appreciated. You may need to send out a reminder message since we live in a busy time.
When you have received the responses, you only need to copy and paste them into a document. You can just leave it in a question/answer format giving each person credit for their response. For example: If Aunt Mabel responds, you paste her comment and then type “contributed by Mabel Johnson, daughter to ____________.” If you have pictures available, insert them into the document also. Save the document as a pdf. Then you can email the compiled history to all who contributed.
Your family will be blessed by this small effort. Forging bonds with previous generations gives a strength and a confidence that can’t be equaled. I believe those who have gone before are watching out for us.
(Another great resource for distributing what you compiled is the website www.familysearch.org. It is a free genealogy website that allows you to add “memories” to the people you put into your family tree. You can upload pictures and stories. Then anyone that logs in and has a common, deceased ancestor with you can see what you added. The website keeps the information of living people confidential.)