Genealogy 101 - Basic Instruction: Lesson 2 Write your Personal History

by Robert W Penry

Posted Jun 28, 2012

As you continue your genealogy research, you will want to write your own history.  Why?  This information will be of immense value to your descendants. Your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and others will enjoy reading about you and your life. But were to start?    Is there a certain format?  No!  This is your history. You are the author. You can include humor, pictures, and even music. Don't make it a chore. Have fun writing it and don't try to do it all in one day. Take your time, write and review. Let it set for awhile and come back and review again. You will find that you will want to change and add before you come up with a final version. You will find yourself adding new information from time to time. The following list provides ideas. It is reminder of events that we share and will want to include in your history:



  • Your birth, time, where, parents, circumstances, special conditions or visitors.
  • Your Name - Why your name? Where did it come from?
  • Childhood diseases, accidents, special trips, memories of relatives, unusual happenings, relationships with siblings, visitors in the home, role of religion in home
  • School - Names of schools and dates, special teachers, courses studied, activities, friends, achievements, special occasions, proms, report cards, humorous situations.
  • Jobs while in school and extracurricular activities, Church, Scouts, Campfire, sports, tasks assigned at home. Attitudes towards study.
  • College life - Academic major, fraternities, sororities, friends, courses, social life, unusual events, concerts, campus speakers and visitors that influenced you.
  • Courtship and marriage. Where did you meet your spouse? Special dates, how was the questions popped? Marriage plans, ceremony, reception, honeymoon, meeting in-laws. Why did you pick your spouse over other choices?
  • First home. Adjusting to married life, financial conditions, disagreements and solutions, homemaking thoughts and occurrences, growing love, you and sorrows.
  • Political affiliations and philosophy.
  • Memberships in organizations, Community Service
  • Children's names, dates, places of birth, circumstances, health during pregnancies, fathers reactions, smart sayings and doings, growing up, school achievements, friends, sickness', accidents, operations, vocations, marriages.
  • Family deaths and tragedies
  • Your vocation - training, promotions, salary history, companies worked for, associations, achievements.
  • Military Service - Promotions, boot camp events, training, combat, awards, medals, achievements. Friends, antecdotes.
  • Church activities, answers to prayers, personal thoughts of God, Inspirational thoughts and events. Jobs in the church. Special events.
  • Hobbies and avocations, sport teams, reading habits and likes, travels, favorite types of music/musicians/actors/writers/poems/books
  • Special celebrations or events with your family. Holiday traditions. Vacations with the family
  • Your hopes, plans, goals
  • Advice counsel and your blessing for your descendants
  • Your comments on your ancestors
  • Include pictures. Write with humor. Make copies and give to family. Place copies in local and state libraries.

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