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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree June 2019 > How to start writing your family history

How to start writing your family history

Discover how you can use your family history research to start writing stories that will capture the imagination of family and friends and create an enduring legacy for future generations. Chris Lightfoot makes it seem delightfully possible. Maybe it’s time to turn that dream of writing your family history into a bone fide project!


Are you struggling to get anyone interested in your years of family history research or your family tree? Well you are not alone and this is because names and dates say nothing about the lives of the people you have uncovered through your research. It is the stories behind the names that people want to hear. Stories which can evoke a time, a place, an event, a life of a person, which no amount of painstaking research can reveal.

Write your family history story by story

Starting to write a family history from the very beginning can be a daunting task particularly if your research takes you back hundreds of years. But, if you write your family history story by story, you will soon build up a collection of stories which you can share straight away and use as the building blocks for a full-length book. By adopting the story-by-story approach you aren’t constrained by writing chronologically – instead you have the freedom to pick out whatever you want, in whatever order you want.

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About Family Tree

What is it about family history that's captured your imagination? Whether you're seeking the story of your WW2 veterans who fought at D-Day, or tracing your tree across continents to bring your family back together again, we've got a host of advice and tales to help and inspire you: 1. Gen up on your ancestors' role in D-Day (75 years ago this June). 2. Discover how to use DNA, combined with the paper records, to trace family worldwide. 3. Learn about the top 10 genealogy sins - and how to repent and become a better family history sleuth! Plus DNA tips, reader stories, expert advice on your questions and brickwalls, and so much more... - including that all-important topic of 'How to write your family history'! Enjoy