8    Jan 20132 comments

Diaries: A family history source

Take it from a writer: The more you write, the easier it becomes. Why not keep a journal or diary?

Journals and diaries are excellent resources for family history research.

Don't you wish your ancestors had recorded their daily lives and thoughts in a format that has come down to you as a treasured keepsake through the centuries?

I know someone whose ancestor left a journal written several hundred years ago. The writer describes the family's everyday life in difficult new surroundings, how they celebrated holidays, the writer's wishes for her descendants far in the future and much more. It is as if the writer knew it would be treasured and passed down through the generations, as it has been. It is a priceless heirloom.

Put yourself in the shoes of a great-grandchild who finds your journal. What do you think will interest him or her? What is happening in your life now that you want future generations to know about? Do you want to include advice for future generations?

Continue reading "Diaries: A family history source" »

26    Sep 20122 comments

Diaries: Windows to the past

Many of us have treasured items that have been passed onto us by previous generations.

Recently, Mark Rigg (Stockport, UK) was going through his attic, when he found a treasure he never knew existed.

His great-aunt, Annie Droege, was a British woman living in Germany during WWI. What Mark didn't know was that Annie had kept a diary of her experiences.

She recounts her emotions of spending the war in Germany, and having German friends fighting against her British friends and family.

At one point, Annie and her family were under siege in their own home, as a mob from the nearby village descended upon them.

Mark was excited by the discovery, and decided to publish the diary to demonstrate the hardships of life during the Great War. He dedicated the book to the 16.5 million people who lost their lives.

No other artifact or family heirloom - other than personal diaries - helps us understand the lives and emotions of the previous generations.

Have you inherited a family diary or journal? What did you learn from it?

17    Oct 20112 comments

Genealogy News: North America – 17 October 2011

This week's topics include an unusual free webinar, Google+, Canadian databases and resources, a Massachusetts genealogical journal, resources in Minnesota and Oklahoma and more.

There are many resources available on almost any family history topic. If you are frustrated at not being able to find what you want, or need help understanding what you have found, that may be a signal to join your local genealogical society.

Newcomers are welcome at all societies, where experts are interested in helping you. Remember that all of us were newcomers at some point regardless of our current skill level. We have all been in the same place as you, and we were assisted by experts who answered those "silly questions" we were hesitant to ask.

Continue reading "Genealogy News: North America – 17 October 2011" »

20    Sep 20100 comments

Diaries: A family history source

The MyHeritage Genealogy Blog features detailed posts on resources and developments, such as this one on diaries and journals.

Take it from a writer: The more you write, the easier it becomes. Why not keep a journal or diary?

Journals and diaries are excellent resources for family history research.

Don't you wish your ancestors had recorded their daily lives and thoughts in a format that has come down to you as a treasured keepsake through the centuries?

I know someone whose ancestor left a journal written several hundred years ago. The writer describes the family's everyday life in difficult new surroundings, how they celebrated holidays, the writer's wishes for her descendants far in the future and much more. It is as if the writer knew it would be treasured and passed down through the generations, as it has been. It is a priceless heirloom.

Put yourself in the shoes of a great-grandchild who finds your journal. What do you think will interest him or her? What is happening in your life now that you want future generations to know about? Do you want to include advice for future generations?

To read the complete post by genealogist Schelly Talalay Dardashti, click here.  For another post on a similar topic, view "Writing Lives, Marking Memories."

To view the MyHeritage Genealogy Blog, click here.

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