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Every Family Has a Story—Discover Yours

By Mormon.org
grandmother and grandaughter looking at family pictures together. Family History and Genealogy: Every family has a story—discover yours

Have you ever sat down with family members and looked through old photo albums? Isn’t it fun to see yourself when you were younger? The funny hair style, those plaid pants - to even think your mom would dress you in those! As you brush past photos of you and your brothers and sisters, you might go back a few more generations and see a grandmother or great-uncle you barely remember. As you see their faces, you might begin to wonder what life was like for them. What were their greatest fears? Their biggest accomplishments? What were they most proud of? Despite the generations between you, you might feel a strong connection to the person looking back at you through the age-worn and discolored photographs.

Families are an important part of God’s plan. God organizes us into families so that we can grow up in happiness and safety, and so that we can learn to love others selflessly, which leads to true joy. As we research our family stories, we can begin to feel more connected to and love those from our past. But where can we start?

There are some easy steps you can follow that will help you start on your family history right away. In this article, we’ll address the first and most basic step.

Step 1: Write down what you know about your immediate family

Sounds easy, right? Well, it is. Write down what you know about your parents, brothers, and sisters-- for example, your first memory of them, the funniest incident you remember about them, or your favorite vacations and trips.

What do you remember? Jot down everything that comes to your mind.

If you are married, move on to include information about your spouse. If you have children, write about them too.

The key is to write this information down! It may seem basic to you, but it will be valuable in the future not only to you, but also to later generations.

Still stuck? Start by answering these simple questions below.

  • When and where were you born?
  • Who are your parents? What do you remember about them?
  • Who are your siblings? What do you remember about them?
  • If you are married, who is your spouse?
  • If you have children, who are your children?
  • What are the dates and locations for important events such as births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and deaths?
  • Where have you lived? Where did you go to school, work, etc.?

There is a great fill-in booklet titled "My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together" that can help you capture and preserve your family history and genealogy. It is a step-by-step guide that gives you a place to record important family information, including names, relationships, photos, dates, stories, and much more! You can access the online version for free by clicking here; you can also request a hard copy of the booklet (sent to you for just $1) by clicking here.

Chat with someone about the importance of family history and genealogy.