How to do family history without research

r It’s the beginning of the year and we are being encour2aged to do our family history. Many of us who have pioneer ancestors have difficulty finding new names to pursue and become discouraged about “doing” genealogy. Here are some suggestions to help you “turn your hearts” to your fathers that don’t involve heavy duty genealogical research.

First, you can work on your personal life story. Some do it by age or grade, some like to do it by calendar year, others do it by life events such as school, college, marriage, children, etc. Some articles to give you ideas on how to start and different styles of writing are at,, and These are just a few of the articles available to walk you through the process.

Next, you can work on the life stories of your parents, grandparents or other relatives. I knew only one of my grandparents, the rest having died when I was a young child. My children did not know my parents because we lived thousands of miles away. I am the only link between my children and grandchildren and my ancestors. I had some living aunts and uncles who were able to fill in many holes in the histories of not only their parents, but my parents as well. Record the voices of your living relatives as they tell stories about their families.

Ideas of questions to ask to elicit interesting stories are at,, and

Making coloring books of family stories and family traditions for children as gifts or for reunions helps to bind the children to their ancestors. Some websites with coloring book images are at,, or Google “free coloring book images ” and whatever subject you’re looking for.

Collect photos of family members and enter them into FamilySearch where all your relatives will enjoy them. Make sure you label and identify as many of them as you can and maybe others can identify the ones you don’t know.

Using the many newspapers available to us, find and collect articles about family members including obituaries, marriages, anniversaries, graduations and other interesting articles. Many times, letters were published from missionaries, travelers and those who have moved out of town containing great information about family members. Chronicling America, a website of the Library of Congress, documents all known newspapers, when they were published and where they are available. Some free newspaper websites are Google Newspaper Archives,,, and

Chris Baird
Chris Baird
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

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