Have you heard of #Genchat? It is a Twitter Chat that allows genealogists from around the world to collaborate. Two Friday evening’s a month you can sign onto Twitter and participate. The next #Genchat will be held on Friday, April 26. You can view the entire year’s schedule here.
Here are the upcoming April – July chats. All chats start at 9:00 Central Standard Time. And additional details can be found on the schedule page.
- 26 Apr: Oral Histories and Interviews
- 10 May: LIVE! From the NGS Conference in Las Vegas!
- 24 May: Utilizing Census Records
- 14 Jun: Data Analysis: Do you see what you have for all its worth?
- 28 Jun: Cemetery Projects
- 12 Jul: Your Latest Greatest Find! Share with us!
- 26 Jul: Putting Flesh on the Bones; Telling the Stories
Have you participated in #Genchat? What did you think? What great things did you learn? How has that helped you with your research and telling the story of your family?
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California
Not everyone is a writer. Are you shocked to hear this? Well, it’s true. Not everyone is a writer. Some people communicate better through visual means such as photographs, creating collages, building folders of materials, painting, and drawing. So if you are not a writer does this mean you cannot create a family history? No!
This message is to those of us who know they will not write a story but WILL compile research records, notes, photo images, sketches, and various tidbits and data to create a book! Sort Your Story founder Lorel Kapke picked up her drawing pencil after 30 years and sketched a portrait of her grandfather.
He appears to be a “bit aged and not an exact replica”, yet it was her way to reach her grandfather through the ages… to ”talk to Walter” or get to know him on another level. Lorel found a way to achieve some intimacy by drawing Walter from a photo.
What can Lorel do with this sketch? She can show it to family members when they get together. Looking at a photograph or sketch may begin a conversation within the family. Lorel may find information on things that are “sort of” accurate and things that are not. It is a good idea to compare notes with family members! You never know what piece of the puzzle you are missing until you do.
Lorel can also write brief tidbits of information about her grandfather and compile them with her sketch to create a larger photo or collage of sorts. She is lucky to have been able to have many conversations with her father who mentioned tidbits about his father via their phone conversations 3000 miles away.
Whether you are a writer or more visual person, everyone has something to contribute to a family history. Talk to family members. Perhaps you will be the illustrator of a family history and someone else will be the writer. Collaborating you may produce an even more incredible history than either of you could have done alone.
© 2013, Sort Your Story, Sonoma, CA
Many people have asked just how do you write a family history? There are many ways of doing so. In the coming weeks we will explore several options and provide several resources. Today let’s explore just some resources that will give you some inspiration on how to begin.
Stories to Tell is a company that assists authors with publishing. They have a book out on how to self-publish and a blog full of ideas and resources to get you started.
The Armchair Genealogist offers many suggestions on how to write; writing challenges; resources; and tips. One of her latest posts is about organization so you can prepare to write. But don’t stop there – scan her blog for the topics that interest you where writing is concerned.
Also check out the Family History Writing blog. Joy’s latest post offers plenty of resources to help you get started.
Need other inspiration and ideas? Check out local writer’s groups. Barnes and Noble stores often offer these. Many genealogy societies and historical societies offer writing groups. Some libraries have monthly or weekly groups as well. No groups in your area? Why not start one? Or, start one virtually with your geneabuddies!
The sky’s the limit where writing is concerned. Check back next week for more ways to sit down and start the process.
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Lorel Kapke
The new year is off to a great start! How many of you have already given up on your resolutions? How many have created new goals to work towards? Have you considered writing your family history? Not sure where to start? Here are two places to look where you can get started!
Lynn Palermo has posted a Family History Writing Challenge for February! Take a look and consider signing up for this challenge. You can grab a badge for your website or blog on Lynn’s blog, the Armchair Genealogist.
Also explore the Sort Your Story software which allows you to write family stories and include photos and documents within an ancestor’s profile. Very easy to use and organize your information and thoughts.
So what are you waiting for? Go grab Lynn’s badge and start writing! By the end of February you may be motivated enough to keep going and write a family history book!
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Lorel Kapke