Wednesday, October 28, 2015

6 Tips for Telling a Better Genealogy Story

Book with Red Cover; "The Story"
I know I have a lot of room for improvement in the area of storytelling. Here are some tips all of us can try to use when writing about our ancestors:
  1. Think about the audience - Who do you want to reach? You may want to inspire others who do genealogy research, share stories with your family, or you may be hoping to reach long-lost cousins. 
  2. Ask why this person or event matters - I've said it before: every life matters, and your family was important even though they may seem like ordinary folk. When you focus on the person or the impact of a particular event, you tend to write differently than just listing a bunch of facts.
  3. Tell the truth - Your storytelling should be accurate. There's no need to embellish; you'll find that your ancestors were interesting in their own way.
  4. Be bold - Don't be afraid to share your stories. It may not seem like it at times, but you have something important to say!
  5. Let your research guide you - It's always easier to focus your writing on a recent record find or someone you just researched.
  6. Keep practicing - If you commit to writing on a regular basis (my goal is three posts each week), you'll definitely keep improving.
I follow hundreds of genealogy blogs, and I enjoy reading the family stories. If you have any additional tips for telling a better story, please leave a comment.


  1. Joanne,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Great post! Knowing your audience is key. I started blogging after a few false starts when Dad, the family genealogist, had a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He could no longer speak, but could understand others. Once I had an audience, the stories just flowed. I'm still going strong a few years later.

    1. I hope that I still have stories to share for several years like you. I'll definitely check out your blogs. Thank you for reading mine and taking the time to comment!


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