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First Steps to Start an Online Family History

The answer is, “Yes”. The primary reason is to capture and preserve in one place all family memories so that everyone can see it – and different family members can contribute. And, for most people, a blog is the best Internet publishing platform because it is relatively easy to learn and it costs little or nothing.

Then maybe a site like will fit your needs. Ancestry has a good family tree application plus an organized approach to Genealogy research.

After a free trial, for only a few dollars, using Ancestry saves hours and hours of researching other Genealogy sites.

Biographies and associated material are the most popular elements of a family history. Family members may have much biographical material, including many photos and family stories. You may have family keepsakes, heirlooms and hand-me-downs to photograph and write about. And so forth.

With more material, an online family history site will fit better than a Genealogy only site.

The answer to both questions is, “No”. With the tools available, if a person can do email and navigate the Internet, that person can learn to write and publish a family history on the Internet with a blogging platform. For most people, even relative beginners, learning how will take only a few hours. In addition, various help facilities are available online.

As mentioned above, it will take most people only a few hours to learn to use the tools. After this learning period, how long it will take to do a family history depends, of course, on how much material will be included.

A benchmark might be less than one week, working a few hours a day, to do a smaller family history of a few pages and 10-20 photographs.

However, in most cases, the writer will take more time than originally thought because there will likely be more material to include than initially estimated.

However, usually the time needed ceases to be an issue because the work becomes interesting and fun!

The simple, but most significant answer is, “Because it’s personally rewarding”. I will explain.

Starting in 2002, I spent hundreds of hours as “Chief Writer and Editor” of the extensive A. E. Garden Family History. (I’m still adding material.)

It was a kick to capture in words the stories about my ancestors that I heard many times – adding associated photos and images of family historical items made it even more fun.

Also, I know that there is now a permanent record of my family history online for not only the present generation, but also for future generations to appreciate – truly gratifying!

The thanks of relatives who repeatedly express their appreciation is also gratifying.

For example, the grandchildren who never knew their grandfather loved reading the stories that characterized him and, in one grandchild’s words, made him seem “real” – their appreciation was worth all my work!

It was also rewarding and fulfilling to work with and develop closer relationships with family members who contributed to this family history.

On a very personal basis, to be able to dedicate this to two people who cared very much about their ancestry – my father and my mother – was a huge satisfaction. My mother had spent many hours on our Genealogy and it felt great to continue and expand her work. Also, in doing the research and the writing, I came to understand better how much my father had been “formed” by his ancestors – and therefore how important ancestors are to all of us.

You may find the results interesting if you enter into your Google search box: “why write a family history“.

©  Copyright  January, 2010 by Dale Garden

Wrote and published extensive online ancestral family history, then began to help others do their own online family histories.

Formerly a corporate manager and management/business consultant now retired.

A simple explanation of family history work and everything you need to know to get started learning about your ancestors.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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