Writing Wednesday: Family history

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This month I am visiting relatives for the first time in several years. My grandparents have all passed on, but my husband’s grandparents are still with us and in their 90’s. Visiting their house and seeing decades of family photos makes me wish I’d done a better job of recording our family history.

I keep journals that I hope my kids will enjoy reading later, but I wonder if there is a more useful or interesting way of recording their childhood and my own life. Now that I am older I would love to ask my grandmother what life was like when she was my age and her kids were young.

When I was in 5th grade I did a history project where I interviewed my grandparents about their lives. My grandmothers wrote me letters about their husbands in the war, growing up during the Depression, taking the trolley into town and other aspects of their lives. Unfortunately I’ve moved so many times since then I don’t know where those letters are now. I should have kept them in a safe someplace, not only for myself but because by the time my children are old enough to be interested, that bit of family history will be long gone from anyone’s living memory.

Do you keep a written family history? How do you do it?

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