17 Apr 2010
If you’ve spent time with the “more mature” relatives in your family, then it’s likely that you’ve heard your grandparents, or even great-grandparents, share stories from their youth and the old days. Perhaps they’ve even told you stories about your parents when they were kids. These are always great fun to hear.
While we’ve all listened to these kinds of stories countless times and perhaps even consider them to be family treasures, the simple fact is that unless we take the time to write them down, they can easily be lost forever.
Some of my most treasured childhood memories are listening to my great-grandmother share stories of her visit to the 1904 World’s Fair. She was the first generation of my family to be born in the United States. My children never met my great-grandmother as she passed away years before they were born. If I don’t take the time to retell her stories and share their value with the younger members of my family they will be forgotten. This would be a sad loss for my family.
If you have family stories that you want your children to remember, then write them down!
Your stories don’t have to be treasured family memories either. Does your family have a running joke? Is there something guaranteed to make your parents laugh? Do you have a fun (or perhaps semi-embarrassing) story to share about yourself from adolescent years? Even seemingly trivial stories can be meaningful to your descendants in years to come.
Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. So here are a few prompts to help get your creative juices flowing:
- Who is your oldest family member? Write down something that makes him or her interesting to you. Perhaps your favorite memory of them. What did they do for a living? Do they have an interesting hobby?
- How did your parents, or grandparents meet? How did you and your spouse meet?
- What is one of your earliest childhood memories?
It’s easy to add these kind of memories to your Mundia family tree. To add a story to your tree, simply open the profile of the person who the story is about. Give the story a title and add details in the “Tell us more” box. If you want to get fancy, you can even attach a photo, video or audio file to your story.
Once your story is saved, invite your relatives to read it and have them add their own stories. They can also enrich your stories by adding details and leaving comments with their own memories.