"I don't like FAMILY HISTORY, I just like the HISTORY of my FAMILY"

We just got home from our friend's house and he was telling us some wonderful & fascinating stories about his family's history.  He didn't realize he was a closet "family historian."  In fact, my favorite quote of the night was, "I don't like family history, I just like the history of my family," which he insisted was different until we pointed out this quote by Elder Alan F Packer to him:
"Family history is more than genealogy, rules, names, dates, and places. It is more than a focus on the past. Family history also includes the present as we create our own history. It includes the future as we shape future history through our descendants. A young mother, for example, sharing her family stories and pictures with her children is doing family history work."
(One of my favorites, I might add). So the point is, after listening to his stories and witnessing the pride he had in his heritage it made me reflect on the fact that we all likely have many fascinating stories in our own family trees. Though I consider myself a family historian, I don't even know many of my own.  We seem to focus on the same lines over and over, so some I've heard snippets of here and there, but others I've never had the opportunity to hear because there's so much work to be done on a family tree that sometimes the stories of the grands and the great-grands get neglected.

So...thanks to the great resources at FamilySearch.org, their approved app "All the Stories," and the fact that only 5 generations back I already have 56 GREAT grandparents to discover; I've decided to take a challenge, and issue a challenge to you, #aFamilyStoryaDay -- Read, write, tell, or share a family story a day

So let me introduce you to some resources to help you succeed at this challenge.

Find a story about a grand or a great-grand and dig in. 

The FamilySearch Family Tree App is a great tool for starting on your own pedigree.  Pick a line and work your way up. I like to pick the first grandparent I didn't know and start digging into the stories that are there.  A second option would be to login to the "All the Stories" app, which syncs with your FamilySearch tree and pulls all the stories that are already connected to your ancestors and compiles them into a list.  On the list it shows you your approximate read time so you know the length of each story.  It also compiles your tree with blue circles--the darker the blue of the circle, the more stories on that ancestor.  This is awesome for helping you to find where you may be able to track down some stories from your living relatives.

Write, or record your story or a story from a loved one.

StoryWorth is one of my favorites for this. StoryWorth is a subscription account, but it's been worth every penny to me for the 3 years I've been using it.  You can set up multiple "storytellers" to your account.  When you add a storyteller, StoryWorth sends them an email once a week asking them a random question that you can populate from their creative list of unique questions.  The storyteller can respond via email, or request a phone call and record their answer orally.  I've had huge success using this with both my parents and grandparents, learning unique stories about each of them.  I also have myself as a storyteller and I really enjoying answer the unique questions.  It's definitely a fun way to capture more interesting things about your life.

Or you can turn to a standard journaling app, where you can journal on any device in any location.  There are some great apps out there.  I personally use Journey: it's a great free app that includes some fun bells and whistles like tagging, locations, calendaring, photos, etc.... It also syncs with your Google account, which I really like.  Here's the best article I found that sums up the Best Journaling Apps, every one I would recommend is on that list.
Day One     Journey     Momento     Penzu     Diaro

Tell a story about you or one you've recently learned to someone who might enjoy it.

Telling someone in person is a great option.  It's a fun way to share in the fun of the story, but if you find that you aren't sure whom to tell, you can always whip out your FamilySearch Memories app and record yourself telling the story, then attach it to whomever the story is about.

Share a story you've found. Upload a new story from your family records.

Head back to FamilySearch.org to their Memories feature to upload a story about your grandparents or great-grandparents.  You can also use the Memories app for this, and you can take a picture of a document, story, or picture that has a related story.

There you have it.  Share your #aFamilyStoryaDay on social media and encourage others to share in the fun.

My first story is brought to me by Almeda Bell Atkinson, my great-grandmother on my mother's father's side. My favorite moment of her story was her testimony that, "...whatever we are asked to do, if we do our very best, God will take care of the rest.

Happy Story Reading, Writing, Telling & Sharing!


  1. Olivia,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2017/06/janas-genealogy-fab-finds-for-june-30.html

    Have a great weekend!


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