Many of us have compiled more than just family trees: We have stories. Family (and others) are encouraging us to “write it down.” We may have collections of photos and documents to incorporate. Some of us are stressed and perplexed about getting this to future generations who will value it. How do we put it all together?
Sometimes it helps to see an example of what can be done! Below we list some we have found.
Note that most of these examples were published before the Internet era. Now it is easy and free to publish your history online (at Internet Archive, for example, such as Steve Malone has done with the Marvel Family History). You can publish it yourself, or contact us: If it is appropriate, we may be able to publish your document for you in our MCGenealogists online library at Internet Archive.
Examples of Family History Compilations
- Carl and Ulricka Lemke of Wausau, Wisconsin and their Children and Grand-children: A Tribute. A 1960 family history which compiles images from old family albums, as well as personal recollections of various family members. It is part of the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center Collection at Internet Archive. If the family could pull this content together before the computer era, how much easier it is to do this today!
- History Of The Marvel Family: Descendants of Prettyman and Lavina (Rogers) Marvel. Steve Malone provides an example of an earlier 1968 family history which he has personally republished on the Internet Archive to give the earlier work the broader access it deserves. His introductory notes give an example of how he has removed sections detailing people yet living.
Examples of Personal Memories
- Some personal histories, freely downloadable:
- Area Friends Remember When: A Collection of Nostalgic Memories of Times Gone By, 1980. Dr. James E. Mennell, editor, interviewed area residents to record their recollections of past times in the Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania area.
- Memories, by Anna B. Hartshorne, 1910. Just a simple book of stories of people and places.
- Grace Wheeler’s Memories, 1948, Stonington, Connecticut. Mrs. Wheeler stumbled into professional genealogy writing, but her own memoir is approachable, with a table of contents easily mimicked by the rest of us humble folks.
- Memories and Traditions by Jane Baldwin Cotton, 1909. She was particularly requested by a family member to write about people within her memory.
- Memories of Long Ago (Pioneer Stories), by Shirley Clayton and Blanche Burnot Elliott, 1956.
- Memories of the Prairies, by J. Palmer Kvam, 1960.
- Journal of a Grandfather, by William Edgar Hughes, 1912. A biographical memoir written for his granddaughter.
- Grandfather and Grandmother Howser and Some Friends: Their Lives and Times, edited by Martin Luther Howser, 1926. An early self-publishing example, notable for its method of organizing histories, photographs, and contributions of others to provide a comprehensive perspective of family, church, and community life.
- Memories of Grandmother, by Vivian Elliott White, 1958. A collection of poems reflecting on the heritage of love and life passed on by her Illinois pioneer grandmother.
- Grandmother Wilcher Diaries. A modern compilation that demonstrates the use of interviews and an unpublished personal history to compile background stories. These are followed by photo-images of pages from a 1968 daily diary.
Photo Credits: All images from this page are screen captures from the documents which they reference.