Oct 17

Family Histories: The Challenge and Importance

In this article over on CNN, managing editor Mark Whitaker explores the importance of unearthing and transcribing one’s family history. He underscores the occasional need to “dig deep” in order to find the full story. For Mark, his history in journalism proved to be an important skill for his effort. He used research to further his cause: family documents, and historical documents that referenced his family’s location.

He’s absolutely right. One of the challenges in uncovering family stories: often, the family member doesn’t remember the whole thing. That’s why at Memoir Tree, we’re offering two ways to help uncover the whole family story:

  1. Use old photos: One way to initiate conversation is to start with an important family photo. It may be on your shelf, or your mantle, or in a photo album. What that photo can help do is spark a memory of an old event. That spark, hopefully, will lead to a full-on blaze of memories that we can help you record, share, and save for your future generations.
  2. Use interview questions: Or, if such photos don’t exist, you can look for help to start a conversation. That help may come in the form of a set of interview questions, designed to help get the process started. Once you’ve gone through a few questions, then the memories can really start to flow.

In a few short days, we will begin our beta test. Hopefully, when our feedback comes back, we will learn that we’ve created a neat tool that would have been helpful to Mr. Whitaker during his own family search. At the very least, we hope it will be useful to readers like you.

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