Sharing Family History; An Important Tradition

September 2, 2022

Elizaveta Garifullina, Low Entropy Volunteer Writer


Probably everyone has thought about the history of their family at least once. Learning more about the history of your family and each of its members can be very useful for a person, however, everyone chooses whether it is important for themselves and whether said person wants to understand their history. This is indescribably useful, but long and voluminous work, especially if you are going to conduct research yourself. But there are many resources and genealogical organizations that can do this work for you.


There are several reasons that most often push people to study their family history:


  1. Death of close relatives. Most often, our older relatives pass away without telling us the most important subjects of their family history. Then there is a desire to preserve the memory of the family history and learn as much as possible about distant relatives, because it is the knowledge of the history of our family that keeps these people in our hearts.


  1. Information about relocation. Many people are interested in where their ancestors lived before they moved to where they live now. It also makes them want to know the nationalities included in the genus in order to understand the full range of their personality and study the culture of their ancestors.


  1. Confirmation of family legends. Almost every family has its own legends associated with various historical events – repressions, migrations, wars or even noble origin.


  1. The desire to understand ourselves. Many psychologists and sociologists have long said that our family has a very strong influence on us, including as many as seven generations, so by studying the history of your family, you can understand a lot about yourself along with your patterns and fears. Studying the pedigree is the same as self-knowledge, it is a very valuable experience that gives moral strength.


  1. The desire to strengthen the closeness of the family. The acquired knowledge will give you a sense of connection with your family and an involvement in something bigger. It is also perfect for team building. Working together on a family study helps the family to unite. This is a very good way to unite generations in one meaningful activity.


What should be done to study the genus in the first stages?


  1. You must collect from your relatives everything that may matter: documents, photographs, workbooks, letters, military tickets.
  2. Sort all the documents and letters you have collected by dates and locations.
  3. Digitize documents using a flatbed scanner or a mobile application that will allow you to digitize documents qualitatively.
  4. Conduct an interview with your relatives. Before that, explain why you want to perpetuate their memories so they are more likely to answer your questions more willingly and remember more details. When conducting an interview, you can use the documents that you collected earlier. Prepare and compose questions, record interviews on a dictaphone or camera and be an active listener.
  5. After the interview, go to the archive. Before that, find out how it works.
  6. Organize everything you have received thanks to the interview and archive.


Interview structure:


  1. Full name and date of birth, exact place of birth, full name of spouse and children
  2. Education, date and place of study
  3. Place of work, positions held with dates (+ participation in military operations)
  4. The atmosphere of childhood, where and how it happened
  5. All trips, if any
  6. The best moment in their life
  7. Difficult moments and lessons learned from this
  8. Relationships with parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. Their verbal portraits
  9. Monetary sphere, were there any difficulties related to money
  10. Has this person moved, and if so, why


How can you organize all the information you receive?


  • Family Book
  • Documentary film
  • Family tree design (up to 250 people, you can create a family tree yourself on various online resources)
  • Family branding
  • Thematic essay
  • Video interview


Both the movie and the book will be the perfect gift. For the next generations as a transfer of experience, and for elderly relatives – a pleasant gift with their participation.


You can contact the genealogical organizations that do this and restore the family history or conduct your own research, but this is a huge and hard task. However, there are several resources that will help you with this work and will take most of it on themselves that are reliable sources, but you should understand that you should already know enough information and understand how to search for this yourself.


You can do all the work yourself, but it will definitely be more difficult and take much longer, especially if you do it alone, however it is definitely worth all your efforts. You and your family will be incredibly proud of the work done.



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