When you begin adding stories to our FamilyArc Storyline, it may be difficult to know where to start. Recording your family history can be an overwhelming task! One simple way to start is to begin writing the stories of various milestones in your family. What makes a story a “milestone” is really up to you, but here are ten ideas to get you started.
Has a new child, grandchild, cousin, nephew, or niece been born recently? Chances are your Facebook page has already exploded with new photos and “Congratulations” messages. Start collecting those items and archiving them on your Storyline. Record the birth story, and ask the new parents whether they would like to include a message for their child to read in the future.
#2: First Day of School
Whether this is the first day of Kindergarten, junior high, high school, or college, you know you’re going to want to remember this moment. If you’re a parent, take a photo, and write a note to your student, describing your feelings upon watching them go off to school. If you’re the student, describe the experiences you had on your first day. What went well? What didn’t go well? What do you wish you had done differently?
#3: Family Moves
Family moves, whether to a new house or new city, always signify a period of change and transition. Write about what led to the decision to move, how the decision affected the family, what the new house looked like, etc. Don’t forget to include photos of the old house, new house, and moving process if you have them.
Like the first day of school stories, graduation stories could be about Kindergarten, high school, or college graduations. Describe the ceremony, and include a few snapshots. Consider collecting messages of encouragement or congratulations for the graduate and including them in the story.
#5: First Day of Work
Maybe this is the story of your first job. Maybe it’s a story about how your dad started his own business. Whatever the case, work affects us all and plays a major role in most of our lives. Mark the importance of a new job by writing a milestone story about how you found your job, what your feelings were upon accepting the position, and how the first day went.
Wedding stories are natural milestones to include on your Storyline. Since so many photos are taken at weddings, you could turn this into a visually-driven story, made up mostly of pictures and captions. Or you could write the couple’s love story, or gather notes of encouragement and advice from friends and family members.
#7: Awards, News Headlines, & Honorary Degrees
Has anyone in your family won an award? Had a story written about them in the local newspaper? Earned an honorary degree from a university? All of these are important events to record for future children and grandchildren to remember. Gather photos from the important day, and scan any certificates or articles so that you can include the digital copy in the story.
The last day of work is just as important as the last one. Take this opportunity to interview the retiree. How long had he been working at this particular job? What did she enjoy or not enjoy about the job? What does he wish he would have done differently in his career? What are her hopes and dreams for retirement? All of these details can be included in the story. If appropriate, you may also want to collect a few notes from co-workers about the impact your family member had on their lives through working together.
#9: Milestone Anniversaries & Birthdays
Is it Grandma and Grandpa’s golden anniversary? Snap a photo, and ask their advice on making a marriage last. Or is it Great-Grandpa’s 90th birthday? Gather the family for a four or five-generation picture, and ask Great-Grandpa about his memories growing up during the Great Depression. Or maybe it’s the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Interview your older relatives about their memories of that day. Any of these stories would make a great addition to your family history Storyline.
Sad as the occasion will be, funerals may be one of the best places to gather memories of a dearly loved family member. Ask your mom for her favorite memories of her father, or your dad for the best piece of advice he received from his grandmother. Honor the passing of your relative with a celebration of his or her life through a new collection of photos and stories.
Whenever you add a new milestone story to your FamilyArc Storyline, don’t forget to mark it as a “milestone” within the Add a Story software. This will give it a larger, more prominent position on Storyline and ensure that family members notice it when scanning through stories. Let us know if you need any help writing your family history or collecting more stories! Our professional services team would love to assist you in your family’s storytelling journey.
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