Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Yesterday, friend Katie Walker shared her love of family history. Today, she shares just how she has gone about recording and getting printed her family's history.

My current ongoing endeavor with family history work is journaling and writing personal and family
histories. The most important part of journaling is to do it! Figure out what works for you and get
going. There are many ways to start writing personal and family histories. I’ve written one personal
history from memory which includes my four years of high school. I was taught that it is best to write your life story (or help a parent, grandparent, etc) in segments, and focusing on one segment at a time makes it easier: childhood, teenage years, employment, spiritual experiences, courtship, college years, etc.

Family Histories
I started to be better about recording the events of our lives when my first baby was born. I recorded
her first year very detailed, and printed it to a beautiful treasure of a book. I loved it so much I began
the project of recording the year of our family. And I intend to continue doing it every year. I can’t
guarantee that it will be as in depth, but I’ll try my hardest to do something each year.

As I work on my book throughout the year, I separate everything by month. I include milestones, journal entries, recipes, updates, pictures (tons of pictures), my testimony, traditions, spiritual experiences and lessons learned, and anything else that comes to my mind in the process. One way you could look at it is that pretty much what is normally blogged on family blogs goes into my books.

What I Have Learned About Recording My Family History

1. It is extremely rewarding—the Spirit confirms to me that it is important and worthy of my time.
2. An elephant never forgets, but I’m a human. There’s so much about our life that I would have
forgotten had I not recorded it—fun, uplifting, very dear memories and sweet moments.
3. Nephi 9:5 “Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in
him, which purpose I know not.” –When I was wrapping up 2009, thoughts came in to my mind
of additions to make. The most important was my testimony at the end. Immediately when I
started considering 2010, thoughts started pouring into my mind of what I should include. I’m
not sure what these books will mean to my family in the future, but I can imagine…and I think
the Lord has a purpose in it.
4. Along those same lines, much like what Elder Eyring told of in his talk,  it’s probably not for me. “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.”
5. As we leave written accounts of our lives and testimonies it turns our hearts toward our children
and we provide them with a means for turning theirs to us.

I love family history work. I tend to love whichever aspect I am prompted to be working on at the time
the most. But I’ve experienced several of its dimensions, and there is such a sweet spirit any time
I’m involved in any of them. It truly is the Lord’s work—whether it is redeeming the dead, or helping
our posterity remember righteous traditions and the faith of their fathers. I hope that if you’ve felt
prompted to incorporate family history into your life that you will follow those promptings. I know you
and your family will be blessed.

For what it’s worth: There are several online bookmakers, but I use for my projects. When I was trying to decide who to use, they were super user-friendly and the price was unbeatable. My books
usually have about 1000 images and over 200 pages, and the most I’ve spent (using their highest quality, largest size) is $160. I would pay ten times that for these books. I LOVE them!


Thanks so much Katie. I hope y'all feel as inspired by her endeavor as I have. I'd love to hear mamas,  how you are recording your family's history? Is it doable or is it a monstrous effort? I want to complete our family's history this year and would love your ideas.


runningfan said...

I blog faithfully (in text-heavy fashion) and make Blurb books as well. I am behind on my kids' individual books (which I pull from blog posts), but have almost three years of blogs printed. It's a treasured family history, for sure!

Linds said...

I write in my journal plus each child's journal. it seems like a lot at times, but i love that they will have something handwritten from me. I write about an entry a month and just include any stories or milestones. The first year of life is more detailed, but you get the picture. They each have their own photo album as well and I print pics as I go. I have one for Jeff and I that include some of the kids pics but not all. Altogether it is a complete history of our family.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...