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Research Notes 2020-6-8

Research Notes

Storytelling * Recommended Reading * Journaling

We’re spending a lot of time at home these days, but thanks to some Amazon gift cards for my birthday, I have several impressive books to help me find more of my ancestors and to tell the stories my research discovers. Combine that with a very nice journaling app and I’m even getting organized.


How to Trace Your Family Tree in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

This book is drop-dead beautiful, but don’t let it fool you. It’s full of useful information, resources and research tips. The photographs are delightful. It isn’t cheap, but it is worth every penny.

It covers a broad range of topics going back to pre-1538 research, working lives, property laws, military and more.

Next on the list is Annette Gendler’s How to Write Compelling Stories from Family History. This book is focused on how to shape family history into compelling stories. Her chapter on How to Find Interesting Stories is delightful. She introduces it with “You don’t want to be the boring aunt at the Thanksgiving table who goes on and on about so-and-so who married so-and-so and emigrated from Poland.”

How true! Her book is full of useable ideas and is never boring. There’s even a chapter on how not to be boring. Her prompts are full of great ideas like Write about one of your family’s sayings. My grandmother/mother/father/uncle used to say, “_________.”


How does a journal fit into storytelling? Today’s digital journals aren’t just for writing. A journal app on a mobile phone is always nearby, making it easy to capture special moments like a child’s first steps. Most of these journaling apps support capturing photos, videos and sounds. Even so, there’s still plenty of room to include text.

The stories your journal captures can easily be saved to a writing app for editing and adding to a storytelling project.


Looking for more storytelling ideas?  You will find them at the Storytellers Studio blog.


Final Notes

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