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Writing a family history can help bring back the readers to the journey of the family as it expands through the years. 

Kenny Harmon’s books reflect on family history, traditions, experiences, and personal journeys through the years. The author and internet’s Sad Papaw shares how his family came to be from the sweet soils of Oklahoma and how they expanded and graced Earth with their family values.

Kenny Harmon or Sad Papaw wrote and published four books: Sad Papaw’s Heritage, Sad Papaw: The Early Years, Reflections Part I, and Reflections Part II. These books mostly dwell on the story of his family and how they cope with the changes they witnessed in time.

Writing one’s family history is not an easy task. But why do people write the story of their family over the years? Here are essential points to ponder:

Connection to the Future Generations

Writing a family history might not be important to some, but it will surely make an impact on future generations. A well-documented family history might be something that someone in the future generation needs to have for claims of name, artifacts, wealth, recipes, or traditions. Writing one right now can create a stronger connection with how your family came to be.

The Family’s Link to Historical Events

Another reason to write a family history is your link to historical events. In 2020, the world experienced a global pandemic that everyone living today witnessed. This fact already makes you someone who is living a historical event. In future textbooks, people may wonder how life was during the COVID-19 pandemic. And you were there. You saw everything from how it started to how it affects you and the family to how everyone surpassed the dark time.

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Defined Genealogy 

Family trees are an abstract chart that connects an individual to different people through time and locations. Meanwhile, a family history tells the story of your family and each of its members, providing notes on how it expanded through different experiences.

The Importance of Your Family

Your unit of the family is important. Every member has an endeavor that could change the course of the family’s fate. A family history can document this and puts each person in the book as an important individual. Of course! Each individual has a weight of importance for the future generations, trying to know the history of their family.

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Concrete Documentation of Family Stories

Family stories can distort or change over time. Passing them down through mouth is also not reliable as some can easily forget details that could be important in telling the story of a family business or tradition. Writing down the family history can create concrete documentation of accounts and testimonials about certain experiences.

Documentation of the Female Lines

The female members of families can go missing in family trees because they tend to change their family name once married. A family history does not only connect a female member to a unit; it also tells how she expanded the genealogy web across locations.

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Connection to Distant Relatives

Again, female members can get lost in the family tree over time. However, writing a family history lets you find this connection to other people who might not have the same family name as you because, in the distant past, a female member created a nuclear family.

Photo by Nicole Michalou

Reflection

Writing a family history also lets the writer reflect on him as an individual in the family web. This reflection makes one wiser and more emphatic when it comes to the members of the family. It makes one understand how one family does a certain tradition. Through storytelling and accounts from each member of the main and nuclear families, you can get insights and information on how the family came to be.

Do you plan on writing the history of your family?