My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together

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A daughter comforts her elderly mother
When we rely on the people around us, we can gain greater strength than if we were suffering alone.

Our history begins before we are born. We represent the hereditary influences of our race, and our ancestors virtually live in us.James Nasmyth

Every time we drove through Joseph City, Arizona, my dad’s teeny tiny hometown on old Route 66, he’d point and say, “That’s where Grandpa and Grandma Tanner lived,” “That’s the wash where I rode the cow,” “That used to be the Jack Rabbit where we would tie bumper stickers on cars for half a cent a bumper sticker,” “That’s where the barn that Jeff burned down used to be,” etc, etc, etc. As a teenager, I may have rolled my eyes once or twice during the forced family tours. In February though, when I traveled back to that hometown with dad and mom for a funeral, I really hoped he’d tell me those stories again.  I even asked him to take a walk with me and we walked around the town, and he told me a quick history of every building , and I took pictures of significant spots in his, and therefore my, family history.

I was born by myself but carry the spirit and blood of my father, mother and my ancestors. So I am really never alone. My identity is through that line.”  Ziggy Marley

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages families to record their family’s stories. The Church created a booklet called “My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together” to guide you in recording information. You can purchase the booklet for $1.00 or enter the information digitally on familysearch.org/myfamily or just record your thoughts and stories anyway you choose.

Start with yourself!  What’s your birth date? Where were you born? What do you want people to learn about you? What are your hobbies, interests, and favorite traditions? Add a picture.

Who is your father? What is his birth date? Where was he born?  Share some stories and memories about him.  Add a picture of him.  When and where was he married? Add a death date and place if applicable.

Who is your mother? What is her birth date? Where was she born?  Share some stories and memories about her.  Add a picture of her.  When and where was she married? Add a death date and place, if applicable.

Who are your siblings?  Add their names, birth dates and places, death dates and places if applicable.

Who is your dad’s father? What is his birth date? Where was he born?  Share some stories and memories about him.  Add a picture of him.  When and where was he married? Add a death date and place, if applicable.

Who is your dad’s mother? What is her birth date? Where was she born?  Share some stories and memories about her.  Add a picture of her.  When and where was she married? Add a death date and place, if applicable.

Who are your dad’s siblings?  Add their names, birth dates and places, death dates and places if applicable.

Continue with your mom’s parents and then all of your great grandparents. Enlist the help of other relatives or source documents to gather information and stories about your ancestors.

 

Our ancestors are totally essential to our every waking moment, although most of us don’t even have the faintest idea about their lives, their trials, their hardships or challenges.Annie Lennox

 

Check out https://familysearch.org for locations of family history centers, accessing free digital records and photographs, and to start your family tree online for free!

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media-library/video/2013-01-102-do-something-that-really-matters?category=family-history/01-getting-started&lang=eng

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media-library/video/2013-08-104-watching-my-grandson-play-ball?lang=eng

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love exploring the world, experiencing nature, assimilating truth, and hanging out with my husband. One of my life goals is to visit every LDS temple in the world. I've been to 101.