Sharman Tullis Gill, “Family Story Ideas,” Ensign, Apr. 2008, 75
Does it seem like an overwhelming task to record your personal and family histories? Actually, it may be more doable and enjoyable than you think. I’ve discovered some fun ways to broaden how we might preserve our precious history.
• Ancestral safari. Organize an outing where family members retell old stories at the sites where they occurred. This is a great opportunity for grandchildren to learn about their ancestors. Don’t forget an audio tape recorder and camera to preserve everyone’s recollections. Perhaps make it an annual tradition.
• Family recipe book. Collect favorite family recipes and any memories or stories associated with them. You will probably find that reminiscing about the aromas, textures, and tastes of favorite foods will bring back a flood of memories. You can work solo on the project or make it a cooperative effort.
• Memory books. Compile a book of recollections focusing on a particular person, such as a child. You might include handwriting samples, news clippings, schoolwork, and photos. Be sure to include your own memories or journal entries about the person.
• Heirloom stories. Any heirloom becomes more meaningful if it’s presented with a simple written history about its original owner. You could include how the individual acquired it, how it was used, original cost (if known), and any family stories associated with it.
• Quilts. Create a stitched family history using such materials as favorite pieces of clothing, blankets, or curtains. Perhaps the quilt could be put together over the years as a child grows up. When it is finished, include an heirloom story, sharing the memories associated with the various fabric pieces.