This is Step One -- Start with yourself.
It may seem overly simplistic, but you start your family history with yourself. Your history is beginning of your family's history. Your personal family history may include photos, diaries, journals, memorabilia, certificates and other items that will have value to tell about your life to your family in future. You should begin now to digitize and share those items that can be shared. This should especially include anything that you alone can relate or identify. You can learn about writing a personal history from a number of websites. Here is a short list to start you off.
- Write a Personal History
- Family History Quick Start, Writing your Personal History
- Leaving Your Enduring Legacy
- How to Store and Preserve Your Personal History
- Library of Congress, Preservation Directorate
The Library of Congress website is especially helpful in providing up-to-date information on preservation and conservation. Their instructions cover the following types of collections:
- Scrapbooks and Albums
- Comic Books
- Audio-Visual: Grooved Media, Magnetic Tape, and Optical Discs
- Audio-Visual: Motion Picture Film
- Asian Bindings
I recently helped a friend record a few recollections from his life. He died shortly after I did the recording and his family were so grateful I had prevailed on him to record what I did. You may not think your life interesting or important but I can assure you that your grandchildren will appreciate your efforts to document your life. Your children may come around sometime but don't expect this until you are almost ready to die. If you have no children, then there is an even more important reason to record your life.
Previous posts in this series are listed here: