The Importance of Creating Your Family History


Do you keep old letters, favorite recipes, and family photographs from years past? Understanding your family history, knowing the stories of prior generations and where they came from, can give individuals an essential sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. While not everyone may be a genealogy expert, there can be many ways that you can create your family history to pass down to future generations. Writing down or otherwise recording family stories, creating scrapbooks or an online database for photographs and recipes, and including important family details in your estate plan are all wonderful ways to preserve your legacy.

We wanted to share these thoughts with you this month. Especially since it is National Deviled Egg Month, one of our own Attorney Beth Prather’s favourite things to eat! 

Family lore can be incredibly important for children to understand where they came from, what the relationships between other family members were like, and whether particular highlights or struggles in their family history shaped the way their parents and grandparents looked at life. Writing down family stories told by older generations can help ensure that their descendants will know their history even after those family members have passed on. Making a video recording of family members telling their stories can be even better than writing. Just make sure to back up the recordings and perhaps transcribe in more than one method. After all, how many of us have VHS home movies that we still have not gotten around to converting?

It can be tough to think about sitting down to create a photo album, with most of our photos taken on cell phones and thousands to sift through at a time. While making an old-fashioned scrapbook filled with photos, recipes, ticket stubs, and other mementoes can be fun, however, there are other ways to organize this stuff in an easy manner. Creating a cloud storage file where you put all of your important photos and recipes is one method. You can allow all family members to access the cloud in order to download, print, and create their own books with whatever is most meaningful to them.

Making sure that your will outlines what should happen to items of sentimental value, that may be important pieces of your family history, can also be a great way to preserve your legacy. Careful estate planning will also smooth the way forward for your heirs, minimizing disputes and hopefully providing for continued strong family bonds. For assistance in establishing a comprehensive estate plan that will help preserve your legacy, please call our office to schedule an appointment.