Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Monday, August 09, 2010

Writing Your Personal History I intended to write about my research on my uncle Evans' ancestry. Then I intended to write my answers to some technical questions about sorting out multiple data files in PAF (Personal Ancestral File), but my mind keeps coming back to a powerful article at In part it says, "Instead of starting out chronologically stating your life events (year by year that is), try compiling stories by topic." It then goes on to make numerous great suggestions of topics to write on. Suddenly a light went on! My attempts to keep a journal or personal history have always floundered. I think a year and a half is the maximum I have ever maintained any sort of journal. It tends to degenerate into a boring sameness. Much of my life is very routine and I am (by and large) very comfortable with that. People whose lives are full of danger and excitement tend to come to a short if dramatic end. I have things I still want to accomplish before departing this life. Incurring danger deliberately just so that I can tell everyone that I live dangerously seems rather pointless to me. I get more satisfaction from being in a situation where I can help people in various ways. Writing my personal history by topic seems more interesting because after a page or two, my reader is introduced to a different aspect of my life's experience. So far I have written on housing and on transportation, with many additional topics to cover. And if I never finish, I have at least introduced my family to two topics that they might not have known about me. I think that family histories are important. I suggest that you try this approach to writing your personal history. The link above will help you to get started. Let me know whether it worked for you.


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