Monday, 29 August, 2016
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Whether you have been researching your family history for months or years, you will no doubt have amassed a lot of information. 

Record your story

For many reasons it's important to write it down - don't wait for somebody else to do it!

  • It will help you make sense of what you have already uncovered. Sometimes having the records simply isn't enough. You need to understand the context, get the story straight in your head and writing out a narrative will certainly help.

  • It's important! Your family story is vital to your understanding of your self, your locality and place in the world. The people who shaped your life - parents, grandparents and great grandparents may no longer be available so it is really important to get their viewpoint first hand.

  • Family stories add colour to records that can be very one dimensional. Did your ancestor receive a medal, was he/she awarded the freedom of a city, did they travel far away and write home, were they a member of a team or society?

  • Many records and archives exist for families what were well-off. Even if your family were poor farm labourers living with little to their name, their story is important. It sheds light on the difficult lives they led, indicating how they handled adversity and celebrated triumphs.

  • It might clarify something learned previously or point you in a new direction. New resources become available regularly and having a good grasp of your family story means you can take best advantage of any newly available source.  

  • Also, a family health history is an important part of modern preventative medicine.  Knowledge of potential health risks within your extended family can help early detection and treatment for illnesses.  Your research may help detect or prevent ill health in your family


Maybe your ancestor played a team sport?

De La Salle College, Waterford, 1901 © NLI

Share your family history on the Ireland XO Chronicles

We know that many of us are actually researching the same family histories - though we may not have ever met or even know of each others' existance! Sharing what you know about your ancestors on the Ireland XO Chronicles allows other people who are researching the same histories to add to your story.  It also enables people in the local Irish parish to fill in the missing gaps - often key information about our ancestors is held locally, either in records such as school rollcalls or popular folklore.

You can create a person, a building or retell an event in the Ireland XO Chronicles.  It's completely free and open to all members.  Click here to find out more.