Friday, March 24, 2017

Four Creative Ideas for Sharing Family Stories

Have you started preserving your family stories yet?  Have you decided how you want to SHARE your family stories?  Having them is great, but having them accessible to as many family members as possible is ideal.  Today I bring you four creative ideas for sharing your family's stories.

If you missed {what's so important about family stories}, be sure you check it out at that link!


Storybooks, of course, are an excellent way to tell an individual's story. From adoption stories to life stories, storybooks are a beautiful way to preserve and share a family story.

What about telling Grandpa's life story as if he were the hero in a story?

What about telling your love story as a fairy tale?

Storybooks are also an excellent way to tell a family's story.  We often call that a family history.  Include pedigree charts so you know who is connected to whom.  Include photos of the old homestead or the motherland or early photos of family members.

What about creating a family motto and writing about "what it means to be a Jones"?

What about telling the stories of your legacy of faith or hard work?

Storybooks are a tactile way to bring information into the heart.  Learn more here.


Another fun way to really connect family members is by creating playing cards.  Yes, you read that right--playing cards.  

This set at the right has pictures of family members with some brief family facts.  You could use a family-themed playing card deck as a regular playing card deck (King, Queen, Ace, etc.), but you could also create a family matching game like this set.

You're just seeing the back of the cards here, of course, but the fronts have family faces for matching.

You can be really creative here and use your imagination.  What you're seeing here are templates, but they're fully editable, so you can change ANY element from the background and style to the way you want the cards to read.

I love this game called Family Trivia.  What a fun way to learn family stories in an interactive way!

UPDATE 2022:  The playing cards were made with Heritage Makers.  However, Heritage Makers is currently being updated to a new software platform that doesn't require Adobe Flash to run (which Adobe has discontinued).  For the time being, it's easier for you to order these items from me--meaning I make them for you--than it will be for you to make them in your own Heritage Makers account.  Just contact me with questions and/or to order card decks.

How about another option for preserving and sharing family stories?

My mom was a cook.  Her mom was a cook.  And HER mom was a cook.  Preserving our family's history was really important to my mom, and one way she did it was by preserving the history of FOOD in our family.  True story.

But think about it:  A history of a family told through food and recipes can give an accurate description of everyday life for that family, the personalities of the family, and the times in which they lived.

My grandmother, for example, was a child during the Great Depression.  She was a naturally ingenious and resourceful woman, to boot.  She learned to bottle (or "can") things and would bottle everything you can think of, including chicken and fish.  She had a green thumb and a thriving garden every year, so their garage was full of food she had bottled.

Her mother, my great-grandmother, lived during a World War and the Flu Epidemic before living through the Great Depression.  Her gift was to bring joy, and she would invite neighbors over for games and cake--and she would bake a prize (like a penny or a thimble) into the cake!

Their recipes reflect their personalities and their local harvest as much as the times.  Recipes and original handwriting and stories and details really bring our family history to life.

Since my mom's original history of our family through food, I've made some family cookbooks myself and added current photos of each family member.  Family favorites are a fun way to focus on getting to know family members.  And you know what to cook when they come over, too!  Here's a great cookbook option.

Let's look at one more creative way of sharing family history.  This one is very simple.

Is there something you remember your grandma always saying?  Or your dad?  That's a part of your family history.  Those little gems often get passed down from generation to generation, but they often remain an oral tradition and don't usually get put in print.  Don't run the risk of those pearls getting lost over time.  Record them.

They could be part of a storybook or longer personal history or family story, of course, but what about putting that phrase into something you and your family could see every day?!

Like this sweet quote from Grandma Whipple (who, by the way, is not my grandma--I found this lovely 8x12 canvas in the Heritage Makers template gallery.  I kinda want to have this printed up and pretend she WAS my grandma, though!)

Think about putting a family quote on {a canvas or metal print}. These sweet little reminders are part of your family history, and an easy way to bring family history into your life every day.

These are just a few of the creative ways to share family history in simple, fun, and meaningful ways.  Writing a whole story is a fantastic, thorough way to communicate family history, but remember there are lots of ways to pass on family culture and experiences and history.  Find something that works for YOU.

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This post was first published on March 24, 2017, at by Jennifer Wise.
More #familyhistoryfriday posts can be found by clicking the label (#familyhistoryfriday) below or by searching it in the Blog Archive in the sidebar (scroll down).


  1. I like the book ideas for stories and recipes. Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 98. Shared.

    1. I really do, too. It is such a neat family treasure. Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing! :)


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