Family History Booklet Advanced Research and Writing



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Family History Booklet

Advanced Research and Writing

You will complete EIGHT of the following assignments. Seven of the eight will be chosen from options 1-10. Option #11 is required! All of the assignments will be compiled into a booklet that you design yourself. It can be displayed in a scrapbook or 3-ring binder. Your booklet should include a table of contents explaining what appears on each page. Basically this labels assignments accordingly. The booklet must also have an attractive cover that you design yourself. Make sure you cite any sources that you use. If you quote somebody, give credit where credit is due. This project is mostly computer generated. Don’t handwrite anything. You may cut/paste like you would with scrapbooking to enhance the visual appeal. Ultimately make it neat and attractive.




  1. If you have an ancestor who moved to America from another country, find out as much as you can about his/her life. Write an essay account of your ancestor’s arrival to America and explain “who, why, when, and where.” Be sure to cite your sources.



  2. Write a historical narrative tracing the roots of your family or your hometown or community. Be sure to include specific details, dialogue, and descriptions of people and places.




  1. Research and create your family tree for at least the last three generations (Parents, Grandparents, Great-Grandparents).Include a short biographical profile on a page(s) following the family tree for each entry whenever possible. Some ideas of things to include as profiles include birth dates, place of birth, death date, place of burial, marriage dates, and place of marriage. You may also include pictures where possible to enhance the details of your ancestry.




  1. Collect at least ten family recipes that are special to your family. Include a copy of each recipe in your booklet and explain the significance of each. Answer questions such as the following:




    • Where did the recipe originate?

    • At what times of the year does your family prepare this recipe?

    • What else is served with this recipe?

    • Are there any interesting facts or stories that accompany this story?



~The recipes may be scanned or attached in original form if you want to preserve the original handwriting of a relative. You may also retype if you would like. This one is your choice. Your question responses should be typed in a paragraph after the actual recipe


  1. Take a photograph of each member of your immediate family, including yourself. Write a character description/biography to accompany each photograph within your booklet. Basic information to include might include birthdate, occupation/year in school, interests/hobbies, etc… You should be able to write at least 2 paragraphs on each person within your family.




  1. Write down five or more proverbs or old sayings that are in your family. Be sure to include where or who they came from and an example of when and how they are used. Explain the significance of the proverb to your family.




  1. Write out descriptions of four or more “folk medicine” cures or health aids that were or are used by your family. Be sure to include the source of your information and what each of these “cures” is used for or was used for. You should also include whether or not you think this “technique” works. (These will probably be brief)




  1. Write down 5 different rules/guidelines that your parents either have for you now or had for you while you were younger. Visit with your parents about these rules/guidelines. Were their decisions to implement these rules based on actions from their parents? Explain. Are these rules/guidelines something that you will incorporate with your own children someday? Why/why not?




  1. Write an essay in which you make comparisons between an older relative and yourself. This may include any characteristics or personality traits you share with your relatives. You will also want to include a picture of you and the individual that you are comparing to allow a visual comparison as well.




  1. Write an essay in which you analyze the traditions in which you and your family celebrate each of the three major holidays each year: Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Break it up to cover traditions of each. This might include what you do, where you go, things you eat, preparations you make, etc…



  1. REQUIRED as the last entry in your “Family History” book. This will be a separate essay!

Family interview: Interview a family member who is at least two generations older than you (grandparents or great aunt/uncle, etc…). If this “generation” requirement is a problem, talk to me and we’ll make modifications accordingly. Your goal is to find out “the way it was.” Ask for as much biographical information as possible: full name, date and place of birth, parents, places where the individual has lived, occupations, etc… You are free to explore other topics that you find interesting such as family life, transportation, housing, clothing, hairstyles, entertainment, games, songs, dating, vacations, books, movies, communication, and education.


RECORD your interview on a cassette tape, DVD, or CD. Make a pocket at the end of your booklet to place this recording. Your goal throughout this interview is to get your subject to really “talk” about his/her past. This may become one of the most valuable family memorabilia that you will ever have, especially if you are able to interview a grandparent or great-grandparent.
Use the information from your interview to draft an essay. You should not only reflect on the life of this family member but also on the impact that your ancestors have had on your life. Which qualities, values, attributes, faults, personality traits, interests, traditions, etc… do you see in yourself that are the result of your ancestors’ impact on your life? In addition, contrast your life today with that of your ancestors. How does your life differ from theirs? In which ways is your life similar to theirs? Then reflect on your future. Which aspects of our life to you hope to be continued in the lives of your children? Why?

***Each of these “assignments” will be considered a chapter in your family history book. Label each accordingly in your table of contents at the beginning, after the title page.***


You may want to also include a photo page with collections of family photos (past & present) with captions to identify family members. This would be an additional option to add extra points and enhance your book. Give it a chapter title and include it in the table of contents.
This book is something to take pride in and excel doing. This is a book that you can pass on to your own children today to preserve your family heritage. ENJOY the family time that this project requires of you.

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