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for ideas and resources
to bring your family history to life
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Resources to enhance your family history

General History Resources
Diaries and Letters
Migration Patterns & Trails
Timelines & Chronologies
Wars & the Military
Helpful Tools on the Internet

Annotated bibliography of genealogy how-to books

Social History Topics

Family & Home Life

Annotated bibliography of social history books.

Writing Resources

Writing Resources on the Web

GenGuide: Get Ready to Write: compiling your family history

GenGuide: Review Your Work: now is the time to edit

Annotated bibliography of family history writing guides

Social History GenGuides

A Touch of Social History: what social history can do for your family history

The WPA: then and now

Local & County Histories: every town has a story

Newspaper Research: how to find them, how to use them

City Directories: who lived where and when?

House Histories: researching the genealogy of your house

Using Maps in Your Genealogy Journey

Obituaries: treasure troves of information

Genwriters Partner Sites

Genwriting Blog
Genealogy for Children








Welcome to Genwriters
Genwriters is your online source to add life to your family history. Genwriters points you to resources, both online and in print, that will add variety and substance to your research. Whether you are writing your family's history, contemplating whether you should begin writing, or you just want to expand your research horizons, there's something here at Genwriters to help you on your journey.

Visit the blog Genwriting - Writing a Family History One Story at a Time for inspiration, support, resources, and ideas to help you write your family history.
Visit the newly updated Diaries and Letters page to find out how to use these resources to enhance your family history.

Why Social History?
Social history is the study of the lives of ordinary people. Where history focuses on the who, what, when, and where, social history looks at why and how. It looks at why things happen and how events affect people. Social history is the study of society and cultures. Social history looks at how events affect people collectively.

Placing your ancestors within the context of their social and historic surroundings will help you to get to know them better. It would be a mistake to think of your great-grandfather against the backdrop of 21st century New York. He didn't have television, telephones, cars, or even indoor plumbing. His own world was unique and interesting. Spend some time researching the location and era your ancestors live in and you will be able to think of them in terms of what their daily lives were really like.


Stories ... Stories ... Stories
Every family has them. Some are sad; some are funny. Some are poignant, some you might rather forget. Stories. You probably heard them from your mother. Stories about when she was young. Stories about her life. You laugh with her when she shares a funny story, and watch that tear in her eye when she remembers a sad one. These stories made her the person she is today.

How wonderful to be able to share these stories with your children, and for your children to share the stories with their children. Your mother's grandchildren would be able to catch a real glimpse of their grandmother from these wonderful stories passed down through the generations.

Write your family's stories down ... pass them along. Your family's history is your history. Don't let it be lost or forgotten.

Genwriters author Phyllis Matthews Ziller received first place in "Category 3, Original Research Story" in the 2009 International Society of Family History Writers and Editors Excellence-in-Writing Competition with her story "Finding Facts to Support a Family Tradition." The award was announced at the NGS Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Thank you to the Genealogy Guys for selecting Genwriters as the website of the week on their 12 September 2007 podcast. Visit George and Drew online at to listen to their weekly podcasts.
Genwriters is proud to have been featured in the April 2006 issue of Family Chronicle magazine in the Websites Worth Surfing column.
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