02
January
2017

Write Your Life Story in 2017: FamilySearch #52Stories Project Will Make Your Task Easier

Maybe your New Year’s resolution is to write your personal history to share with your family and leave for future generations. The task, however, can seem daunting. Where do you start? FamilySearch can help with its #52Stories project.

Each week in 2017, FamilySearch, the world’s largest genealogical organization, will publish topic questions designed to trigger your memories. You just need to focus on the topic and write a response.

It doesn’t matter if you write a few paragraphs, a single page, or several pages. You can write in a journal or in a document on your computer, or you can make a video or audio recording. When 2017 concludes, you will have 52 stories about your life to enhance your personal history.

“This 2017 personal history challenge, called the #52Stories project, is an expanded version of a similar, very successful challenge offered by FamilySearch four years ago,” said Wendy Smedley, FamilySearch project manager for social media. “This year, however, instead of having a list of only 52 questions, the writer can choose his or her 52 questions from a list of 144 questions.”

You don’t have to look far for a great series of memory triggers. The #52Stories Project has divided the year into 12 themes, from “Goals & Achievements” to “Education & School” to “Holidays & Traditions,” providing 12 different questions for each theme. That’s a total of 144 questions, giving you plenty of options to choose from as you build your library of #52stories. The questions are available for download by theme on 12 colorful pages, and you’ll also see a different question highlighted each week on Instagram (@FamilySearch) and the FamilySearch Facebook Page.

January’s theme is goals and achievements. Sample questions include:

  • What goals are you actively working toward right now?
  • What was the greatest achievement of your life?
  • What is something you taught yourself to do without help from anyone else?
  • What role has failure played in your efforts to achieve your goals? 

Your 52 stories, or your ancestors’ stories, can also be shared for free in a FamilySearch Memories profile, preserving these stories for future posterity. FamilySearch will not make these stories public while the person is living but will make them available for future generations after the person is deceased. New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler and faith leaders such as President Spencer W. Kimball of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have emphasized that recording and sharing glimpses of your life and your ancestors’ lives is an invaluable aspect of building strong families.

Family stories are a great gift that helps build individual identity in children and children’s children. These stories allow you to preserve and share the story of your life and your ancestors’ lives, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed bleak, and your rejoicing when you finally achieved your goals.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,957 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Comments 1 - 16 (16)
Thank you for your message. It will be posted after approval.
Paul Allen
10
April
2017
Looking for information on James Paul Davis born 8/14/54 died 5/17/2000 in Murfreesboro Tenn when hit by a train
Paul Nauta
11
April
2017
Paul, Thank you for your inquiry. You can reach out to the FamilySearch online community for research assistance. Try this link for a list of research communities. https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Genealogy_Help_on_Facebook
I Patricia C Deeeney
09
March
2017
Hoping that family members also try participating in writing. Some day their families may enjoy knowing m more
D. Wayne Lewis
20
February
2017
This past year, I finally 'finished' my longtime effort to write stories from my life which would illustrate how our family lived, what we did as a family and continuing with my adult life and experiences. This effort was meant to be read by my children, grandchildren, etc. It also has some use as a method to encourage others to do what I did. I have read articles from the Church indicating that efforts like this would be of benefit to the Church itself. I have one (1) copy left, which I would be willing to give to the Church--but I do not know where to send it. If you can help me with this, I would appreciate knowing where to send a copy. There are portions of this which CONTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT LIVING INDIVIDUALS. Knowing this, may not make my writing, appropriate for a world-wide audience. What do you think? Sincerely, D. Wayne Lewis of Wenatchee, WA.
Jeri Petersen
17
February
2017
A friend just told me about this wonderful project - I'd like to get started, but when I click on the link to download the question pages, I get "error establishing a database connection." I get the same message when I click on the #52Stories link on this page. I choose not to engage in Facebook or other social media, so how can I get the questions? Thanks!
Paul Nauta
17
February
2017
The monthly questions are linked as image files to the press release in the carousel at the top. You can click on each of them and download them to your computer to reference or print. http://media.familysearch.org/write-your-life-story-in-2017-familysearch-52stories-project-will-make-your-task-easier/
Jacqui Fielding
13
February
2017
A wonderful idea. I find the pale text difficult to read.
Jen
28
January
2017
Great idea but what about printing in colours that are easy to read? I and I'm sure many others have problems with pale indistinct print.
Ruby Möller
26
January
2017
This is a great idea, do you have the questions in Spanish ?
Paul Nauta
30
January
2017
FamilySearch is working on the Spanish translations. Stay tuned!
Phyllis J Fuller
24
January
2017
What a great idea. I thunk think this will help a lot in finishing my personal history. Thanks for putting it in The Church News where I just read about it.
Linda Barnes
23
January
2017
Please accept a big "thank you" for all of the time, effort and prayer that went into creating the categories and questions for writing my personal history. I have wanted to do this for some time, but lacked the structure for even beginning. The structure of the categories and the thought provoking questions will make this task so much easier. I couldn't be happier now about beginning because I can see the whole project from start to finish, and because it will be done on my computer, I can edit it whenever I want to make the writing clearer and more detailed. Thanks so much to all who worked on this project.
Nancy Lowe
17
January
2017
Please include me!
Paul Nauta
17
January
2017
Nancy, to get involved with the #52 Stories project, you merely need to download the printable themes and questions for each month, or subscribe to the FamilySearch Facebook or Instagram pages for weekly prompts. Respond to the questions using whichever means suits you best (notebook, journal/diary, your computer, etc.). When done, we'd love to see you upload it to FamilySearch Memories for future posterity/generations. You can even upload a digital file of your printed journal at that point when you're ready.
Jeanette Drake
08
January
2017
This is a great idea. I plan on using this in my ward in my calling as family history consultant.
Kaylyn Mabey - Willamette Heritage Center
04
January
2017
We are implementing this MARVELOUS IDEA with our senior volunteer workforce here at the Willamette Heritage Center. Thank you for the inspiration and bite-size weekly goals! One bit of feedback from our senior citizen volunteers...the font and colors are much too difficult to read. Bolder and larger would be better.
william langley
04
January
2017
hello, this is a great idea; .. however ... as I have found in the past, I feel lime green as a colour for text does not work well and I hope future weeks have a different one; no hard feelings if you cannot change it! regards william
Elizabeth Evans
04
January
2017
Yes, please include me in the 52stories project. It's just the push I needed.
Paul Nauta
04
January
2017
Elizabeth, to get involved with the #52 Stories project, you merely need to download the printable themes and questions for each month, or subscribe to the FamilySearch Facebook or Instagram pages for weekly prompts.
Edith Darlene Booth
03
January
2017
Sounds like a good idea and lots of fun! How do I start?
Judith Breitenstein
03
January
2017
Great project!
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