Free Family History Stories

Use our family history stories to create yours...for free.

Harnessmaker's Son is an excellent memory trigger for family history stories. When people give copies to their elders, they often get back their own similar stories.

Harnessmaker's Son is also a wonderful model for family history stories. Each story is an easy-to-follow example of "family-story format." It's the way family history stories have always been told.

Pattern your stories on these and your descendants will be reading them centuries from now.

Read the first story on the FreeBook page. If you like it, we'd like to send you the entire book for story each month. 

Sign up for the free family history book at the bottom of the FreeBook page.


Click baby Jack's 1913 butt to visit the FreeBook page.

"It's a good thing you can't smell that sheepskin," Jack warns. "Every baby in Brownsville was photographed on it."



Recording Personality

Make your family history more exciting by including personality.

Personality, values, and beliefs are woven into stories people tell. Gather them any way you can, but put them on paper.

Recordings deteriorate and computer formats change. Paper is the only medium with a good record for family histories.

While all elders are storytellers, few are writers. Encourage them to tell their stories for you to write. 

Elders love seeing their stories in print. Even more satisfying is knowing future generations will read them as part of their family history.

You'll love the bond that develops between you and the elder as you interview them for their stories...but it's time consuming.

 If you don't have the time for interviewing your elders and writing their family history stories, consider hiring a professional. Future generations will thank you. 


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Order now and we'll send an autographed, personally inscribed copy anywhere in the U.S. for only $11.95.




The Heart of Family History


While researching your family history, you may spend a lot of time gathering dates, places, and relationships. Don't let that stop you from collecting the most important parts of your family history...the stories.

Decades from now, the public records will still be there. They'll be even simpler to locate and search. But your family stories could be lost.

Don't let your family history become a collection of names and dates. Give it life by preserving your elders' stories.


Elders want to help with Family History

Elders are natural storytellers. It's one of the few things we improve at as we age.

Traditional societies value elders for their storytelling. It helps the children, the society, and especially the elders.

Elders are happier and healthier when they know they're doing something they enjoy.

Give your elders back their traditional role. You'll be surprised at the boost in their energy, health, and mood.


Collecting Family History Stories

One sentence is often enough to start an avalanche of family history stories. Author Rick Kamen started his father's stories by telling him about a Native American storytelling event he attended. 

"The stories were wonderful, but I know yours are better. Tell me what it was like when you were young so I can write it up for the grandkids."

Jack, 84, and in frail health, perked up. His voice sounded years younger. His stories flowed with little encouragement.

Seeing the stories in print further energized him. The stories needed to be told, and only he could tell them. It gave him reasons to be healthy.

No family member doubts that storytelling added years to Jack's life...and centuries to its memory. We're certain that descendants will be reading these stories after we're gone.

Many families use Harnessmaker's Son as a memory trigger. Lorena Wellington's son sent her a copy and she sent him back a priceless series of tapes: 

"I'm getting such a kick out of your stories. They bring back so many memories of my youth. I sent two audio tapes to my son about the struggles of making a wilderness home in this area." 
           - Lorena Wellington, Beatty, Oregon


Go for the Gold

Elders are special because they remember family history stories no one else can. Focus on the old days.

Rick directed his father's memory to situations that can't happen anymore: Stories about horse power, vaudeville, pushcarts, World War I and II, prohibition, the Model T, poor (but normal) living conditions, or the depression.

Even more important were stories from Jack's parents about the old country. They transmit the family's feelings and values, something no public records or history texts can do.

The stories also transmit something you might not expect...the essence of the elder. As you read the stories, you start thinking like the elder...if they're written in "family-story format."


Family-Story Format

Elder stories transfer wisdom because they teach us how to think like elders. Why? They're told in the first person. They hold our interest because they're short and end with a twist, usually a laugh.

Write your family history stories the way elders tell them. It harnesses the power of the family-story format.

Harnessmaker's Son has dozens of stories in family-story format. Many people use the stories as models for their own family history stories.


Read the Book for Free

Read a sample story from Harnessmaker's Son.

If you like it, we'd like to send you one story from the book every strings attached.

Sign up for the free family history book at the bottom of any sample story page. 

Click baby Jack's 1913 butt to visit the FreeBook page.




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Revised: October 04, 2011