Creating a biographical brag book

You already know more about yourself than anyone else knows about you. (Regardless of what your spouse thinks he knows, we are convinced that you're really the expert on you.) You probably know your birth date, place of birth, parents' names, and where you've lived. (We recognize that not everyone knows all this information; adoptions or other extenuating circumstances may require you to do the best you can with what you know until you can discover additional information about yourself.) So, sit down at that computer, open your word processor, and create an autobiographical sketch. (Of course, if you prefer, you can take out a piece of paper or spiral notebook and write down all those details instead.)

You can approach the sketch in several ways. Sometimes, the easiest method is to begin with current events and work back through your life. For instance, first note the basics: your current marital or family status, occupation, residence, and activities. Then move back to your last residence, occupation, and so on until you arrive at your birth date. Make sure that you include milestones like children's birth dates, marriage dates, military service dates, educational experience, religious affiliations, participation in organizations and sports, and other significant events in your life. If you prefer, you can cover your life by beginning with your birth and working forward to the present. Either way is fine, as long as all the important events are listed in the sketch.

Another method is to use index cards or a spreadsheet on your computer to make notes about things that you recall over a certain period of time. Then you can arrange the cards or spreadsheet cells/fields to create a biographical sketch.

The biographical sketch that you create now may become an important research tool for one of your descendents who decides to conduct research about you in the future. So, when you have the time, we recommend that you turn that sketch into a full-blown autobiography. This way, your descendents not only know the facts about your life, but they also will have some insight as to why you chose the paths you did throughout your life.

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