An Unexpected Way to Use Ancestry® to Tell a Great Story

Family History
16 November 2022
by Elizabeth Asdorian

The last Sunday of every month is “family call” time at my house, when the cousins get together from across the country and dish, especially about our grandparents.

We’ve laughed about the hilarious picture of our respective fathers staring in disgust at Nana’s turkey dinner. We sat in silent reverie at the last image we had of the brothers together with Grandpa.

And we’ve told stories—lots of stories—about our shared history.

Connecting Around Family Members Brings Families Together

After the calls are over, some of the details get a bit fuzzy. What year did the grandparents marry and where? Who were their parents and where did they immigrate from? Going back to the family tree can give the facts—but it doesn’t offer the flair and interesting specifics of a well-told story.

So when Ancestry® created the Stories feature in the Ancestry® Mobile App, it seemed like the perfect way to remember Nana and Grandpa’s “quickie” marriage in Crown Point, Indiana—and ensure it never left the family lore again.

Follow a Story Suggestion—or Come Up with Your Own

Ancestry Stories are about a person or event from your family tree. If you already have a family tree on Ancestry, then you just need the free Ancestry Mobile App. Once you sign into your account on the app, you’re ready to start creating a story. (But if you don’t have a tree, it’s easy to start one for free.)

At the top of the app’s Discover feed, you’ll see a “ribbon” where you can view all the stories you’ve created or stories that have been shared with you.

Ancestry tool

What Kind of Story Would You Like To Tell?

First, click “Add story” to start a new one. Then the app will suggest some story ideas for you based on your family events or close family members in your tree. Maybe it’s a birth story for your mom. Or the marriage story of your grandparents.

Ancestry App

Now comes the fun part! You are the narrator of this wonderful story, so you get to decide what it’s called and who the characters are. You also get to pick the setting and what records and photos to include.

Ancestry characters

Whether it’s a funny tale of a Thanksgiving dinner gone wrong or details of the day your grandparents said, “I do,” you are the storyteller here and you can create whatever you want. You can even change colors or icons, add your own titles or text.

Ancestry Marriages

Publish It to a Person’s Tree to Share It with Your Family

Once your story is just how you want it, you have two options. You can publish it and everyone who also has that person in their tree can enjoy it. Or, if you’d like to keep it more personal, you can save to your tree where it can only be viewed by you.

Ancestry Stories

Soon, you’ll be able to download your story so you can email it to family or share it on your social channels.

Also coming soon are other stories from the Ancestry community focused on a specific topic. You’ll see options like heirlooms, family recipes, or funny moments. Look for these to appear on the Discover feed ribbon as well.

I can’t wait to talk to my cousins on our next call and create another story together—we have a lot to discuss.

Ready to start your own stories? Start a free family tree on Ancestry® on the free mobile app. Or if you have a tree, just use the free app to start creating one for yourself.