Narratio Vitae (“life story” in Latin) works with families and individuals to develop thoughtful narratives of your ancestors’ and living relatives’ lives.  We’re genuinely interested in preserving these memories and building engaging stories.  Too often, people make promises to pass their stories on, but time and mundane responsibilities get the best of them, and those memories are eventually lost forever. We want to help you build a family narrative and prevent the loss of your family memories.

You can see an example of a recently completed narrative here.

What does Narratio Vitae deliver?

First, Narratio Vitae discusses your interests and your available historical information with you, develops a research plan based on your interests, and then provides a plan and cost estimate to you.  Half of your total payment will be due before research begins.

Second, based on our established research plan and your interests, Narratio Vitae conducts genealogical research into your family members’ lives, develops a family tree, integrates your existing family history stories into the new genealogical research, and writes narratives for each of the individuals included in the research plan.

Third, Narratio Vitae reviews the narratives with you, and then prepares to publish the narratives in a WordPress blog format.  Narratio Vitae will publish the blog upon receipt of your final payment.  You will then have complete control of the blog and its contents (we’ll show you how it works).

What’s different about Narratio Vitae’s product?

Narratio Vitae draws on your family’s oral and written history to build a moving narrative that places your relatives’ stories in the context of the historical events of their time.  In contrast with most genealogists’ technical writing, our narratives provide a feeling for  characters and events.  Our choice of a WordPress blog format makes your family narrative immediately accessible to younger generations, to whom these stories are often lost.  Your family will be able to use the blog to communicate about the family history.  The blog format also makes your stories shareable to a much larger audience on social media and on popular genealogy websites.

How long does the process take?

Narratio Vitae’s most basic family narratives can take a few months to complete, but others can require more time depending on the difficulty of research and the complexity of your family’s history.  An example of a complexity is a missing link in your family chain that requires extensive original research to be found.  Another example is a mistake in your existing family narrative that requires extensive original research to fix. We’ll provide a time estimate based on our initial research plan, and we’ll modify the time estimate if we encounter any complexities.  We’ll work closely with you to avoid surprises.

How much does all of this cost?

Narratio Vitae offers five service packages.

Dogwood Package: Limited narrative of four generations, without family member interviews.  We’ll develop and authenticate a four-generation family tree, and prepare a limited narrative, telling the story of the family.  This level of service costs $1,500.

Maple Package: Narrative of six generations incorporated in a blog.  We’ll expand your tree from four to six generations, collect insights from living family members, and prepare an expanded and enriched narrative for all six generations, including  the impact of the environmental and historical context.  The level of service includes  our development of an interactive family blog including the expanded narratives of the six generations.  Includes in-depth transcribed and recorded individual/group family member interviews

Oak Tree Package: Expansion of the blog to include direct-line spouses’ families.  We’ll expand your tree and narrative to include the families of all six spouses.

Aspen Colony Package: Personal interaction for expanded narratives.  We’ll attend a family reunion/gathering and demonstrate the family’s blog, solicit input from family members based upon data currently in the blog, and expand and enrich the blog based upon family member input.

Arboretum Package: Five-year contract for continued research and periodic family interaction.  We’ll conduct continued research into unresolved issues.  We’ll develop narratives of additional family members, make narrative refinements and updates, and attend one follow-on family reunion/gathering to gather additional stories (if desired).

We recognize this may seem out of reach for some families, and we suggest cost-sharing among family members.  For example, a $3,500 effort could be split among ten family members, costing each $350.

Does Narratio Vitae offer additional services?

Yes.  For additional fees, Narratio Vitae can assign certified genealogists to conduct extensive original research into your family history; Narratio Vitae can conduct additional oral history interviews in person or over the phone (or Skype, etc.); Narratio Vitae can publish your family history as a book or in other hard copy formats; Narratio Vitae can build printable and postable family tree charts; Narratio Vitae can travel to conduct in-person or other research.  Generally, we’ll work with you to understand your interests and attempt to find creative solutions to just about any challenge.

Where do we start?

Contact Narratio Vitae by emailing lifestorymaker@gmail.com or by calling us at (571) 351-0106.  We’ll gather the family history information you already have, including written and oral information.  We’ll review this information with you to understand how far along you’ve gotten and to understand your intentions and interests.

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