Five Minute Family History

Save the stories! Become a story-catcher during your coffee break!

Welcome!  I'm glad you found me. I hope we can have fun here and do something really important, too. Doing family history isn’t only about visiting graveyards and documenting all the begats of dead ancestors, it’s also capturing living memory and creating a story your descendants will be eager to read.   So set aside a few short minutes–with morning coffee, at lunchtime or before bed–and write, type or speak fast!

 Click HERE and let's get started


I’m Bren Witchger, aka Brynn Bonner. I’m an avid AMATEUR genealogist.  I love family history, but I chafe a little at the long listings of names and dates since I’m first and foremost a fiction writer.  I have to resist the temptation to let my imagination take off based on only a few flimsy facts.   But I try hard to keep my flights of fancy in check and make sure my family stories are grounded in fact while still seeking out a rich family narrative that goes beyond the bare bones (so to speak).  I save my imagination for the mysteries I write featuring a genealogist duo.    

I make no claims to being an expert on genealogy research, but I set up this site to share some helpful exercises and techniques I’ve learned and implemented in hopes that they’ll be of use to others in finding the time and making the effort to capture their own family stories.

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PAGING THE DEAD, and DEATH IN REEL TIME are titles in my FAMLY HISTORY MYSTERY series featuring young professional genealogist Sophreena McClure and her assistant Ms. Esme Sabatier. I have fun writing about these two and their rather unconventional approach to genealogy. They spend a lot of time digging into their clients' pasts and often uncover long buried family secrets.  If you enjoy cozy mysteries I hope you’ll give my books a read.