Dear Myrtle, “Your friend in Genealogy since 1955,” was the would-be storyteller’s friend on her February 25, 2015 Wacky Wednesday show (embedded below). And, as the guest on her show, I got a great taste of community learning.
Pinterest—the social media “pinning” site, is often overlooked by genealogy buffs. That’s a mistake. Whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, Pinterest is great for family historians. If you spend any time on social media, consider this one.
What all the Pinterest hoopla is about
Pinterest’s popularity initially soared with the wedding planning and recipe crowd. However, the rest of the world is catching on to what makes it such a powerful and enjoyable tool. It’s a visual search engine and personal collection depot in one.
What is your family story? As much as we talk about the importance of passing down family history, we seldom define what that a family story is. Is your family story a compilation of all the individuals’ on your family tree? Is a story that takes place under one roof? Alternatively, is it a story that took place over generations?
Your family story can be any or all of the above, or it could be something else entirely.
As much as we (okay, I) love technology, we sometimes wonder if it isn’t stabbing us in the back. Just as we wonder if access to calculators is undermining our math skills, a case can be made that technology is to blame for the decline of the art of oral histories.
Josh Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, doesn’t point a finger at the Internet. He argues that the Gutenberg Press bears responsibility for the decline of oral histories and the faculty of individual memory. As books became available, people didn’t have to remember everything. They no longer had to pass down stories with great attention to detail and nuance.
The place we choose to settle and put down roots has far reaching (no pun intended) consequences. It’s the community our children call home. It’s the environment in which they form their worldviews. Frequently, it becomes the place children and grandchildren choose to start putting down roots. In other words, it’s something that will matter to future generations. But it’s often a story left untold—especially when it comes to our ancestors.
Historians at London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM) are trying to preserve the stories of 8 million people. That’s how many World War I stories they estimate are in danger of being lost to “living” memory. And, that’s only counting those who served the British Commonwealth.
The “Great War” began on June 28, 1914. We’ve lost the lives of World War I–the veterans, survivors, nurses, and doctors of that war. In addition, the next generation—the children that knew their stories, are also aging. These stories are in danger of being lost to history.
In my family tree, there are huge gaping holes in our family stories. I have so many questions for ancestors. If I could go back in time with a little voice recorder, there are quite a few of my ancestors I would want to interview. I’d also have a few questions for my husband’s ancestors—after all, they, too, are my children’s progenitors.
Note: Keep in mind; stories don’t have to have happily-ever-after endings. Your questions for ancestors could lead to great stories about them!
Van Field Clark: “Are all Grandma’s war stories true?”
Van Field Clark was “Grandpa Clark” to my grandmother. As she collected her memories, she wrote down some of his Civil War stories, none of which I have been able to substantiate. Not only would I want to know if the stories are true, I would want to hear them first hand.
I’m excited to introduce Valerie Hughes, today’s guest poster. Valerie, a professional genealogist, recently gained insight about what to do with slave information you encounter during your family tree research.
Will You Take The Challenge? Share Slave History from your Family Tree.
About two months ago, I joined a Black Ancestry Group on Facebook. You may think this is an odd thing to do considering I am not black. However, I did it for a specific reason, to ask a question that had been plaguing me for a long time. The following is the question that I finally asked.
Today I’m excited to have blogger Yvette Porter Moore share her insight about family history research from an adoptee’s standpoint.
Being adopted sometimes intensifies the age-old adage “Who am I?” and “Where do I come from?” Adopted genealogy adds an extra layer of bricks and mortar to break-through. Most adoption records are sealed and not open to the forever “child,” who is now an adult.
Having reunited with my birth family about twenty-three years ago, I can still remember the process, and the feelings I experienced.
“Let your roots show” isn’t something likely to go over well over drinks on a girls’ night out. However, the same comment might be warmly received by a group of family history buffs. They’d wonder how they could do that, short of getting their pedigree chart screen-printed on a sweatshirt.
Whether you’re a certified genealogist or just writing down a few stories, you need to let your roots show. Preserving family history information will be a true gift for loved ones. Knowing where you’ve come from will help loved ones understand who you are. Even if you haven’t been tracing your roots, there’s a lot you can do.