We’ve all witnessed the genealogy industry explode. At any moment, day or night, at the touch of a key, millions search and locate characters in their family lineage. With the ever increasing speed and data available, the ancestral jungle expands in multiple directions reaching deep the roots of the past and planting new generations.
Watching this growth, many ask me how I got into the “storytelling” personal history business. My response - - it’s a family affair.
My mother told the history of the stained glass windows in our parish church. My eldest sister is our family ‘go-to’ historian. One brother loved to visit cemeteries, another was the videographer at family gatherings, and yet another recorded the departure of my siblings from our family home by traveling through rooms asking each to imagine living there. Brother number three asks great questions, number five continues to be the campfire storyteller, and my youngest brother has the ultimate listening job, as a neighborhood bar owner. It doesn’t end there. A nephew imagined family websites long before they were free and popular, and a sister-in-law was a family-life editor for their local newspaper. We all continue to enjoy family reunions filled with updated stories and of course, plenty of young’ns enjoying the tall tales, and adding to our family storybook. So I come from a long line of family history bugs.
All families aren’t as fortunate to have the memory capturing gene, yet want and need help in organizing and chronicling their family history. Ever since I decided to delve into the world of personal histories, I realized that I didn’t want to spend time searching for long-gone ancestors, but to focus on writing the stories of those on my horizon, those whose stories were being lost with each passing moment. And most of all help others to secure the stories that are still within their reach.
Along the way I’ve found numerous traveling companions, those who have written helpful and insightful books including:
And if you’d like to add a little humor to your search, or just for fun, check out I’m My Own Grandpa sung by Ray Stevens. I love this one because he creatively tracks it on a family tree. Good luck! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYlJH81dSiw
Let’s Get Started ... before it’s too late! Let us know how we can help.
Mary Patricia Voell