|Link to the Kindle version of |
21st Century Family Historian
To be a family historian in these modern times, we need to shift our focus and remember what is family history. In my 20 years of researching my family lines, the invitation to do the work has only been accepted by a small few. I believe the reason is that family history was never taught has fun. Family history was presented as a lot of work and the focus was always completing pedigree charts and group sheets.
My mother had a wall full of ancestors in our home growing up. She also had a Book of Remembrance where she kept our genealogical charts. When the Personal Ancestral File program came into existence, I was the one who transferred her records into the computer. I knew the importance of doing genealogy, but honestly it wasn't fun. Until she told me the stories.
She told me of Papa Brown, who was in the served in the Army in World War II and how he was a great social dancer. Papa also liked Ohio State University football and was a home delivery milkman for Borden's. She told me of her Grandpa Long who owned a pharmacy in Columbus, Ohio and had a soda fountain. She told me of her evenings spent with Uncle Dan Long and Aunt Harriet on Sundays after going to church. On and on, the stories would flow. These folks, all of whom died before I was 5, became important to me. I recognized the faces in photos and I felt a connection.
Technology began to improve and eventually I could do genealogy without going to a genealogical library. Unfortunately, family history classes still failed to recognize the importance of stories. They taught the importance of charts and documents.
Family History is not pedigree charts and group sheets. When someone says, “I'm going to do my family history or genealogy,” they usually mean building these charts. These charts are tools that assist in the big picture of the family history. Charts focus on establishing names, dates, and relationships. When you understand Family History, you’ll understand that facts are a support to the story but not the entirety of it.
My new book 21st Century Family Historian discusses many of the tools that make genealogy and family history more efficient. These tools have reignited the fire that has died out in many people I've met over the last 20 years who have stopped their family history work because it was more work than they could handle. With all the available resources of our time, much can be achieved with less time and money which re-energizes those who like family history.
My book also invites us to redefine what family history is. When we do, we'll open the door that stand in the way of you and folks who hate genealogy. When we share simple, everyday was to participate in this enjoyable and rewarding endeavor, we will see even more people preserving and capturing the stories of their lives. They will turn their attention to the photos, stuff, and people associated with their various relatives. The stories will grip them. They will do one of the many things discussed in 21st Century Family Historian and take the burden off those who have painstakingly done the family's work alone for so long.
Purchase a copy of 21st Century Family Historian for yourself. Then purchase a copy for those you want to invite to assist you in your family's preservation goals.