Have you been able to watch any of the live-streaming from the RootsTech 2019 Conference? I’ve been glued to my computer screen whenever possible.
While my blog will be shorter this week due to my RootsTech binge watching, I wanted to share some great tips from one of the sessions while fresh in my mind.
The session titled “Why and How to Put Yourself in Your Family History” was a Ted Talk format with three speakers providing content and viewpoints on this topic.
Amy Johnson Crow, author and host of the Generations Café podcast share specific stories about her grandma, reminding us of the value of captured stories, no matter the format. One of her family treasures is a three-ring notebook that her Grandma used to write down stories about growing up, featuring her siblings, her parents and grandparents. Don’t we all wish we had something like that? Her key message to all of us is that we also need to capture our own stories for future generations. We might be the only ones who can tell that story about Grandma. Don’t worry about the format—typed, dictated, long hand or video. It doesn’t matter if your stories are in chronological order. Our descendants will be grateful to have those stories.
Curt Witcher, senior manager of the Genealogy Center, discussed the power of story and focused on the scientific evidence of stories and why they are such an integral part of the human experience. Hearing stories light up our brains like no other activity and create meaningful, neurological processes. He went on to note studies have shown how children who grow up with stories are better set up to succeed, accept change and diversity, and are better able to bounce back from tragedies.
Scott Fisher, host of the Extreme Genes radio show, provided tips on how to capture those interviews with family members, capturing those stories. Here are some great tips from him:
Your challenge this week is to quickly write down one story that you remember about yourself, a sibling, a parent or a grandparent. Don’t get hung up on format or grammar or try to self-edit as you write. Just write it down in your own words. What if you did this every week? Or once a month? What a treasure trove your family would have!
Curt Witcher referenced this quote from Alex Haley. It is so appropriate for those of us who “do” family history.
“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we came from.”
With a lifelong passion for genealogy and history, the author enjoys the opportunity to share genealogy tidbits, inspiring others to research and write their family story.