All Families Need A History

The importance of having, keeping and sharing a family’s history is emphasized in this speech given by David Adelman at the last RootsTech Conference in Feb 2014 titled:

‘Storytelling Super Powers:  How to Come Off as Your Family’s Genealogy Hero’

Some highlights include how you can achieve ‘Super Hero’ status amongst your own family. David states that one person can make a huge difference in this life.  Studying your family’s history can be brought forward and made alive, pertinent, and useful to our own lives.

What does a Genealogy Hero look like? They are:

  • Determined – to fight for the truth and find the information they need.
  • Have Super X-Ray Vision – to see things others cannot and find mysteries.
  • Stealthy – with the ability to be various places and not be noticed right away. A Ninja quality to be behind the scenes and get people to open up.
  • Full of Stamina – like the Hulk who channels his determination into purpose and doesn’t give up.
  • Courageous – and tell the stories that might be painful when uncovered.

A Harvard graduate, David was so moved by the stories of his deceased grandmother gathered by his mother, he started his own family storytelling video company ‘’ a few years ago.

This video has clips of cartoon super heroes demonstrating the qualities of a genealogy hero. This might be a fun one for the whole family to watch.  

For more about storytelling, check out the following sites:

Storytelling Websites and Resources from the University of North Texas, School of Library and Information Sciences.

National Storytelling Network is dedicated to advancing the art of storytelling.


1+1+1 = The Truth

After reading an article by Kevin Cool, a mathematical equation of sorts seemed to evolve when writing about families.  It boils down to:   1 + 1 + 1 = Truth .  Another way to write it is:  a+b+c = A More Realistic Picture of the Past.  

Kevin Cool, the editor Of Stanford Aumni Magazine tells of his adventure in writing the truth about his dad and grandfather in the May/June issue.  His equation adds up as follows:

Currier and Ives Print of Farm and Fielda) ‘. . . a soft-focus version ‘ that casts his dad and grandfather living on a small farmstead with a meandering stream surrounded by pretty meadows with nearby forest full of woodland creatures. Sort of like a Currier and Ives painting.

Interior of a small cabinb) the ‘ grittier version’ of the small 2 room house with no indoor plumbing, water or electricity with grueling winters. Kevin states that both of the descriptions are accurate BUT neither of them is really true.  It was only after an interview with his father that he ‘grasped the complicated reality of his childhood. . . It was a hard life.  And it was a happy life.”

Old Photo of a Kindred Interviewc) “To reveal how people lived . . . you need more than accumulated facts.  You need Continue reading

Learn from the Best Without Leaving Home

This week is the 3rd conference where lots of family historians and genealogists gather to teach and learn how to research with the latest technology.

They are video streaming a select number of presentations and lectures.  I can’t tell if it’s totally free or not but it’s worth a gander.

For example, a few presentations are:

Thursday March 21st – “Tell it Again” and “Finding the Obscure and Elusive. Geographic information on the Web” .

Friday March 22nd – “Researching Ancestors Online” and “Google Search and Beyond”.

Sat the 23rd – “Digital Storytelling”.

Go to to see the full listing of the live stream over internet.

Also, look for letters 3 & 4 of James Dickerson, Confederate Soldier in the next day or two.