So, here I begin my journey, writing about my genealogical adventures. I have been inspired by the Blogging community and viewing some of the Rootstech 2013 convention which was streamed live over the internet. The emphasis on storytelling was a main theme this year; telling our stories for the generations in the future. I have taken my title from renowned story teller, Syd Leiberman, a keynote speaker who shared some of his family stories in order to inspire his listeners to tell their own. He encouraged us, and I paraphrase, to catch some time, tell a story and launch it on the water. I found that phrase to be particularly descriptive of the process. One must first capture the memory or the moment, tell it or write it down and then release it as you share it with others.
Dennis Brimhall, the CEO of FamilySearch International posed the question, “What would our future generations wished we had done for them 200-years from now?” He demonstrated the power of storytelling, sharing what his daughter had accomplished by interviewing his father who was a bomber pilot over Germany in World War II. She researched the records and assembled a bound book with his story and photographs as a tribute to her grandfather. The future generations in that family will get a glimpse into the heroic life of this man who was shot down over Munich and captured by the Germans.
Writing regularly is good exercise. It can accomplish several things simultaneously, such as improving writing and typing skills, keeping one to a schedule, helping to reach goals, and hopefully the end product might be enjoyable enough to interest others. I find that if I commit a goal to writing, the goal becomes solidified and somehow becomes more important to finish.
Along with my compulsion to find where my ancestors came from, one of the projects on my list is to transcribe my father’s World War II diary. Even though I personally have no further generations to pass this to, I think others of my generation that have relatives that served on an LST in the south Pacific might find it interesting. Someone of that description started a web site for the LST that my father served on. That would be an ideal place to present it. I just need to start and do a few pages at a time.
I would also like to find a way to present a family history beyond dry reports, with written stories and summaries, photographs, maps, etc. in order to bring a family to life. There were several programs and applications mentioned at the convention that might be helpful, such as Tree Lines. I am currently working on the family history of a friend which I would like to “bring to life” in this manner. If I could develop a system that works well, I think my cousins in various branches of my family could appreciate their history even more and want to keep it for further generations. Perhaps that is the legacy I will leave my family, extended as it might be.