Genealogy, Family History and Family Stories

Last week, several thousand genealogists from around the country attended the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be one of them, but I was able to watch some of the live streaming sessions.  The overall theme of the conference was story telling which has really gotten me thinking more about my genealogy research and how I approach it.

Up to this point, I admit that my work has been mostly a “factual” research – names, dates, places, events, etc.  I have run across and recorded a few stories of my ancestors’ lives, but those stories have been few and far between.  The sessions at RootsTech have made me re-evaluate what I am doing and I am looking much more seriously at putting together the stories of not only my ancestors’ lives, but also my own. 

I have read some amazing posts over the past week that have highlighted resources for storytelling and taking all of the “facts” to weave together the narrative and I can’t wait to dive in and start using some of these.  As I undertake this narrative project along with my other research, you can expect to eventually see more stories here on the blog.  I don’t promise that there will be any significant results quickly because as with any project, I’m first sitting down to set my goals and organize my methodology.  Hopefully, within the next few weeks, I will be able to start sharing some of these results.

Isn’t that what genealogy should really be all about – telling our family history?  History as it is written in text books and commercial books is more than just names, dates and places – it is about the narrative of those facts.  It’s time for me to start making my family history research about the same thing so that future generations can see more than just the data.  First stop….my own personal life story (or some of them).  This should be fun!