Tag Archive | kids genealogy

Motivation Monday – Tell Your Stories

This weekend, I, Jennifer Holik, spoke at the Illinois Family History Expo. One of the lectures I gave was Finishing The Story which is three case studies about my World War I and World War II ancestors who died in service.

My lecture basically goes like this for each case study:

  • Tell the story I heard from a family member about that soldier
  • Explain my initial research process
  • Go through all the records, books, newspaper articles, and more I located on each soldier
  • The process of proving, disproving, saying it is possible this story I heard is true
  • And the process of writing the “final” story of my soldier even though all my questions were not answered

When I got to the end of the lecture the room was quiet. I asked if there were any questions and no one said a word. I thanked everyone for attending and after a few more very quiet moments, they clapped and started filing out. A few came up front to talk to me and ask questions or tell me the stories of their military ancestors. A friend of mine attended this lecture and had never heard me give it. When I asked her what she thought and said I was concerned that no one said a word, she said I had her about in tears twice as I told the stories and walked through the case studies.

Don’t underestimate the power of the stories that you may write and tell about your family, whether they were a soldier, baker, mother, politician, whatever.  Use Sort Your Story to help tell those stories. Document the information, include copies of records, and write out the notes and stories that go with those records. Piece by piece you too will put your family’s story together.

Have you done this? Please tell us about it in the comments.


© 2012 Lorel Kapke, 19201 Sonoma Hwy. #341, Sonoma, CA 95476-5413

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The NGS 2012 Conference

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) Conference was last week in Cincinnati. Sort Your Story was not a vendor there, although we hope you saw our puzzle piece magnets on the freebie table! If you picked one up and ordered Sort Your Story, please let us know what you think of it!

Our blog author, Jennifer Holik, was in attendance and her entire collection of books were displayed and being sold at Maia’s Books. Her two newest books, Engaging the Next Generation A Guide for Genealogy Societies and Libraries, and Branching Out: Genealogy Lessons for Adults, were launched.  You can read a little about the books here on The In-Depth Genealogist. Jennifer also blogged about it on her Generations blog in part one and part two.

If you have never attended a national-level conference I highly encourage you to do so. NGS will be in Las Vegas next year. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference will be in Birmingham, AL this year and Fort Wayne, IN next year.

When you do attend, here are a few points to make it a better conference.

  • Pick the lectures you most want to hear and try to attend.
  • Understand you will be on your feet most of the day, especially if you spend a lot of time in the vendor hall. Wear comfy shoes.
  • Seek out people you have met online and introduce yourself. Genealogists are human and we all share a common goal of education and sharing information. Most conferences have some sort of blogger meet-up too!
  • Remember that you may be on your way to a lecture and run into someone and start a conversation which runs a long time making you miss your lecture. That’s ok. The relationships you form at large conferences can have a big impact on your research, education, and career.
  • Talk to the vendors. Learn about their products and share some stories. You may find your long lost cousin!

Have you attended any national-level conferences? If so, what were your impressions? What take aways do you have to share? What advice would you give?


© 2012 Lorel Kapke, 19201 Sonoma Hwy. #341, Sonoma, CA 95476-5413