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13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories (2009)

by William L. Smith

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422,730,688 (5)3
13 Sections suggest a variety of ways to tell your ancestor stories; each section has a Planning Worksheet to assist you in doing it most effectively.The content of our telling of ancestor stories includes your life as well as the lives of your two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great grandparents, etc., and their sibling, aunts, uncles and cousins. Ancestor stories include the social context in which these folks lived, their clothes, their farms or ranches, their religion (or not), their occupations, their loves and antagonisms, their education (or not), their friends and neighbors, and the mundane details of their daily lives. Preservation and interpretation of your ancestor stories will occur most effectively if each of us use multiple approaches to telling our ancestor stories to our families and interested others. This is the purpose of this book.… (more)

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Dr. Bill definitely packs a big informative punch with this book. It includes GREAT info on putting together what I would refer to as your "Family Tree." He shares numerous ways to collect, research, and archive your stories for future generations (and even for extended research).

The section on blogging your ancestor's stories really caught my attention. It has several ideas for daily post (or memes) which I though were an ideal way to share and possibly learn a lot of interesting info on your heritage.

Besides blogging, Dr. Bill gives several other ideas to record your stories. A few include books, websites, videos, and scrapbooks. (that's the one I do!) Along with each section is also a handy planning worksheet to get everything together.

Overall I'd say that this was an excellent guide. The readers get a detailed yet understandable way to record history; along with many valuable resources to help them along the way. If you are into genealogy or simply want to record your family's history I'd recommend this book. ( )
  Cajunbooklady | Feb 21, 2010 |
Geared to the utterly uninformed individual, as it should be, this book entices EVERYONE, not just genealogists, to get involved in telling their family stories.

Dr. Bill states in the very beginning of the book: ' "Preservation and Interpretation" of your ancestor stories will occur most effectively if each of you use multiple approaches to telling your ancestor stories to your families and interested others. This is the purpose of this book.'

Breaking the text down into 13 "Potential Story Sharing Activities", Dr. Bill suggests:
#1 Blog
#2 Book
#3 Newsletter
#4 Website
#5 Podcasts
#6 Videos
#7 Wikis
#8 Scrapbooking
#9 Brochures
#10 Posters
#11 Art and Artifacts
#12 Oral Performace
# 13 Other

Each section covers the absolute basics, and offers online references for the beginniner in each activity.

Following each section is a wonderfully written worksheet to assist you in determining the best way to proceed in your story telling using that section's particular activity.

On the negative side, I would have liked to have seen some printed reference, as well as the online material. [Online material becomes deleted all too often. Sometimes before the referenced work even goes to print!] I would also like to have seen the URL's for these references a little more distanced from the regular text [either in a highlight - which is available even when one prints in only black and white; or in a different color ink]. As it is, the URL's tend to blend into the print. [I'd suggest using a highlighter if you purchase the printed book to make easy reference to these sites.]

I only found one statement I would find confusing to the person who is not trained in any form of genealogy; that is located on page 10. Here Dr. Bill states, "If two persons are actually related, that is, a direct blood relationship, they will have a common ancestor [an ancestor couple, actually]."

This statement isn't entirely accurate. The two individuals will still have a direct blood relationship if only ONE ancestor is in common [maternal or paternal]. Take for instance in the case of an ancestor who was married more than once due to the death of a spouse. Let's say the grandfather. A descendant of the grandfather and his first wife would still be a direct blood relationship with a descendant of the second wife - both sharing the blood of the grandfather. I understand where Dr. Bill was coming from with the statement made, but it can be misleading to the totally uniniated. [Some make take it that they are totally NOT related when in actuality they are!]

All in all, I found the book informative, and highly recommend it! I give it 5-stars for the unexperienced, and the more seasoned, individual who wants to tell their ancestor's stories! ( )
  texicanwife | Jan 22, 2010 |
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13 Sections suggest a variety of ways to tell your ancestor stories; each section has a Planning Worksheet to assist you in doing it most effectively.The content of our telling of ancestor stories includes your life as well as the lives of your two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great grandparents, etc., and their sibling, aunts, uncles and cousins. Ancestor stories include the social context in which these folks lived, their clothes, their farms or ranches, their religion (or not), their occupations, their loves and antagonisms, their education (or not), their friends and neighbors, and the mundane details of their daily lives. Preservation and interpretation of your ancestor stories will occur most effectively if each of us use multiple approaches to telling our ancestor stories to our families and interested others. This is the purpose of this book.

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