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Kimberly Powell

Carnival of Genealogy, 11th Edition

By November 4, 2006

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It's easy enough to poke around in old records and spend hours scouring Internet databases for the bits and pieces of your family puzzle. Approaching actual living family members, however, can be downright intimidating! You have to get personally involved with people you may not always like, figure out how to gently nudge without shoving, and teach the older relatives that dead people really can be exciting. No wonder so many of us try to work around the "family" in our family tree!

On that note, welcome to the 11th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy - presented here on a special road trip from its usual home at Jasia's Creative Gene blog. This Nov. 4th edition's topic is Making the Most of Family Get-Togethers. Not a lot of submissions this time around - it's a scary topic, remember? But the ones we got are super - and will hopefully have you talking family history with the relatives during your holiday gatherings.

To get us started, Jasia reminds us that "ordinary daily events can be real treasures if we just take the time and effort to record them" in her Plan to be Remembered posted at Creative Gene:

"I've spent a lot of time (years) on genealogy research and one of the most significant things I've come to realize in the course of my research is that most people don't plan to be remembered. Think about that for a moment and you'll realize how simple and profound that is. If people planned to be remembered we wouldn't have half the trouble we have finding them or learning about them! I don't think most people want to be forgotten when they die, so why don't they put some planning into being remembered?" [more]

On her blog devoted entirely to family oral history using digital tools, Susan Kitchens posts a very touching story about the importance and long-lasting value of family history interviews - "I'm so glad you did this. So glad."

"Those are the words my boyfriend Doc M said to me as we listened to his mother talk about her life. Two years ago, I recorded an interview with her. Three nights ago, we heard that recording for the first time since Ió well, weó made it.

My boyfriendís mother went into the hospital in early October. She died two weeks later, on October 19." [more]

So what do you do with the family heirlooms and artifacts that you collect from your family members? Maureen Taylor at 24/7 Family History Circle suggests creating a worksheet to record the family items you own and the stories that they tell in Taking Stock of the Past.

"A few years ago, one of my maternal aunts gave me a doily....Turns out the table scarf from my aunt once belonged to my maternal grandmother who died when I was one. Iíve heard a lot of stories about her but never knew she did handiwork. Itís a genealogical artifact that Iíll always treasure! If my aunt hadnít told me who made it, the history of the piece would be lost." [more]

The American College of Medical Genetics gets into the act as well, reminding us that gathering our family medical history "could be THE most important tool in protecting our health." I've blogged about their Can We Talk? suggestions and other family health history tools in Put Health History on the Menu this Holiday Season.

"Taking the time to learn, and record, your families' health history is a positive step toward ensuring many years of future family gatherings. Knowing who in your family had what type of cancer or suffered from diabetes can provide the critical information your doctor needs for proper diagnosis, treatment and prevention." [more]

Have you made your video memoir? Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings blogs on the topic, including tidbits from an interesting news article by Marsha King titled "With personal histories everyone can star in a memoir."

"Have you done this yet for your family? A video memoir would capture your personality, voice inflections, and mannerisms in addition to the memories. In the age of digital video and video cameras, this is probably something I want to do before I lose the rest of my marbles." [more]

Since the submitted blogs primarily focused on why we should make the most of our time together with family, I thought I would also pull together a few blogs, articles and ideas on things we can do to bring out family stories at holiday get-togethers:

  • Holiday Family History from Your Family Legacy offers a number of suggestions for making family history a part of your holiday.

  • Schelly Talalay Dardashti offers suggestions on using the holidays to spark your family's interest in their past in Family History at the Holiday Table at JewishJournal.com.

  • Maureen Taylor, an expert on old photographs, suggests setting aside time at your next holiday gathering to bring out the boxes of old family photos in Photographs and the Holidays at Genealogy.com. A perfect way to reminisce and attach names to your unidentified ancestors!

  • What better time to cook up some family history than the holidays? For those whose families have a wealth of delicious family recipes that have been handed down -- like mine! -- I have some tips on Creating a Family Cookbook on About Genealogy.

  • In his Ancestry.com article A Family Gathering Gathering, George G. Morgan says what should be so true for anyone with an interest in genealogy -- "my family and its history are an integral part of my holiday plans." To that end, he shares some of his holiday pre-planning tips to help you turn your own family holiday gathering into a gathering of genealogical and historical information.

And, last but not least.... What if there really isn't anyone left alive with the answers? Arlene Eakle has some ideas for finding Hidden Interviews to discover personal facts about your long-deceased ancestors.

Thank you for reading this edition of Carnival of Genealogy. I hope you enjoyed it and discovered some new ideas for your next family holiday gathering!

The theme for the next Carnival of Genealogy: Solving technical problems while working on your family history.

Have you encountered a technical problem while working on your family history? Did you solve it? Then let's hear the problem and your solution. Haven't found a solution? Describe what it is, and how it affects you (who knows, you might find a solution as a result). You know that all software and hardware works perfectly. (cough, cough). It never breaks. All components work well with one another. Uprades always go smoothly. (yeah right sure). So come one, come all. Feel free to gripe. Or to boast of your prowess. Or anything in between. Just as long as it's about solving technical problems while working on your family history.

Deadline: November 15th. Hosted this time around at http://familyoralhistory.us ***********************************************

November 5, 2006 at 8:34 pm
(1) Jasia says:

You’ve done a wonderful job with this edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Kimberly! Now I’m in a holiday mood… I can almost smell the turkey. And my mind if full of ideas about preserving my family history. I especially like the one about the cookbook… could be fun to put one together, and tasty too!

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