Friday, January 22, 2010

13 Ways To Tell Your Ancestors Stories

13 Ways To Tell Your Ancestors Stories
                       by Dr. Bill [William L.] Smith

Publication (2009), Paperback, 76 pages

Publication date 2009
ISBN 0557240646 / 9780557240647  
Primary language :English

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!

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