Don’t you get tired of that look? That glazed-over look? That blank stare? You know, the look you get when, in response to a family history question from a family member, you start explaining in great detail how you were able to find that small (And I mean, small.) village in what is now Poland, but once was a part of the Prussian Empire, where your great-grandfather was born.
And what I have to say next is going to shock and even dismay you. So sit down and get comfortable before reading any further. Ready?
And our loved ones? What do they care about? I’ll tell you what they care about.
That’s right. While you’ve been carefully crafting research work that would (in your dreams) be worthy of The History Channel, your loved ones just want to know how the family compares to an episode of Jersey Shore.
So what to do? Don’t force the details on your family. Give them what they want in the format they’ll appreciate. [Yes. Give them 'Snooki' and 'The Situation.'] Give them the stories, the photos as well as a chance to add to all of that in a way they can understand. By engaging family members in a non-technical way, you’re more likely to get their input, their stories, their rumors, their secrets, and – dare I say – their details that may be just what you need to find the parish your great-grandfather was more than likely baptized in near that small (And I mean, small) village ~ all without that glazed-over look in their eyes.
Are you going to the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference next week in Springfield, IL? Join 1000memories.com Thursday morning, Sept. 8th at their Engaging Your Family in Genealogy breakfast panel. I’ll be in attendance, but if that doesn’t do it for you [grin], D. Joshua Taylor (Co-chair 2011 FGS Conference), Dear Myrtle (Pat Richley), and Jonathan Good (Co-founder 1000memories) will be on the panel. Space is limited and you must RSVP. For more information please visit the 1000memories.com blog.