Finlay Family Genealogy

Finding Our Ancestors, and Sharing Their Stories

Join Me for #FamilyStoryMinute

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Steve Rockwood inspired me in his RootsTech 2016 Thursday keynote address with the one minute family story. I spend a lot of time researching my ancestors, documenting their lives, preserving their photos, and making sure it is archived for future generations. I also encourage and teach many individuals, including my children, how to do these things too. But, am I actually sharing the stories and connections with my children, my cousins, my living family? Sure, I write them on the online trees and this blog, but I can guarantee my kids aren’t reading them there.

See Steve Rockwood’s entire message here:

My favorite quotes from his message:

“Every family has favorite stories… the ones that get told over and over again. These stories say something about our families: what we value, what makes us laugh, what we love about each other. They are simply a part of our family heritage.”

“Take ONE minute to tell the story about that person that came to your mind… Here’s the question for the genealogist: Were you able to tell your whole story in 60 seconds? Why not? If you are like most genealogists you might have started with a lot of background before you got to the real story. Or you might have focused on the search and how you were able to find the information… To get and keep the non-genealogist’s attention, we need to focus on the person, not on the genealogical search. We need to keep it short and we need to keep it meaningful. If we are going to reach our family members, we need to reach their hearts… within 60 seconds.”

“In order to touch people’s hearts with family history, we need to change the conversation and maybe even the means of conversation. Rather than making family history an event or a task to be done, let’s find ways just to simply weave it into everyday life. Small bites, repeated over time, will have a much bigger impact than one big-time event.”

Mr. Rockwood’s message really struck a chord with me. I use my genealogical skills, training and enthusiasm to FIND the stories.  I need to more often set aside the citations and documentation for a moment and SHARE the story that creates the connection, that reaches the HEART.

I now pledge to share short family stories with my living family members much more frequently! I am going to do this in a rich visual/multimedia way, since that is what I think my family members will respond to. I plan to make short videos of the stories, so they can be watched over again, and shared with my broader extended family.

Will you join me?

Here are the criteria I have set for myself:

-I am going to share many of these stories publicly with #FamilyStoryMinute
– Any platform will do: Share by YouTube, Facebook or Instagram or on a specialized platform like Storyworth or Saving Memories Forever
-1-5 minutes, not every story can be told in a minute
-Private or public, or a mix depending on the story
-Video or audio or written
-Share. Share! SHARE!!

Please join me for #FamilyStoryMinute

See my first story here:


Many others were similarly inspired by this year’s RootsTech theme of story:

The Genealogy Girl issues her own challenge Tell Me a Story.

Randy Seaver muses on the best way to share stories.

Great story sharing ideas from Teresa Clark’s class at RootsTech.

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