Family History & Genealogy

My Grandmother's High School picture

My Grandmother’s High School picture

My grandmother, Dorothy Coop Johnson, got me started working on my Family History and Genealogy when I was 12. She helped me create my first Family History Binder when visiting after my sister, Judi, was born. I was hooked and have loved tracing my family lines every since.  Family Search (free service) and Ancestry (paid membership) have been invaluable tools for online research.

I just discovered this booklet to get kids started.  It’s a little booklet called, My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together.   My grandmother would have loved this!

Why would this be important  for you kids?  I read an interesting article, recommended by my friend, Laurie Lewis — “The Family Stories that Bind Us,” by Bruce Feiler; published in the New York Times, March 15, 2013 — Here’s a summary:

“. . . What is the secret sauce that holds a family together? What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, happy? . . . The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative. . . . Sara Duke, a psychologist who works with children with learning disabilities, noticed something about her students.

“The ones who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face challenges,” she said. . .

Why does knowing where your grandmother went to school help a child overcome something as minor as a skinned knee or as major as a terrorist attack?

“The answers have to do with a child’s sense of being part of a larger family,” Dr. Duke said. . . . Dr. Duke said that children who have the most self-confidence have what he and Dr. Fivush call a strong “intergenerational self.”  They know they belong to something bigger than themselves. . . .,

The bottom line: if you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come.” — Click here to read full article

What family stories do you have to tell?

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