Monday, November 19, 2012

National Day of Listening - Friday, 23 Nov 2012 upcoming

National Day of Listening - Friday, 23 Nov 2012 upcoming

I recently published this lens about the upcoming National Day of Listening, 23 Nov 2012.

Now, I've become aware of a neat Genealogy Community Blog Carnival on the same subject. Click on this link for more detailed information on participating.

Story Corp's National Day of Listening theme for 2012 is Thank a Veteran, and I encourage you to use that theme, if it is available to you. I fully support oral history projects, and this is a good one. [A while back, my grandson interviewed me for his family history boy scout project - that was really fun!] I did several oral history interviews, a few years ago, when I was working an Oral History Project in the Kansas Flint Hills!

My personal emphasis for the 2012 Holiday Season, is to talk to your aunts and uncles.

Here is a summary of that request:

Talk to aunts and uncles this holiday season about their family stories

I frequently write of learning and sharing the stories of my and your family history and genealogy. This year, as we approach the holiday season of family gathering, I want to encourage each of us to reach out to some additional key persons to better gather, record, understand and share these family stories: aunts and uncles (including great aunts and uncles, of course).

These are the siblings, brothers and sisters, of your parents and grandparents, and their spouses. I have mentioned this before when I discussed "Follow the Women" in talking about sources of family information. Most of us are fortunate enough to have heard stories from our parents and/or grandparents of the 'old days.' Aunts and uncles were there in the times of those stories, too, but they were a little older or a little younger, and you will get a different slant on those same stories. Have you found that to be true? I sure have. And, you'll get some stories your parents and grandparents may not choose to tell you - or 'just forgot!" Give it a try this holiday season. Talk to them one-on-one, as well. You may get more and better stories.

An added benefit you may also discover, by talking to an aunt or an uncle, especially ones you don't see too often, may be that you discover they love family history and genealogy, as well, and become an outstanding continuing source of new information for you. They may not realize you have an interest, especially if you are, in fact, relatively new to it yourself. Much of my paternal side information had already been compiled by my Dad's sister, my aunt. Since that surname was SMITH, I was especially appreciative of the work she and her sister had done. There was plenty left for me to work on, but I'll be eternally grateful for her outstanding groundwork!

I hope you will come back and leave me a comment, here, on Facebook, or at one of my blog sites, with the new stories you find this year at your holiday family gatherings!  ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. Your post makes me think about all the missed opportunities I had to learn about the past when I was a teenager in the late seventies. My Grandmother Jen was born in the late 1880s. She lived in Boston until the 1960s. I wished I had talked with her about the great pandemic of 1918 or what she thought of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial.

    The list of golden moment to learn but not taken is long. Thank you for reminding people to take the time to listen.

  2. Hi Bill,

    I really enjoyed reading this post. Your suggestion of talking and listening to Aunties and Uncles is right on time for the holidays.

    Oh, wait a minute! I'm the Uncle!I better get my stories in line should the phone ring (or I get texted by the nephews and nieces)!

    Peace & Blessings,
    "Guided by the Ancestors"

  3. Some of my best stories are those I heard from my Aunts and Uncles.

    Now I'm the Aunt and Grandma who sometimes gets the call for information about the family.

  4. Thanks Bill for sharing...I have to get on the ball and get the youngsters to listen to me now LOL

  5. I am going to be spending some quality time with my Uncle and one of his friends that knew my parents very well and know a lot about their lives in Los Angeles in the 50's and 60's. This is a great post. Thank you.