Sunday, October 2, 2016

Back to Blogging: October And Telling Your Story

"Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?"

Those words, from the smash Broadway musical, Hamilton, have given me somewhat of a "theme" to focus The Classic Preppy on this month. Did you know that October is Family History Month? Well, it is...and we are going to jump right in, so grab your Pumpkin Spice Latte or whatever you'd like (I'm a tea girl myself)...and let's go!

My travel has come to an least for the next 10 days...and I must say, my last trip (to New York) was one of the highlights of my summer. (It was also a little eye-opening, since bombs were going off/train stations being closed, etc. as we made our way back and forth from Virginia to NYC.)

The trip was a brief overnight to take Younger Daughter to see Hamilton...her all time favorite show. We got into town early enough to pick up tickets for another show, too, and saw Holiday Inn as well(More on that later...but get your tickets now!!!)

Brunch with friends at Alice's Tea Cup was the perfect way to start our day...and led us right into the matinee performance of Hamilton. I am a huge fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda's and thought the music was terrific from the time I first heard it. I was sure the staging and choreography would be equally top-notch (which it was), but the thing that really fascinated me about seeing this show was to see just how they would tell Alexander Hamilton's story.

Before this smash Broadway hit, how many of us really knew that much about Alexander Hamilton? He is a figure of some renown in the American story...but most people can only tell you that he is on the $10 bill and was shot and killed in a duel by Aaron Burr. That's about it. This man was a Founding Father, a very important cog in the wheel of the American Revolution and the establishment of the first American Government. But we had stopped telling his story. Or, perhaps we never did? Thankfully, because Hamilton was quite the writer, we have a trail to follow...and follow it Lin-Manuel Miranda did. He has brought Alexander Hamilton's story to life...and we should be grateful.

How many stories do you know about your ancestors? Do you know that we are only remembered by two, possibly three generations after us? Sometimes not even that many... The fact is that when we go, we go...and our stories go with us, unless we are someone of national or international importance and our lives have been documented and shared. When we are with the Lord, I doubt that we will care (and I am firmly convinced that this is where our focus should be). But, what do you want people to know about you after you are gone? What do you know about the people who came before you? As an amateur genealogist, I was thrilled to inherit many of the family papers and pictures from both sides of my family. I am blessed because there are letters and legal documents that my parents and grandparents (and even great-grandparents) kept and that passed down to me. To a certain degree they were all storytellers, too...and the oral history that I was exposed to has been (or is being) recorded for posterity. But I want to make sure I tell their stories in an easy to understand/relatable way, so my children and their children will have a sense of who they/we were and what our journeys through this earthly life were all about.

So, this month, please join me on that journey. I will be connecting my readers to professionals in the most interesting areas of genealogy and sharing my own family stories with you as well. We'll talk about research, archiving your family papers and pictures, and much more as we move into November. The first link I want you to have, I actually put on my Twitter feed a little while ago. It's Amy Johnson Crow's 31 Days to Better Genealogy...a great daily email with super suggestions. It's absolutely free and I love her work! Click here to join in. (*This is not a paid endorsement and I offer no guarantees, etc. It's just a program I have done before...the 1.0 version...and got a lot out of!)



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