So glad you found your way here. If we haven’t met, let me introduce myself. My name is Nancy Hendrickson and I’m a genealogy author and instructor.
I was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, home of the Pony Express, which is probably why I have such a passion for history and for family stories.
See that photo of me wearing the red shirt? It was taken during a genealogy trip to Reed Cemetery near Harrisonville, Missouri. There, in an overgrown and untended cemetery I (with the help of Harrisonville genealogists) found the final resting place of my great-great-grandparents. That was a day I’ll never forget – and it’s a story I love sharing.
I built this site to help you with your genealogy research but even more important to help you find, capture and share family stories. Please poke around – I think you’ll like what you see.
Grandparent stories can span five or more generations:
Their own generation
Their parents’ generation
Their grandparents’ generation
Their childrens’ generation
Their grandchildrens’ generation
And even more.
My aunt has memories of her parents, grandparents, and great-grandmother. My mom has grandchildren, great-grandchildren and possibly (soon) great-great-grandchildren. These people know the low-down on the family!
How to Get Memorable Grandparent Stories
The sad truth is, I’ve never met a genealogy researcher who doesn’t regret not asking more about the family while their parents or grandparents were still alive. This is one of those instances when time really does matter. Here are few quick tips to capture the stories:
Instead of going to my mom with a list of questions (which I have done) I like sitting down with her and just chatting about a single thing. Something interesting always comes up. The video below is an example of this random kind of conversation.
Make a list of questions, but don’t try to get all of them answered at the same time. If your grandparents are elderly, they’ll love talking to you about their life but they do have limited energy.
Video grandparents telling a specific story. My step-grandfather loved telling the story about how he once ate dog food!
Have a list of topics on hand when you go to visit. Your topics might be World War II, Vietnam, the Great Depression, first trip to Europe, first job, first true love. The topics are endless.
If you live long distance, get an app on your phone that will record the conversation. It’s terrible to hear a great story and you didn’t have any way to record it.