Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Review/Q&A: 13 Ways to tell you ancestor Stories by Dr. Bill

Book Summary:

13 Sections suggest a variety of ways to tell your ancestor stories; each section has a Planning Worksheet to assist you in doing it most effectively. The content of our telling of ancestor stories includes your life as well as the lives of your two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great grandparents, etc., and their sibling, aunts, uncles and cousins. Ancestor stories include the social context in which these folks lived, their clothes, their farms or ranches, their religion (or not), their occupations, their loves and antagonisms, their education (or not), their friends and neighbors, and the mundane details of their daily lives. Preservation and interpretation of your ancestor stories will occur most effectively if each of us use multiple approaches to telling our ancestor stories to our families and interested others. This is the purpose of this book.

My Review:

Dr. Bill definitely packs a big informative punch with this book. It includes GREAT info on putting together what I would refer to as your "Family Tree." He shares numerous ways to collect, research, and archive your stories for future generations (and even for extended research).

The section on blogging your ancestor's stories really caught my attention. It has several ideas for daily post (or memes) which I though were an ideal way to share and possibly learn a lot of interesting info on your heritage.

Besides blogging, Dr. Bill gives several other ideas to record your stories. A few include books, websites, videos, and scrapbooks. (that's the one I do!) Along with each section is also a handy planning worksheet to get everything together.

Overall I'd say that this was an excellent guide. The readers get a detailed yet understandable way to record history; along with many valuable resources to help them along the way. If you are into genealogy or simply want to record your family's history I'd recommend this book.

And now a Q&A with Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith:
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a life-long learner, along with my entire family. I read and write and seek feedback to learn more about myself and the world around me. I am now retired from my university professor life of fifteen years. I was past fifty when I returned to the University of Arizona to earn my Ph.D. Earlier I was involved in a variety of businesses, government and not-for-profit organizations. I was in the Air Force, served on the personal staff of the Governor of Iowa, worked for General Electric and had my own business for many years. All of this experience was useful in teaching business management at the university. My wife and I recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary; we have three grown daughters and two young grandchildren, a boy and a girl. Life is good!
What made you decide to compile the information (about geneology) together into this easy to understand book?
Actually, I originally was going to write a longer book about genealogy itself, and may yet. However, some recent work with the National Park Service and their National Heritage Areas got me onto the concept of "preservation and interpretation" - which I decided could be easily and meaningfully applied to my passion for family history - the exciting stories you learn as you study your ancestors and the social history they made as they lived out their lives. Those stories need to be recorded and shared. This book came from that desire to share the concept.
What do you consider YOUR favorite way to tell your stories?
Right now, my "Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories" blog[] is my primary venue. I am very active with the group of some 800+ bloggers. I have also used to self-publish three non-fiction family histories of branches of my family with a fourth forthcoming. These include literally hundreds of surnames and are available at my storefront: and my Book Blog: Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar []
Do you have any other guides like this in the works?
I just finished a series of 7 blog posts, Seven Steps, over seven Sundays, on preparation of your Ancestor Stories, [] so you can be ready to share them in the 13 Ways. Whether or not I expand that into another booklet, I haven't yet decided. The 7 Steps have been very well received, so, we will see where that goes. I am always open to suggestions, as well!
**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

  1. Very nice, Kris. Thanks for sharing my book information and providing the interview!