Politicians, stay-at-home dads, academics or businesswomen...they all know the value of family and the joys of staying in touch with them. But what is on their family photos? How often do they call their mother and what celebrity do they secretly admire? Get ready to find out through the MyHeritage interview series!
"Genealogy is not boring or stuffy," says Caroline Pointer, the author of Family Stories, a blog about her our family's stories. She is also in the process of launching a genealogically-related business that centers around making people more aware of genealogy.
Caroline set up her blog to find out more about the online genealogy blogging world and to test the waters before she launched her company. While the blog is for everyone's enjoyment, it is specifically written for those who have never thought, heard or seen the word 'genealogy'. Her trial has turned out rather well, with Caroline making some great blogger connections, while also becoming more comfortable with sharing her family stories online.
Caroline wants to help people start thinking about what their family story actually is. She wants to inspire and motivate people to find their family story and express it.
This is what she told MyHeritage:
Can you share a story you featured on your website?
My favorite story on my blog is 'They Were Just Farmers'. It has several layers to it. In it, I have woven together a short 'current' life family story with a family story of mine from high school. The stories serve as an introduction to the story of my first attempt at genealogical research several years ago. It all started with a woman telling me that her family consisted of 'just farmers', inferring that they weren't worth looking up. So, the rest of the story is my response to that remark and how incorrect I think it was. Have you ever heard of the phrase, "the devil's in the details?" Well, I think that the family story is in the details, and we just have to find it. This family story ended up being a 6-part series, but I think part 1 is the best, and can stand alone as its own family story.
What is in your favorite family photo?
This is hard because I like them all. They all tell a family story, but if I have to choose, then it would have to be the one of Pearl Williams Pointer. She is my husband's great-grandmother, and she is absolutely beautiful. There is just something about the photo that makes me think she is going to "pop" out and talk to me (see above for Pearl's picture).
What is your favorite holiday and how does your family celebrate it?
My favorite holiday is Christmas. I begin making candies, cookies, and cakes right after Thanksgiving, and I always cook way too much food at Christmas. This is what my Gran used to do, and this is what my mother used to do. This is what I do, and I'm teaching my daughter the same. We have many family secret candy and cookie recipes that have been passed down. It's a wonderful tradition to teach my daughter how to make these Christmas goodies, and I hope she keeps the tradition going.
How international is your family?
My ancestors were from Scotland, Ireland, England, Canada, and Prussia. As soon as I tear down my research brick walls, I may have different ones to add to the list.
How did you become interested in genealogy?
My dad first asked me to research his dad's family in high school, and unfortunately, I didn't do it. While I can't have that moment back, though I wish I could, the memory of that request and my non-action has profoundly affected me. Growing up, my dad taught me how to solve problems, how to look at things "outside the box," and how not to quit. In everything he did, not only was he always asking the question "why?" he was always looking for the answer. All of these are qualities needed in doing genealogical research, and he taught them to me. Also, in Noel Montgomery Elliot's book (a genealogical handbook) "Finding Anyone Anywhere Anywhen" he infers that it's human nature to want to know who you are, where you came from, and who your people are. I believe this is true.
How do you think technology impacts family?
I think that technology has completely transformed the family dynamic. I believe that the internet and it's ever-growing applications have helped make the world smaller. Along with being able to keep in touch with our immediate family members, it has also brought us closer together with our distant relatives. In addition, it has also made it much easier to research and find our family.
What My Heritage feature do you like most?
Before this interview, I wasn't a member, but I have signed up. I haven't used it fully yet, but I look forward to doing so. I did take a look at various reviews of features, and what interests me the most is the collaboration. One of my husband's lines has a family historian who has over 30 years of research that is not online. If I can get her on board, we might be able to tear down some genealogical brick walls.
What famous person would you like to have in your family and why?
Well, the answer to this question depends on your definition of "famous." I believe that there all sorts of famous [and sometimes infamous] people in all family trees. Whether they were signers of the Declaration of Independence, governors, horse thieves, or farmers...they are all famous.
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