“They Were Only Farmers” – Take The Challenge

Cotton FieldsToday at Physical Therapy I was talking with a young Hispanic man who is one of the therapy helpers/receptionist. He asked me what I did when I was not submitting to “torture” and I enthusiastically told him about writing my books and about Genealogy. He asked a few questions and I was very excited to answer them for him. Then he said “I really don’t know why anyone would want to find out about their Ancestors.” I was shocked! Did he really just say that? So I asked him “Why wouldn’t they?”

He looked at me and said “I don’t think I would want to know about my family because they were all just farmers.”  I guess the look on face said it all because before I could reply he said, “I guess if your family was famous or rich then it would be interesting.” Again, I am sure my face gave me away.

I then posed a question to him, “How would you feel if your Great Grandchildren said I don’t want to know about myFarmers Great Grandfather because he was just a receptionist?” The look on his face was priceless.  I went on to tell him that his family were farmers by profession, they themselves were something else altogether. They could have been musicians, dancers. weavers, city leaders or a number of other things. They were definitely Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, Aunts or Uncles. Who they were was not defined by what job they performed or how they made their living but by their character and interests.

I offered to help him find some information about his family, so on my next visit he will bring me names, dates, and locations of his Grandparents. I told him to ask his parents about the Family Stories and he might be surprised at what he may find.

I am hoping that I can help this young man find a passion for his Family History. It broke my heart to think that so many of our younger generation probably feel the exact same way. How can we help?

CHALLENGE:   What if each one of us offered to help one young person find their Ancestors and their stories?  My challenge is for each one of you to find a younger person and introduce them to the wonderful world of Genealogy. Yes it will take some time away from your own research or job or leisure time, but think of the reward of seeing a young person develop a love for their Family History.

If you do take the challenge please leave a comment and let me know how it went. I would love to hear about it.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Genealogy by Surprise!



You know you have a serious Genealogy obsession when even going to an Air Show brings out the Genealogist in you.  This past weekend my husband and I attended the “Lightning in the Desert” Air Show at Luke Air Force Base here in Phoenix.  It was filled with people, food and a large variety of planes.

Photography is another passion of mine so I was excited for the opportunity to capture some really great shots of the planes, both on the ground and in the air. It was a great day. As we were leaving I spotted a large plane with the rear lifted up. It was huge! I really don’t know how I missed it when we were coming in. When my husband told me what kind of plane it was, a C-130, I was thrilled. It was the same plane that my brother flew on during the Vietnam War. I immediately jumped into action. I took pictures inside and out of practically every part of the plane. I then talked to the Airman who was standing at the table selling patches and shirts. I asked him questions like “How much different is this plane than the one that was used during the 1960’s?” I then went inside and talked to the two Airmen that were Loadmasters. My brother was the Loadmaster during his 4 tours in Vietnam. I found out exactly what their duties were and how important the position was.

My brother is 18 years older than me. He joined the Air Force when I was 6 months old, as a result I only got to see him about 5 times in my life and I really don’t remember too much about him. In the early 1980’s my mother disowned him and we never heard from him again. I do know that when I was in the 5th grade my mother received a letter from the Air Force. It was a commendation for heroic acts while flying into the jungles of Vietnam. He literally saved the plane from crashing and in turn saved all those onboard. I want to write up his story and now I have pictures to go with it and lots of first-hand information about the plane and the job of a Loadmaster to add to it.

The moral of this story is: You never know when or where you may find answers to your Genealogy questions.