Ree Drummond, best-selling author of cookbooks and books for children, world famous blogger and star of a Food Network show brought a feast of common sense to the RootsTech conference this morning. Ree Drummond’s advice: “Tell your stories no matter what they are.”
Drummond had no intention of becoming a celebrity when she first started taking pictures at her new home, out in the middle of nowhere, a ranch near Bartlesville, Oklahoma. She had no interest in genealogy until she was given a book by her mother-in-law on her new husband’s family ancestors. She was fascinated by the stories of how the Drummond emigrated from Scotland to start a new life in America. She became her husband’s source for knowledge on how people at their large family gatherings were related to each other.
After ten years of marriage, Drummond began a blog, just for the fun of publishing stories and pictures of her family and life on the ranch. Something clicked when she realized the stories and pictures of when Grandfather and Grandmother Drummond lived in Scotland, pictures of their early days in Oklahoma, and Grandma’s “socking” away money that eventually enabled them to buy a mercantile painted a picture that was important, and entertaining, to her and her entire family.
Drummond’s early blogs had a lot of pictures and funny stories about the family’s everyday life. She said she initially set up the blog in about ten minutes, more as a place to store her pictures and anecdotes. She got better at photography, told more strange and funny stories and began to attract more and more followers to her blog.
Eventually she posted pictures of meals she was preparing. That turned into publishing recipes along with the stories and photos. From there to becoming one of the most recognized women in the United States just happened.
Drummond’s message to the General Session of Roots Tech was not technical or complicated. It was simply sound advice for everyone who wants their children, grandchildren and future generations to have a feeling for what their lives are like today. “I just started writing about a day in the life of my family,” Drummond says. Now, of all the things she does, her favorite is blogging because lives are chronicled, pictures are saved and history is given context. She said she is grateful she did it because there is not telling where all the photos and memories would be without the blog.
Drummond advised, “You don’t have to be serious. Just save anecdotes and photos. You don’t even have to post a blog. Just keep a journal and save those precious scraps of papers with family members writing on them.”
As she looks back now, Drummond realizes that the blog allows her to watch her kids grow up. She talked about how new technologies have made creating a journal easier allowing sounds along with the writing and photos.
In a light-hearted and humorous way Ree Drummond capsulized the reason for interest in genealogy, family search and attending Roots Tech. Tell you stories, no matter what they are and learn to love the stories of generations past.