Do your families and friends love hearing your genealogy research stories? Or does bringing up the “G” word empty the room? Why is that? Genealogists are nice people…fun, too…really. But sometimes we genealogists get fixated on details like sources, dates and places and then before the story gets good, our audience gets bored! Here’s a tip: If our families are not interested in our family history – we simply are not telling our stories right.

I love source citations and methodology as much as the next genealogist, but really our family history is not about finding another name to add to pedigree charts. It is about binding our family’s hearts with the stories of their heritage. Stories full of love and loss, happiness and devastation, heroics, valor and shame. Stories that can provide strength and courage to present and future generations. Stories that need to be told and told well.

We may have great source material for fascinating stories, but sometimes we just don't know how to share it in a way that engages others.

Hence the need for the upcoming Story@Home 2012 Conference to be held at Temple Square in Salt Lake City March 9-10, 2012. The conference will focus on:

  • How to Find Your Story with Family History workshops
  • How to Tell Your Story (so your children and grandchildren won’t roll their eyes when you mention family history) with professional storytelling workshops.
  • How to broadcast and publish your stories so generations can find them with tips from professional bloggers and publishers.
    I can’t wait to hear from Rachael Herrscher, the co-founder of evo Conference and blogger of Rachael has been named one of the “Top 5 CEO’s you should watch on Twitter” and a recent presenter at SLC TEDx.

David E. Rencher is the Chief Genealogical Officer at Family Search and past president of Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). I always enjoy his keen insights and gentle humor.

Courtney Jane Kendrick (aka C. Jane) has been writing, blogging and vlogging at her award winning site since 2005. Definitely do not want to miss her!

Have you ever heard and watched professional storytellers before? They are like word magicians! Seriously, they captivate and draw you in until they are practically holding you in the palm of their hands. Two standouts are storytelling masters Syd Lieberman (internationally acclaimed storyteller, author and award-winning teacher) and Kim Weitkamp (founder of The Wrinkles Project, and whose work has been on TV, radio’s NPR and Sirius as well as a noted keynote speaker and author). I can’t wait to pick up storytelling tricks from these two!

Many more presenters will be there and are as equally as wonderful. f listening and learning from such stellar professionals was all that was in store, I would go home happy. But, attendees are sure to go home ecstatic as the conference doesn’t stop there!

Be sure and check out the iTell booth to record a FREE, face-to-face story chat session with someone you love. They have help there with story prompts and tips and a free DVD of your story for you to share with your family and posterity.

Ever hear of a Family Story Slam? Think of it as a story karaoke event, only faster and funnier! You have 5 minutes to share a family story based on the same theme and told before a live audience by regular people. You don’t need to be a “storyteller” – you just need a good story! This Friday night activity is sure to be a favorite.

Want to participate in the World’s Largest Writing Workshop? Don’t know how to string two words together? Need help in finding focus in telling your story? Everyone’s invited to this fast moving, energy-filled workshop that is guaranteed to get you started on your own story.

The Story@Home 2012 Conference even has a Tech Café to help you get started in writing your own blog, get started using Social Media, research your family tree and create your very own storybook. They are going to have all the hands-on help you need to help you succeed.

The conference also boasts a Marketplace with products and services that will bring you the best from the storytelling, blogging and family history communities!

Story@Home Conference is the brain child of noted entrepreneur Carol Rice – founder of Cherish Bound, lover of stories and promoter of families. Cherish Bound is sponsoring the event along with the Ashton Family Foundation and it will be hosted by FamilySearch. The conference promises to be a unique opportunity to get back to the roots of each of our family trees…our stories.

Now can you see why I am so excited about this conference? I hope to see you there. I will be the crazy lady trying to soak it all in and remembering every minute of it!

Note: Valerie Elkins is our guest blogger for this article. In addition to her blogging and marketing talents, Valerie is a long-time genealogist and a lover of family history stories. You can find out more about her at There wll be many excellent presenters at the Story@Home Conference hosted by FamilySearch on March 9-10, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more conference info, see our blog post at

Comments (3)

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  1. Valerie, This event sounds very engaging. Thank you so much for really explaining what we can expect, and why we should attend.

    hkgrobinson 13 February 2012
    2:20 pm
  2. The IGI database is missing, or at least partially missing, from the new Website. For example, a search for surname idzuns at the old site brings up more than 100 exact-match entries, while an exact-match search at the new site brings up nothing. If exact-match is not chosen when searching at the new site, then thousands of entries come up, seemingly with none an exact match. Please implement the entire IGI database on the new Web site. Thank you.

    Robert Eidschun 11 February 2012
    7:14 pm
  3. The whole reason for your website is to make researching family lines easier through the transcription and indexes lovingly completed by volunteers. Though it has been amazing to see the images of actual documents on your new site, I find the old site ten times easier to research and often use both in conjunction with each other making my experience even better. Please do not remove the amazing old site. New is not always better. In this case, the two together are amazing and invaluable Please, reconsider this decision.

    Pat Otterberg 11 February 2012
    7:20 am

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