3 Ways to Interest the Next Generation in Family History

Hi everyone, Lisa Louise Cooke coming to you
from Rootstech 2016. And joining me is another Cooke, Lacey Cooke, Hi Lacey!
Hi! Lacey Cooke, can you tell she’s my daughter?
No resemblance! No, and she is the newest member of Genealogy
Gems. We are so excited. You can imagine I’ve been twisting her arms for a couple of years
now and this year, starting January 2016 Lacey joined full time, and you’ll be hearing a
lot more from her. Do you remember back when we did a webinar
on newspaper research, gosh like 5 years ago. A long time ago, yea.
And so you might have heard her if you’ve been around with Genealogy Gems for a while.
I’m kind of interested…I’ve invited her here, because one, it’s our only chance to
talk all day long, but two I’d love to hear what you think about Rootstech, because this
is your first time. This is my first Rootstech. I’ve been to many
a conference and seminar with you but I’ve never actually done THE Rootstech, so this
is exciting and it’s definitely a little overwhelming almost, it’s so much, it’s more than I ever
expected there would be. People have been asking me, because they see
you and they go “oh ok that’s got to be her daughter”
Or they think I am you I only wish!
No but they do they walk up and they are like Lisa! Wonderful!
Well, it makes it easy, right? Branding! I’m curious, we’ve been talking a little bit
about kind of what has tweaked for you, what’s changed in the last couple of months and I
was thrilled that you were getting more interested in family history. And I’d love to have you
talk alittle bit about that because people all have unique stories about what kind of
triggers an interest in genealogy or family history.
Right, and I’ve been with Genealogy Gems for many years, part time, and I’ve always been
interested in the business side of things, you know it’s fun to travel, see new places.
But for me I think it was last year when my grandmother died, on Daddy’s side, and we
were at her memorial service and in her little biography that she had written about herself,
she mentioned where she went to school for college, and she mentioned what sorority she
was in. And I said, “why did I never ask?” Because you know when I was picking colleges
and when I was picking a sorority it would have been so cool to be a legacy and it just
didn’t matter to me at the time, so the light bulb kind of went off, “wow it would have
been nice to know.” Because you had that connection with her that
you didn’t even know you had. Right. Absolutely. It’s interesting, tomorrow’s my birthday,
and this morning we had breakfast, and Lacey surprised me and said “I have to give this
to you now, because you might want to talk about it when you’re running around at Rootstech.”
And I thought oh, my gosh, what is it? I don’t know if you can tell but it’s this little
bracelet on my wrist. When she gave it to me it said “Mother” and she wrote a wonderful
little card, which I wanted to cry and lose my mascara! I’m looking at the “Mother” and
it looks like handwriting, and she says “do you recognize the handwriting?” I looked and
I realized that’s my grandmother Burkett’s handwriting! She’s the one who really got
me interested first in family history. And that’s the story we grew up hearing was
the story that you told about when you were with your grandmother and you asked her about
the family and she sat down and wrote it down for you. I mean that’s the story, so I knew
that! I knew that was important. So little did I know that you were rifling
through my closets looking for…she got this handwriting of the word Mother out of a diary.
Yes, she had several diaries that she kept while she was in nursing school, and I just
poured over them at one o’clock in the morning when I was at your house, I think it was over
Christmas, trying to be quiet, because I didn’t want you to hear me going through the boxes.
What are you doing with my genealogy?! I looked and looked and I took pictures of
a couple of different words I thought might work, and then I saw that one and I was like
“ok there’s so many layers of connections now with that word, so…”
Well, what I love about it, and of course I love family history, is that his could actually
be turned around the other way and given to somebody who hasn’t already been bitten by
the bug. And I’m curious, you’re basically a millennial, a little bit passed millennial,
and you’re new, basically, to genealogy, because I’ve been doing all of the research, what
do you think would trigger the interest of young people today? A lot of people who are
watching have kids and grandkids, great grandkids, and they would love to get their interest
in what they are doing. Absolutely. For me, you know when grandma
passed I was kind of wishing, “I wish I had some heirlooms, or something that was hers,
and I was looking through all the belongings, and I was like, what stands out to me? What
can I hang onto and cherish? So that was part of my thought with that, that was something
that you can pass down to other women in the family. I think millennials, you know, people
my age, and it’s impressive to see so many of them here, I think for us, just because
you are telling a story about the family, and maybe we’re not totally engaged and totally
interested, you might get the eye roll, it doesn’t mean we’re not hearing it. And it
doesn’t mean that 5 years later there won’t be a moment where we’re like “oh yea you said
grandma was into that? Or you said grandma lived there. That means something to me. So,
my whole thing is, don’t give up. Even though they look like they’re not listening, don’t
give up. And keep it short. Tell one cool story about a cool ancestor who helped invent
something, or who lived in a really exotic place, because that will capture interest,
and that’s something that that younger person can share. Because it’s all about sharing.
Right? That’s what she’s always saying, it’s all
about sharing. So we have to convert our passion for all the details into a unique shareable
moment. You’ve got to bait them with something really
cool to discover, so that the rest of it is like “oh there could be more cool stuff like
that out there!” I was just remembering that you were telling
me that you were watching something on TV and the guy said “oh if you can’t share it
on Facebook it didn’t really happen.” Yea!
I don’t know if that’s true. Ok, it’s not true! But Lacey than you so much for meeting
everybody here on YouTube. You’re going to see more of her, and you’re going to see more
of Genealogy Gems, and hopefully we’ll see more of you at all the conferences coming
up in the coming year. In the meantime, would you stay in touch with us? And down below
this video (in YouTube) is a Subscribe button. Click it, and we’ll let you know when our
next new video comes out, ok? Thank you!


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