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Front Porch History

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By Beverly S. Krueger

I don’t know how long the American passion for genealogy has been going on, perhaps all the way back to the Pilgrims. I do know that my great aunt Alyce spent years organizing the Maloney family tree back to the 18th century when our ancestors came to America from Ireland. It’s always interesting to know where your "people" came from or exciting to find you are the descendant of someone famous. Those passionate about studying their family genealogy are looking for and sometimes finding more than just cold facts about births, deaths, and marriages.

During a short visit to Auntie Alyce, my mother and I were regaled with tale after tale of the past adventures, foibles, and triumphs of the Maloney side of the family. It was especially interesting to hear tales of my grandfather. He had died when my mother was young. I know that the stories of her father gave her a more detailed picture of the man he had been. Learning of the hardships faced and overcome by those long ago Maloneys settling in America gave me a sense that I come from hardy folks willing to work to make their dreams a reality.

The stories were the best part of Alyce’s genealogy study. They brought life to the pictures of stoic ancestors. Preserving those family stories can be an important part of a homeschool family’s history study. Fortunately, Tammy M. Cardwell had already put together an inspiring and instructive book to help families collect and preserve their family history. She calls it front porch history, the sharing of stories from one generation to another passed on in storyteller fashion at the close of a hard day’s work. She tells how the storytelling tradition in her own family stopped with her grandfather and of her own determination not to lose the stories he told preserving them for her own children and generations to come. "Collecting the stories became very important to me when I realized that persons I’d been expecting to live forever could leave this earth tomorrow, taking all of their precious memories with them. This spurred my own writing and my determination to work with others. As a result, my story collection grew from a few pages to a small book that I hand-published and gave to my family. I could not bear the thought of limiting the stories to my own children when so many others may never have heard the tales."

In FrontPorch History: Researching and Telling Your Family’s Stories, Tammy shares how you, too, can collect your own immediate family stories and the family stories of your older relatives, and create your own family history book. She gives complete instructions for putting the book together and for compiling your own family genealogy. She reviews many different products and resources useful to this type of project including genealogy software, family history and heritage books and kits, and bookmaking supplies and kits. A section by Peggy Flint tells how to turn this project into a unit study the whole family can participate in. Perhaps the most important part of the book is the first chapter. Any project of this magnitude requires inspiration and long term commitment. Chapter one serves up a large dose of inspiration. The remainder of the book with all its helps and resources including forms and worksheets provides the hands on help needed to make the project a success. At $9.95 this is a must have book for all those interested in preserving their family history.

FrontPorch History is available from Greenleaf Press, 1570 Old LaGuardo Road, Lebanon, TN 37087.

Copyright © 1999 Beverly S. Krueger

History for the Thoughtful Child

Voice: (615)449-1617 FAX: (615)449-4018
Toll Free: (800)311-1508 Email: GreenleafP@aol.com
World Wide Web: http://www.greenleafpress.com

PRESS RELEASE

May 18th, 1999

Greenleaf Press announces the publication of Front Porch History: Researching and Telling Your Family’s Stories by Tammy Marshall Cardwell.

Extending its line of informative, easy-to-use guides on a variety of historical topics, Greenleaf Press is pleased to publish this friendly, stimulating guide to genealogical research. The author shares the important lessons (and practical tips) she learned researching her own family’s heritage. This book will walk you through each step the author took in collecting and sharing her family’s stories. It will take you even further as she talks about things she has learned through the publication of a "family book."

The book is 80 pages, softbound. The ISBN is 1-882514-51-3. Retail price is $9.95. Available at your local bookstore, or direct from the publisher at 1-800-311-1508. Bookstore inquiries and STOP orders welcomed.

Tammy Cardwell is a self-confessed bibliophile and eclectic personality. She is a wife and the mother of two young men. Her interests and tastes may shift without warning, but two things never change - her love of her family and her appreciation of her heritage. Among her greatest passions, these led her to collect her family stories for her sons’ benefit and then to share those stories with others when she realized how many of her relatives would appreciate the gift. Writing and sharing are two of Tammy’s favorite occupations. She is currently doing both as she co-edits The Eclectic Homeschool Online and its print version sister, The Eclectic Homeschool.

For more information, contact Rob Shearer, publisher, at Greenleaf Press (615)449-1617.

Copyright ©  1999 Eclectic Homeschool Association

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