Family history can be a microscope on history as it happened. And the doing of it I believe can be the single best tool for teaching and learning “historical thinking”.
I studied American history in college and got the chance to learn from top folks in the field: Joseph Ellis,
Stephen B. Oates and Stephen Nissenbaum. Been a writer and editor and TV producer. Very stoked when I got to do research in the Smithsonian on presidential inaugural history; later during that project I got Ken Burns to write the intro for the book we were producing.
I’ve been doing my and others’ family tree and history researching since 1984; learned how from weekends at the Mormon research library in Mesa, AZ, and from reading a book called “The Source”. That book was the first mainstream tool put out by the organization that’s now Ancestry.com.
Here’s my blog about being a dad:
Fatherhood Poetic. (Only its name is pretentious. lol)