Find My Ancestor Blog
3Mar/111

Skeletons in Your Genealogical Closet – M. Bridget Cook

As mentioned in my earlier post about the St. George Family History Expo, which can be found here St. George FHExpo 2011 - Day 1 I mentioned briefly about the Friday evening event with author and speaker M. Bridget Cook. In this post I would like to go in a little further about this amazing night and some of the things Bridget talked about.

Handling and Healing the Skeletons in Your Genealogical Closet

During Bridget's speech she talked about her recent book she co-authored, Shattered Silence, the Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter as well as her other co-authored book, Skinhead Confessions: From Hate to Hope. Each of these books talk about real-life individuals that have had life changing effects because of the power of forgiveness, love and hope.

One of the main points from Bridget's speech is the point that we all have skeletons in our genealogical closet. We all have at least one ancestor that when we are researching we find a document or find an event that made our ancestor a criminal, infamous or something else that our first instincts wants to hide. She explains how these ancestors and the events in their lives are important for us to learn and are chances for growth and learning. As we learn and grow, hopefully our descendants will learn and grow too.

Do you keep a journal? Are you honest when writing in your journal? Do you only write about the good days you have and the fun events in your life? Bridget emphasized the importance of writing about all aspects of your life. The ups and downs make your life interesting. If you were to read a journal of an ancestor and all it contained were their accomplishments, good days and happy times, it might seem like they were "perfect" or it might seem to you like you could never "live the life they did".

By including the trials and heartache in your own history, along with how you were able to overcome them will give hope to your descendants. Maybe one of your descendants will suffer from the same physical, mental or emotional challenges you have to overcome everyday. Your words and testimony can be a great benefit for thousands of people. Write what you know, what you don't know, how you feel, your accomplishments, your shortfalls and everything in between.

Friday night was such an amazing experience to be able to hear from Bridget and how she herself has overcome challenges and trials in her life. She gave much hope and encouragement for us to do the same. I highly recommend reading more about Bridget and her books. The stories told in these books are very motivating and personal. You can learn more about Bridget by visiting her website http://www.mbridgetcook.com/

M. Bridget Cook is an author, speaker, and life coach who has been writing stories of transformation since she was young. Always curious and awed by the extremes of human behavior, she co-authored Shattered Silence, the Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter(Sweetwater Books, Cedar Fort 2009) with Melissa G. Moore, daughter of the infamous Happy Face serial murderer. She also co-authored Skinhead Confessions: From Hate to Hope(Sweetwater Books, Cedar Fort 2009) with former high-ranking white power leader TJ Leyden. In her writing, Bridget loves to inspire and be inspired by people from all walks of life.

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  1. I have also had an opportunity to meet Bridget Cook at through the Family History Expo. She is very dynamic and brings a lot to the occasion. Her message to expo participants that they should explore the dark side of their family history as a way to overcome it is indeed a hopeful one.
    For people setting out to research the black sheep in their families, another expo presenter Ron Arons of Criminal Research Press has a useful tool. Ron’s book “Wanted! U.S. Criminal Records: Sources and Methodology” is an excellent reference for sources about criminals. Check out his website at ronarons.com.


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