Find My Ancestor Blog

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

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.


Family History in 37 Minutes

There was a really great article in Thursday's paper of the Deseret News on family history. The article is titled Family History in 37 Minutes. The article talks about a family who has made a 37 minute documentary on their family history. 
The message Clayton Brough wants your family to take away is this: Family history is not just for crusty old men winding and rewinding microfilm in a dark back room.
The video can be viewed on YouTube and the entire script is on
We tapped into resources online," Brough said, pointing out they didn't have to wait months on end to get information or images for video: Family members from across the globe could send a quick e-mail and they had what they needed.
 This article gives a great example of a family history project to help preserve and share our genealogy with others. It also gives a great example of how we can get the younger generations involved with family history. To read the entire article, click here.


Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast Ends

For those of you who haven't heard Lisa Cooke's latest podcast, episode 81, she announces that she will soon be publishing the last episode of the Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast. It is sad to hear that such a great podcast is now coming to an end, but she explains why she is no longer going to be making episodes.

The 'Genealogy Made Easy' podcast is meant for those who are just beginning their family history and need to know how to find their ancestors and different techniques for those who do not know what to do. Lisa feels that the podcast has done just that. 

She announces that just because she is ending the one podcast, that the other, Genealogy Gems, will still continue and she hopes that by focusing her time on just one podcast that she will be able to get more episodes out more often. She hopes she can publish an episode weekly! Lisa also has her Premium Members episodes as well that she will continue to publish. And after all this, we can assume she will continue to host the Family Tree Magazine podcast as well. 

I myself am sad to see the 'Genealogy Made Easy' podcast ending, but I am glad that she will continue to publish the Genealogy Gems podcast with more frequent episodes. Thanks Lisa for all your hard work bringing us such great information and entertainment!

For those who have never listened to Lisa's podcasts, I highly recommend them whether you are a beginner or more seasoned genealogist. I am pretty sure that the 'Genealogy Made Easy' episodes will still be available through iTunes or her website even though she will no longer be publishing new episodes. If I hear anything else, I will be sure to let you know.


Ancestry Magazine Discontinues Publication

It is sad to hear that Ancestry Magazine will no longer be publishing their great magazine.

The following is posted on Ancestry Magazine website:
For 25 years, Ancestry magazine has been a valuable, timely resource for family history professionals, hobbyists, and novices alike. For a variety of reasons, the time has come for us to discontinue publication. Over the last few years, we have found that with the expanded accessibility of terrific family history content published online at we can reach a larger and broader audience than the limited distribution of a print publication.
The March/April 2010 issue will be the final issue of Ancestry magazine. Subscribers to Ancestry magazine with current subscriptions that will not be completed by the mailing of the March/April 2010 magazine will receive prorated refunds. Subscribers will find a letter enclosed with their final issue informing them of these details. We are also no longer selling new magazine subscriptions nor renewing those that have expired. Single copies of past issues, including the upcoming March/April issue, will be available for purchase in our online store.
With Ancestry magazine we have loved the opportunity we’ve had to write about the best of what we found in the world of family history. We thank our readers and contributors for sharing our enthusiasm for all things genealogy.
The Ancestry Magazine Staff
We will all miss the wonderful job Ancestry Magazine has done to produce such a great product. Let us hope that they will continue to do an online publication of some sort.