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The Natural Approach to Oral History Interviews Part 1

"The Natural Approach to Oral History Interviews and the Two Critical Questions You Must ALWAYS Ask" by Robert Ragan (Part 1)

Back in November 1997, I spent a very special day with my Dad on his pontoon boat. We've spent lots of hours with family riding up and down the St. Johns River in Northeast Florida on that boat (see "Papa’s Boat Day Get-a-Way" page).

That day with fresh batteries and a tape recorder, I sat down to record the story of his life–his oral history. It rained a little bit, we were bumping around the boat, and there were boats passing by making noise, but it didn't matter. It added to the charm of that tape.

Answering those questions and sharing all that information is taxing, so after an hour and a half we started to wind down. But before we stopped, I made SURE that I asked the two most important questions that you should ask when you sit down to do an oral history interview with anyone.

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A Google Search Tip that Every Genealogy and Family Tree Researcher Should Know

If for no other reason, this popular video shows why genealogy and family history researchers should download and use the Google Toolbar.

If you like this genealogy search tip and the video feature, take a look at

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Use Project Gutenberg to Get Free Online Public Domain Books that Can Help with Your Genealogy Research

In today’s world of the getting the latest and greatest “thing” - online genealogy researchers have a big advantage… Old books are a good thing to have, and you can find them online for free!

How would you like to get your hands on some rare old books about the land(s) your ancestors came from? They were written long ago and lead you into a place and time, generations ago, that is a part of your heritage. You can. In fact, you can start reading those books in the next few minutes….

In the past, I have written about how to find old genealogy books on-line at a discount,  (See: How to Find Rare and Valuable Genealogy Books for a Low Price) but today I’d like to introduce you to the world of public domain books.

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Bidding wars on hot genealogy items on eBay

A few years back, I did a lot of research and created some interesting Web pages about all of the wonderful genealogy stuff you can get on eBay - and for a bargain at that.

Funny thing is, most of the genealogy world didn't seem to care at the time. Back then you could do a search on eBay and come up with 300-400 genealogy related items being sold on eBay at any given time.

Today I did the same eBay search and came up with over 1700 genealogy items! It is time to wake up and take a look. 

With that in mind, here are some of the current hot genealogy items on eBay.

Note that these genealogy auctions are items that people are actually bidding on right now, in real-time:

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Inspiration For You to Keep a Personal Journal

SPECIAL FEATURE ARTICLE: “Inspiration For You to Keep a Personal Journal - Insights from Deborah Thompson Who Has Been Journaling for 30 Years…”

Doreene Clement, creator of, “The 5 Year Journal” mentions these benefits of keeping a journal:

  • Reduces stress
  • Sets goals
  • Organizes
  • Helps focus
  • Can improve well-being
  • Makes time for you
  • Creates a personal reminder
  • Becomes a treasured keepsake

From a family history point of view, creating a treasured keepsake alone is worth the effort. But today, we will go much deeper. There are many other reasons why you should be keeping a journal of your own.

Are you scared to start? Are you not exactly sure what to write?

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