Category Archives: history

My Roots Are Showing; Collecting and Telling Historical Family Stories

July 21-24, 2016 The National Storytelling Conference will be held in Kansas City MO.  The host organization is the National Storytelling Network. their twitter handle is @nsnstorycon  There will be a steady update of happenings from the National Conference where storytellers from around the country and even a few from around the world will gather. I’m filled with anticipation as I prepare to journey to Kansas City to share my workshop on collecting and telling historical family stories. My Roots are Showing, this great play on words, not a reminder of my status as a family elder, but that I am the one carrying the family stories forward.

Vintage WWII image of my father Herman F. Marshall in uniform.
Vintage WWII image of my father Herman F. Marshall in uniform.

If we don’t continue to share the stories that shaped our families and in turn our nation then our future generations won’t know what brought us to where we are now. How can they understand WWII in depth if they haven’t heard of a family members heroic deeds. Where can they go to find information on a freedom fighter of the Civil War era. How did Grandma rock  the 60’s? We need to collect these stories and save them.

You may never be a professional storyteller. You might feel crushed at the thought of standing before an audience, but do you think you could own the front porch rocker with a Grandchild on your knee? Of course you can! What will make your story incredible is hearing it from you! My workshop will lead you  through  the story development. You know the basic story, now let’s dress it up to go out! We are adding all the pieces that flesh out the story for our listeners or for pen and paper.

Do you have a family memento, that funny souvenir or a photo old and yellowed that tells a part of the story? We can use those items to help delve into your story and expand our research and personal connection. Don’t just leave an item  to the next generation leave the story that goes with it. Your best inheritance gift is the story! You could record your story as a living legacy. You can write the story or just tell the family at an event.

If the family stories are sequestered in an elders memories it is time to begin the harvest! I have prompts and tips to help them begin the download of your family history. My workshop will set you on course to collect, verify, research and share the treasures that are your family history as told in narrative form.

Come to the National Storytelling Networks’ Conference  and delve into story as you have never imagined! Listen, share, attend a workshop, learn  teach, network. This is a happening place and a dynamic group. All you need to know to sign up for my workshop or one of the many others, or to attend performances is at this website

 Saturday July 23, 2016 at 1:45 p.m.

My Roots Are Showing; Collecting and Telling Family Stories

I hope to see you there!

Kansas City Marriott, Country Club Plaza
Kansas City, Missouri

3 Reasons to Attend Connecticut Storytelling Festival

Only three reasons? It is hard for me to choose three reasons to attend the Connecticut Storytelling Festival, but here I go. 1.) 2016 Festival Headliner Tim Lowry; is funny, interesting, educational, and a general character, a historical speaker bringing history to life! Well that is a mouthful, but you will see Tim… Continue Reading

Prompt July 4 Family Stories

 July 4th and you are planning a picnic. Nothing newsworthy just some family and friends coming over. This year make it special,  collect a few memories from your guests. Ask ahead for a couple of favorite recipes to prepare and share. Be sure everyone gets a copy of the recipe to take home. Then ask for the story behind… Continue Reading

50 Objects 50 Stories, Connecticut Historical Society

  Connecticut Historical Society had a great idea! They have a new exhibit that highlights 50 varied objects from Connecticut, along with the story of the object. The objects themselves are a varied lot, they range from a Space Suit to a Revolutionary period diary of State Hero Nathan Hale and on to a Pepe’s… Continue Reading

Revolutionary Family Stories

From “The British are coming , the British are coming”, to  “We the people”, the time of the American Revolution spun a great many family stories. Some of the names, faces and characters are well known from our history lessons. Many are unknown and buried in  a couple of centuries of dust.      To unearth… Continue Reading

Archaeology and Family Stories

  It was as if I entered a portal to time and crossed over to the American Revolution. Was this a table in the offices of Archaeological and Historical Services, Inc or my great, great, great, great- Grandmothers kitchen table?   While researching a family story online I found an archaeological report… Continue Reading

Simple Pleasures – Christmas Spirits

Simple Pleasures – Christmas Spirits

A few years ago this story fell in my lap. I was hunting for something to share over the holidays and piece by piece this came to me. It was as if the story had been waiting to be found and  left a trail of clues for me to follow. “Christmas Spirits” is historical fiction.… Continue Reading

School Day  and Story Night

School Day and Story Night

A great school day looks like this:                                                                                     For a storyteller a great school day is getting to share stories with eager listeners. Recently I was  fortunate to share my day with the students and staff at my neighborhood school, Annie Vinton Elementary School in Mansfield, CT.         Pre-K through 4th grade came… Continue Reading