I’m looking forward to this program for a number of reasons.
Ever since I gave the Founder’s Day Address at Georgetown College in Kentucky a few years ago, I’ve publiclly advocated for the institution of accredited study of family history in schools and colleges. Not so much for learning about one’s family, which is thrilling in itself; nor for learning research, business, & presentation skills that can benefit anyone in any profession. But more so, for the sense of self identity and sense of inclusion that results.
Family history study retards the societal ills that arise when people feel isolated & alone. A student of family history can find more than personal identity. One further finds integration of self with family, community, & social structures.
In the past dozen years, STRAY LEAVES has made a journey of stunning discovery. Not just about the family of Jesse James and its relatives formerly unknown, but also about other American icons like Sam Walton, George Bush, Dan Quayle, Kit Carson, & numerous others who hold a recognizable place in American culture. Now our family of stray leaves joins them. They not only offer insight into us, we offer insight into them.
In the past two years, I’ve been prospecting for a literary agent & publisher for our new James family history, SOUL LIBERTY, Behind the Heritage of Silence in the Family of Jesse James This year Volume I of this trilogy will be ready for publication. For the publishing world, though, this has been a hard sell.
Publishers don’t want to have anything to do with genealogy. Publishers also lack the insight of how new history generates itself from genealogy research. Yet, when anyone reads a preview chapter of SOUL LIBERTY one of the first questions asked is, “Where did you find all this new information and history?”
Hopefully, Who Do You Think You Are? will open their eyes to how much new history yet can be written, if we only look to ourselves.