Failing in Family History

Every beginning genealogy class should start with stories. Everyone has stories. Everyone knows stories. So, why don’t we start there more often?

When I want my children engaged in family history and learning about their ancestors, I share stories with them. But I can’t share stories that I have forgotten. I want my children to better prepare my kids to face this world. That’s why I share family history every chance I get. But sometimes, what they need less of is the heroism or agony of defeat. Often, they need humor.

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But how can I find time to share the family history and record it along the way? Well, I have five tried and true ways, but there is another one to add to the list. I make someone else in the household work on projects. Having other people involved in family history keeps me from burning out. This time, that someone is Andy! (The DNA guy on FamilyHistoryFanatics!)

You may have met Andy as we attend conferences together, raising a few eyebrows along the way. We’re often asked, “Are they married?” by conference planners or attendees after they notice two presenters with the last name “Lee” on the roster. (To read more about our conference flings, click here).

As much as I love my darling, he was a trouble maker in high school. His poor English teachers received the full brunt of his comical frustration with the public school system. And yet, those teachers probably silently chuckled with approval as he challenged the status quo of learning. In so doing, he left a unique paper trail.

Many genealogists love finding love letters exchanged between their war bride and soldier progenitors. I love the essays, reports, and poems my husband saved from his high school years and the commentary his teachers wrote to improve his ability to communicate or complete his assignments. Through these preserved school papers, I catch a glimpse of the man I love as a younger man. My children come to know their father as he attempted to complete school assignments he didn’t like. And we laugh along the way.

Andy and I often say, “if family history isn’t fun, you’re doing it wrong.” We put action behind our motto when we compiled those writings into a book. And you can read it to. Where you as brave as Andy with similar school assignments? Were you a follower of someone who planned intrigues in class that were on the borderline of punishable actions? Are you a teacher who enjoys a scholastic challenge in the difficult and dreary world of academia? If you answered yes, or are simply curious, you should order this book today!

Order this book today at


How to Fail English With Style 

For US High School and College students, English is a required subject every year, and they stink! They still stink now, and they sucked in the 1990s when Andrew Lee slogged through “The Classics” trying to find themes, meaning, and symbols when none seemed to exist in books grown men sleep through while watching movie adaptions in order to score with their wife.

As a rebellious youth, Andrew found ways to sneak fun into assignments or ignore them all together. Rather than read Jane Eyre, he penned a conspiracy theory that blamed his classmates for his poor grades.

Review book reports original poems, research papers, and creative writing assignments from days gone by. Do you think an English teacher would fail a millennial teen attempting to countermand the learning environment today?

After you’ve read Andy’s book, How to Fail English with Style, you will know that family history projects can be extremely fun. Use his inspiration to create your own comical perspective on life. Then come back here and share a link to your works.

Why I Share Family History With My Kids
Motivation: Burn Out or Dry Well
Introducing Family History

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