I Made A Difference For That One

Why do I write how to books? Why do I love teaching at family history conferences? Why do I share the things I’ve learned about my family on this blog? Why do I talk non-stop about family history to anyone who would listen? Because my efforts will make a difference.

Bonnie Burgamy Starfish

Do you know this poem? I heard it so often as while I competed in pageants. It was such a great motivational piece. Today, it is now a great motivational piece for me as a family historian.

Earlier this month I helped a friend find the birth certificate for her husband’s grandfather. We may have extended that family line back one generation (we’ll find out after further research). I can’t wait to hear what her husband has to say to all of this! (Especially since he kept asking her when she’d work on his line!)

Last Tuesday, a sweet friend shared with me a story of how she discovered more about an ancestor and the cousin she met along the way. I loved the story just as much as if this was my family discovery. She said this all started by sharing my love of family history. I’m so humbled.

In pageants, I was told to have a platform I was passionate about. Back then, it was “Lead By Example.” It wasn’t fit for pageantry, but certainly, something that I attempt to follow. Today, Family History might not be a ‘pageant worthy’ platform, but it is my passion.

If I were ever to do a pageant again, it would be my platform regardless of it was a ‘good fit’ or not. I don’t plan on competing in heels and a gown anytime soon, but I do hope I can promote the benefits of family history as if I wore a crown.

I share, invite, and talk to a lot of people about how family history is for everyone, and how they should get involved. For many, my efforts seem a bit pointless. Getting those without motivation to become interested in family history, may seem like tossing starfish back into the sea. I still throw the starfish.

When I have or heard about experiences like these, I recognize that I am a part of¬†something greater than myself. My little efforts to make a difference, and I am so glad I tossed. I have and do ‘make a difference for that one.’

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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