Put Some Meat on Dem Bones at John Knox Village

I had the privilege of speaking to a record-breaking crowd of the John Knox Village Genealogy Society in Orange City last week.

If you enjoy researching family history and ancestors, have you ever wondered what to do with all of that information you’re uncovered it? That’s what I discussed with the John Knox Village Genealogy Society, in my presentation, Put Some Meat on Dem Bones.

The bones are the facts that provide the framework for the story: full names, dates of birth or death, addresses or geographic locations, marriages, family lineage, and so forth. These facts are fascinating but an interesting read they do not make.

The meat, however, is what enriches the story of your ancestors. The meat hides in the details–physical features, accents, occupations, possessions, housing–situated within historical context of what was going on in the world around them. These details are what breathe life into our long-gone ancestors and create a story that is a pleasure to read.

Patricia and Helen

After my presentation, I met so many amazing members of the John Knox Village, each with unique passions and stories to tell.

One member, Helen Ruchti, brought me a signed copy of her gorgeous book La Bella Vita: Daily Inspiration from Italy. Helen and her husband lived in Italy from 1960-1985, establishing an English church in Rome while there. Her book shares engaging bits about Italian history, culture, food, and geography, combined with short devotionals. Helen is truly an inspiration. If you’d like to purchase a copy of Helen’s wonderful book, email me, and I’ll connect the two of you.

Dale and Louise Stewart

Dale and Louise Stewart were so kind to invite Amanda and me to lunch afterwards, and there, we heard their sweet love story. They married about eight years ago, after both of their long-time spouses had passed away around the same time, two years prior.

Dale, a pastor, was in the midst of preaching a sermon when he felt God “whack him in the head” and bring Louise into view. He knew in that moment she was the woman for him.

Several months later they were married in the same church, surrounded by family and friends. Now, they are working together to write the story of their lives together thus far, sharing questions and thoughts with one another on index cards, which Dale finesses into prose.

Bob Weaver and Patricia

What a great day! Thank you so much to the amazing members of the John Knox Village Genealogy Society for the warm welcome and for being a delightful audience. I hope you left inspired to pick one of those ancestors and start breathing new life into their stories.

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