TED Talks: Family History

I was warned by experienced family researchers that once I started my family tree I would become addicted! They were right. Writing stories, finding connections and stalking my family members (both near and far) for snippets of information have become all consuming. So much so that I have had to devise a way to chill out. Sitting back with my feet up, a cup of coffee close by and a TED Talk was my solution. The topic? What else, Family!

TED Talks: The Family

The Best 5 TED Talks About Family

  1. Family Reunion: For Arnold Jacobs it all began when he received an email message from Israel. It was his 12th cousin who had placed Jacobs on a family tree containing 80 thousand members! You can guess what came next……he was hooked. Leaving aside the name dropping and numbers Jacobs shares his views on why genealogy is growing in popularity. Oh, by the way the party we’re all invited to happened June 6th 2018!

2. The Family Tree: Ok, I accept that this is not a “Talk” and the connection with genealogy is a little tenuous! However, I know some of you were around in the seventies and this little musical interlude may send you tripping back (no pun intended!) to a time when songs had thought provoking lyrics supported by some dexterous guitar playing. Enjoy!

3. The Order of Bloodlines: Taryn Simon presents a discussion on what she sees as the clash between the order of bloodlines and the disordered lives of the people. If this talk is anything to go by her personality is very comfortable with the linear evidence of blood lines. however, she can not being deny the evidence that geography, culture, power and governance all effect the orderliness of these bloodlines. Whether they survive, prosper or disappear Fate plays a hand. Her examples are eclectic to the extreme. From Palestine to Brazil, dictator ships to family feuds she adds the stories to her ordered records. Her final question is both simple and direct. The answer much less so!

4. Recording Our Stories: Without doubt this is my favourite TED Talk. I connected immediately when Dave Isey began talking about a recording he made of his father. I have 6 similar recordings that I made with my mother. She died in 1988 and I have never listened to them. Warts and All started because of those tapes and they will see the light of day very soon. Thankfully Dave was a lot more proactive than I am and his recording led to the setting up of Story Corps. It is now a world wide movement to record what he refers to as “the collective wisdom of humanity” Story Corps has moved on from the small booth he set up in Central Station, New York. Now it is a downloadable app that we can all take part in. The stories he has chosen to highlight in his TED Talk are funny, humerous and loving. A bit like life really! His final words may hit home with some of you when he truly realised the importance of his own recordings after his father died suddenly. Don’t wait too long was his advice. Let those you love know that their story matters.

5. A Universal Family Tree: If you have a grasp of DNA you won’t need to skip over the bit about sub-sections as I did. The conclusion that the whole world population can be mapped by the descent of markers through time is a scientific way of explaining that we are all connected to our ancestors in Africa. Spencer Wells has been given the opportunity to expand his work on DNA sampling to focus on indigenous communities who have had long periods of continuous habitation in one location. The Legacy Project is open to all who want to take part in sharing their DNA. A by product of this project is that indigenous communities benefit with receiving grants for their own local projects.

I hope you enjoyed your coffee break! Please let me know which one, if any you found the most interesting in the comments below.

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