“What wakes you up at night?”

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At the recent Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University March 13-14 in Provo, Utah, keynote speaker Susan Easton Black posed the question “What wakes you up in the night?”

For Black, a world-renowned author of over 100 books on genealogy and history, she is “up at night” with genealogy. After telling the audience she finds “great joy” in doing genealogy every day, she remarked to the at-capacity crowd, “It’s obvious I’m not alone!”

At FamilyLink.com we know there are many people just like Black who find joy in searching for their ancestors and are “up at night” about genealogy and family history. And they are not alone. We are also “up at night” working with content partners from all over the world to digitize and index genealogical and historical data. Each day we add new content at WorldVitalRecords.com to help you in your quest. (We will soon open up our new genealogy portal site called GenSeek to provide access to millions of genealogical references from the Family History Catalog.)

We searched for some of our colleagues whom we know are “up in the night” over genealogy and found a few short vignettes we thought genealogy lovers would enjoy. Click on their story links to read and hear.

Many genealogy enthusiasts are familiar with Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, a popular writer and speaker on genealogy. According to her Web site, she is an “incurable genealogist” and “does all she can to get the g-word out there and inspire others in their quest for roots.” She tells of a memory from when she was five years old that kept her searching for over 22 years for her ancestors.

Devoted genealogists for over a quarter century, Leland and Patty Meitzler have many tales to tell. Leland gives a good example of why genealogists should check every possible source they can for information about their ancestors.

Since 2003 StoryCorps.net, one of the largest oral history projects in the world, has collected over 35,000 stories from individuals who have shared their stories. We picked out a story of a mother and a son talking about their struggles as migrant workers.

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