Tell me a story (North Dakota Genealogy)

For those whose genealogy research includes North Dakota (or for those who live in North Dakota, where it’s probably already hit 20 below already), there is a good article in the Bismarck Tribune by Karen Herzog, Tell me a Story, concerning genealogy research in North Dakota. It also explains the Dakota Memories Oral History Project, which is being run by North Dakota State University, in their Germans from Russia Collection. It collects video interviews with those of German-Russian descent, and will eventually be documentary on PBS.

Excerpt from the article:

t’s the way of things: Kids close their ears when their parents start talking about their own childhood, rolling their eyes at those embarrassing and uncool stories about how tough they had it.

Only later, with adolescent contrariness outgrown, do they begin to pick up their ears and listen when someone starts a sentence with, “I remember …”

Only, sometimes, by then it’s too late. By the time it dawns on grown children that those once-unwanted old stories are their own history, their family legacy, the tellers have gone, taking their stories with them.

Mention of the Dakota Memories project:

Designed to document the heritage and culture of German-Russians, with a primary focus on childhood memories and family relationships, the interviews will be added to others already completed depicting aspects of the German-Russian life, such as cemeteries’ iron crosses, food, folkways and music.

Leave a Comment