Consider Singing the Praises of Your Family Line

Share Article

Brad Boardman, an Everett, Washington genealogy buff is encouraging like-minded family line enthusiasts to get involved in a new memorialization project he’s dubbed “Singing Your Ancestors.”

Have you considered the sumptuous possibility of literally pulling a life, long since forgotten, out of a shoebox and resurrecting the memory of that person for a new generation to know?

Brad Boardman of is a genealogical writing enthusiast and he's also the aspiring impetus behind a new push to honor ones family line predecessors.

Boardman says he’s not complaining about the fact that he seems to have developed what he calls "Ancestors Addiction." Actually, he reports unfettered enthusiasm over his own family line obsession which manifests itself in a completely healthy passion and newly minted project. Namely, a fresh undertaking he calls "Singing Your Ancestors" – extolling the deeds of those family line members whose praises have yet to be sung.

The so-called singing, he explains, has not necessarily to do with music, although that’s certainly not out of the question, but rather with the proclaiming of the personal stories of family line members whose lives have already been lived, often their memories now all but cast aside. He says each and every family line constituent who’s led the way has a life story that can, and moreover, ought to be told.

“Have you considered,” he muses, “the sumptuous possibility you have of literally pulling a life, long since forgotten, out of a shoebox and resurrecting the memory of that person for a new generation to know?”

In Boardman’s opinion, all aspiring family line researchers and family tree builders should at least consider the idea of "taking a step beyond the typical gathering of the family line names, dates and places most folks assemble." While in no way minimizing the importance of those foundational family line activities, he advocates “actually learning and writing down for future members of your family and others a brief commemoration of each of the ancestors you discover.”

With all the vehicles for content publication available today – i.e., blog and article sites, self-published books, forums, social media, the array of genealogical writing repositories, etc. – Boardman believes it is incumbent upon those who remain to work toward honoring all members of the family line by reviving the memories of their lives, accomplishments and even their failures for this and future family line seekers. “We don’t have to write volumes,” he says. “But when we’re rummaging through the information available on a person’s life and deeds, why not just work up a short family line synopsis of what we’re discovering and make it easily accessible for others to view?”

All this may beg a niggling question: What if one is dealing with ancestors who were “black sheep,” so to speak or parts of your family who were generally deemed “unsavory”? Boardman feels every person’s life has value, but if one can’t find it on the surface due to an abundance of evil acts or negativity, one should go beyond the manifestations of all that and look for how not to do things. “We all benefit if we can learn from the mistakes of others, especially if they were our own ancestors!”

For those who would plead an inability to write, Boardman is of the opinion that “if you can text, tweet or post a message on Facebook, you can memorialize your family member. While it’s tremendous to be able to actually read, speak and articulate in Standard English, the family line accuracy and sentiment of the information written is the real goal of family line storytelling, not impeccable spelling and grammar.”

Boardman’s passion for uncovering and sharing the stories of his own ancestors is well-fed. But in the midst of his love for their telling is a strong desire to spread the same gospel to other family line enthusiasts.

While family line writing isn’t the cure for his addiction (in fact, he’d really hate being cured), it does provide personal catharsis while simultaneously benefiting current and future generations in search of their ancestors and family line stories.

Boardman's family line project can be found beginning at the following link:

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Bradley Boardman

+1 (425) 344-9151
Email >
Visit website