08 July 2019

John Philip Colletta Headlines "Your Family Stories: What DID They Say?"

(Thanks to Laura Mackinson, StLGS Quarterly co-editor and chair of the Social Media Committee, for being our guest writer this week.)

St. Louis Genealogical Society (StLGS) is honored to host John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., for the 2019 Summer Speaker Series. A Washington, D.C.-based genealogist, Colletta lectures nationally and is on the faculty of both the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Athens, Georgia, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). He has authored two manuals, many genealogy articles, and a "murder-mystery-family-history" book, titled Only a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and its Aftermath, about his great-great-grandfather. It is his ability to turn family history into focused written narrative that he will emphasize during his series of lectures for StLGS.

"Your Family Stories: What DID They Say?" is the theme for this exciting day-long event. Colletta says, "Detective work is challenging and fun. But creating a family tree is only half the goal. The other half is learning about your ancestors as men and women with personalities, character traits, motives and aspirations, joys and disappointments, just like you." His point gets to the heart of writing your family's story: seeing your ancestors in sharp focus and committing their true stories to paper. His four lectures will be:
  • Breaking through Brick Walls: Use Your HEAD!—Pick up guidelines and methodology for overcoming research obstacles.
  • Turning Biographical Facts into Real Life Events: How to Build Historical Context—Depict your ancestors as distinct individuals in and of their time period.
  • Principles of Good Writing and Storytelling—Learn to craft an engaging true story.
  • Writing a Narrative Family History: The Snares and Pitfalls—Avoid hazards that can cloud your narrative.
The Summer Speaker Series will be held Saturday, 13 July, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Maryland Heights Community Center, 2300 McKelvey Road, Maryland Heights, Missouri 63043.. Registration booklet and more details on our website.
Want more? Attend the Writing Institute the following week! Details here.

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