I was thinking the other day about how to tell EasyGenie's "origin story," or how we were founded. On this website, I note EasyGenie was started in 2016. That's when we launched our first starter genealogy kit printed on acid-free paper, as a complement to the genealogy guide we had published the previous year (the award-winning Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes by professional genealogist Shannon Combs-Bennett).
But the more I think about it, the more I realize EasyGenie's origin story goes back much further.
Between 1982 and 1985, my mother had the foresight to make three audio recordings with my late grandfather, a U.S. Navy veteran of WWI and WWII. He shared his life story on those tapes, from growing up in northern New York, surviving the Great Depression, his military service, and settling down after WWII to raise a family.
In the late 90s, I found the cassettes in a drawer. I made digital copies of the audio and transcribed parts of the interview before the audio tape faded away.
Around the same time my mother interviewed my grandfather on tape, a cousin encouraged my grandfather's older sister to share what she knew about her family's origins. He gave her a small cassette recorder but she didn't like that (technology was frustrating then, too) and switched to the medium she knew best - longhand! She wrote out a beautiful account of her parents and grandparents, including desperately poor people who had emigrated from Europe under very difficult conditions. My cousin's wife typed it all out and eventually a copy of this account came to me.
As I conducted additional research, more of these scraps and reminisces surfaced. Many of them were written on paper, such as the fragile handwritten family tree drawn by my great-grandmother in the early 1930s before she passed. Some of them were in person, including interviews with my aunt and great-aunt on my father's side before they passed, as well as my father-in-law, a quiet veteran of WWII and a civil war in his own country before he was forced to leave.
It dawned on me that what our families have been doing for 90 years - preserving stories and research for future generations - is in fact the origin story of EasyGenie. We want to give you even better tools to preserve and share your research. Our core products are high-quality paper forms printed on acid-free paper, but we offer other tools such as archival-quality pens for genealogy.
Hundreds of years from now, long after we are gone and our Ancestry subscriptions have lapsed, these paper forms may still be with our descendants, helping to preserve our stories for them and the generations that follow.