The best genealogy technology could be the humble telephone

The best genealogy technology could be the humble telephone

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to bring together my father and one of his distant cousins on the telephone. They grew up in the same factory town in the 40s and 50s, but lost touch after they moved away for college. They literally had not spoken with each other for more than 60 years

Over the hour-long call, it was really interesting to hear what they remembered growing up about life in the town, and some of the similarities in their lives and careers. For instance, their fathers urged both young men to get into the management track at the local factory, which made auto parts for the big Detroit manufacturers. The U.S. car industry was booming at the time, but both decided to move into other fields not connected with manufacturing. 


The chat was also a reminder that one of the greatest tools for conducting genealogy research is not a computer or app, but rather the humble telephone. Think about it:

  • The phone is easy to use.
  • Everyone has a phone number.
  • Conversations can flow, rather than being constricted by typing speed or online distractions. 

I took notes as they talked, and this information will make it into my family history files.

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