...connecting generations by preserving memories.
ANCESTRAL EXCHANGE, LLC
MEMOIRS FAMILY AND BUSINESS HISTORIES CUSTOM BOOKS LEGACY LETTERS
Don't let your history be a mystery!
If you don't tell your story, who will?
I grew up in a large Italian family. We gathered frequently: grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. We would enjoy fabulous meals followed by coffee and conversation. Once excused, one would think the children would run off to play. Instead, we would leave the designated kids’ table in the kitchen, drag our chairs into the dining room and join the adults. We listened intently to their stories: life in Italy during World War II, working in the garment district of Boston in the 1940s, falling into the pickle barrel at Grandpa’s grocery store, and on and on. Few of those elders remain. Now my generation does the reminiscing as our children and grandchildren squeeze their chairs into the dining room to sit among us. We struggle to remember the stories we heard as children. What would we give to have a family history on the bookshelf? If only our parents had thought to preserve the stories. It’s never too late to start.
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I can help.
Photo by Sarah Elizabeth Murphy
As your memoirist, I facilitate the process of preserving your stories in book form. I guide you through a series of recorded interviews, then transcribe and organize your memories and photographs into a custom-designed book. Alternatively, I can advise you on the process of writing your own story, whether a full memoir, a family history, or a legacy letter.
In addition to providing a priceless treasure for future generations, clients have found the process of reminiscence to be a very positive experience. Please contact me to schedule a preliminary meeting to discuss the process in detail. I would love to hear your stories.
Show and Tell
Storytelling is one of the world’s oldest crafts, and a wonderful way to encourage the community to share personal history. Libraries, social clubs, churches, even family reunions provide the perfect backdrop for adult Show and Tell events, organized and moderated by Ancestral Exchange.
Participants are invited to bring an object, a photo, a letter, or simply a story to share with the group. Each participant is limited to a short presentation, followed by questions and comments.
Sharing stories connects us to each other. Preserving those stories connects us to future generations. Start the process of preserving history by scheduling an Ancestral Exchange Show and Tell Event. Contact us for details.
With few exceptions, most family business owners tell me that they hope their businesses will sustain future generations of their families. To that end, I would suggest that success in the future begins with knowledge of the past.
By combining historical data with current interviews, business biographies preserve the legacy of the business. Future generations undoubtedly will appreciate knowing the history of the business from inception to current day, with emphasis on the hardships, sacrifices, and successes of the founders. As an added benefit, a business biography is an invaluable training and marketing tool. History will dim with each passing generation unless someone decides to write it down. It is neither too early nor too late to start. Contact Ancestral Exchange for additional information.
Write Your Story through Guided Autobiography
Dr. James Birren, PhD., a pioneer in aging research and gerontology, developed Guided Autobiography in the 1970s as a method for helping people document their life stories. Dr. Birren defined Guided Autobiography as “the semi-structured process for life review that incorporates individual and group experiences with autobiographical writing.” I will provide the framework and the prompts for your writing and will meet with you regularly to keep you focused and to review your progress. I will consult with you on formatting, photographs, cover design, and final book printing. The result is a collection of stories to share with your family—hopefully just the beginning of your storytelling. For information on classes, contact Ancestral Exchange.
I am Debra Levy, Founder and President of Ancestral Exchange LLC, a company committed to connecting generations by preserving memories. I am a graduate of Simmons College in Boston, with a degree in Communications/Management. I enjoyed a thirty-year career in the graphic arts industry assisting writers, publishers and commercial clients with book production. In 1993, I co-founded Willand Printing, which was sold in 2000. I remained with the new company until relocating to Cape Cod in 2010. I recently retired from the Board of Directors of Wings For Falmouth Families, a community-based charity. I am a member of Life Story Professionals Northeast and am a certified Guided Autobiography Trainer.
For a better understanding of my work, please read the Wicked Local article written by Sarah Elizabeth Murphy:
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