Dig Into Your Family History Now – Don’t Wait

In “Researching Family History: Find a missing part of your family history” in the Deseret News, Russell Bangerter described uncovering a family treasure that would rock the world.

Stephon Tull did not know what he had until he was going through some dusty old boxes in his father’s attic in Chattanooga, Tenn. Then he found an audio tape reel with a label reading “Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960.”

Borrowing a friend’s reel-to-reel player, he listened to the recording, which was an interview between his father and Martin Luther King Jr. Startled at

Stephon Tull did not know what he had until he was going through some dusty old boxes in his father’s attic in Chattanooga, Tenn. Then he found an audio tape reel with a label reading “Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960.”

Borrowing a friend’s reel-to-reel player, he listened to the recording, which was an interview between his father and Martin Luther King Jr. Startled at its contents, he told the Associated Press, “I found… a lost part of history.” Years ago, his father had big plans to publish the interview, but it never happened. Tull’s father is in his 80s and in hospice care, so the younger Tull plans to carry out the work and publish the interview in a book.

In the discovery, Tull didn’t just find a piece of missing national history but a piece of his own missing family history, and another chance to connect with his father while he is still alive.

Paintings, sculptures, ancient books, photographs, many piece of history have been uncovered in the process of uncovering our family’s history.

Sometimes the search is easy, opening boxes, cleaning out the corners of the attic or basement. Sometimes the search becomes more complex as people tend to hid things and forget, so look for all those little hiding holes like under the floorboards or hollow spaces in the walls. Sounds odd, but I’ve heard all kinds of stories over the years.

Speaking from experience, don’t be afraid to let the family history into the attic to do the work for you. Don’t wait until you have “the time” to do it yourself. That time may never come. That time never came for one branch of our family. With great restriction, the family allowed the family historian into the attic of the family home. She was only allowed to remove a couple boxes at a time rather than pull all of it out and go through it meticulously. She had two boxes in her car to return when the entire home burned to the ground, losing history that can never be found nor replaced.

Don’t wait. Start digging now. You never know what you will turn up.

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About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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