TELL ME A STORY
Journalist and family historian Lillian Cox is on a mission to engage young people in American history – a goal, she says, that can yield therapeutic rewards for every family member, young and old, who wants to get involved. “ begins with the stories of everyAmerican family and this begins with us as individuals,” she said. “The process of capturing our stories, and those of loved ones who have passed, is a gift to future generations. In doing this work, we experience a sense of completeness which is an unexpected gift to ourselves.”
Carol Baird is past president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of San Diego, and the first of her generation of German Jews to be born in the United States. “Family history research is therapeutic, not only for descendants of Holocaust survivors, but for anyone who has lost a relative,” she explained. “Genealogy can serve as a tool for mental health. If there are gaps in your genealogy there are holes in your soul.”
Laurie Lehman, LCSW, contracted Lillian to interview her widowed father for a family history project when he grew depressed and isolated after losing two family members who were his primary source of psychological and social support. An only child who grew up in the Depression, he had no photographs and few memories except that his father was a highly regarded watchmaker who created time pieces for the well- to-do including the DuPont family.
Lillian was able to secure a copy of a World War II draft card with a physical description of Laurie’s grandfather as well as photographs of watches he designed and her father’s 1930s-era childhood home. The revelations stimulated a new wave of memories and lively telephone conversations.
“My father lives in New York State and looks forward to Lillian’s calls because their discussions are fresh and positive, different from the ones he and I have,” Laurie explained. “To talk to someone like Lillian who knows what questions to ask, to guide those memories and to genuinely care is invaluable. It has made him do a lot of thinking, and feel important and valued. It’s not just about him, it’s a gift to my son and me because we’re learning about our heritage.”
Lillian provides family history services that include research, interviewing, editing, writing and publishing for products such as taped oral histories, memoirs and themed, illustrated one page mini-memoirs that capture special events such as the birth of a child or a turning point in someone’s life.
Fee for in-person, oral history interview is $75/hour; phone interviews $45/hour. Mini-memoirs start at $200. Full-length memoirs are priced contingent on complexity and length. Group interviews are also available.
For more information or to set up a complimentary meeting, call Lillian Cox at 760-436-0756, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit lilliancox.com.