Monday, October 05, 2009

A Video of Anne Frank

Like many young girls, I read the Diary of Anne Frank and watched the movie several times. As a pre-teen, her story was so compelling to me and how her words lived on to tell her story even 30+ years after her death. I was horrified at how her life was cut so short. Her story made me want to learn more about a time that was so, thankfully, different than my own.

Now you can see a short, soundless, black and white video of her at

For me this is extraordinary, to see real video footage of Anne to go along with what we know of her already. But it also has a bigger significance to all genealogists.

Anne Frank is a historical figure who is studied by school age children, historians and others. Researchers read her diary, pour over manuscripts and the history that informs her story. So you would think that very little new information would be left to study.

But there is always something, and that is true for your ancestors. I'm sorry, but you have not hit a brickwall if all you have looked at is Internet sources. You need to look for documents and manuscripts located in libraries, museums, courthouses, churches and archives. You need to study all aspects of your ancestor's life not just their birth/marriage/and death. Yes, this could be a lot of work and a lifelong pursuit but it is through thorough, ongoing research that you truly learn about your ancestor.

Because who knows, maybe a picture or a video or even a document will turn up at some point, providing you with even more clues about your ancestor's life. But the only way you will find it is if you keep looking.

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