Author Leslie Albrecht Huber chronicles some of those travels in “The Journey Takers,” which tells the story of both her ancestors’ voyage from Germany to America and her own journey trying to reconstruct their footsteps. She’ll be speaking about experiences with the book in a free lecture at the Bountiful/Davis Art Center on March 4 at 7:30 p.m., as well as at 9:20 a.m. at Bountiful High School on March 5 as part of the South Davis Regional Family History Fair.
“I hope people feel a connection to their own families by reading about these families,” said Huber. “That’s what I want most – for readers to see them as real people and understand their stories.”
It’s those stories she first fell in love with when she went to Germany in 1998, working at an archive near where her family is from. She immersed herself in the history, discovered things about herself while she was looking, and found that there was more of a connection between the past and the present than she had known.
“By telling the story of my family, I felt that I could tell the story of many families,” she said.
In order to write the book she wanted to, she went on to develop her skills as a writer for publications such as the History Channel Magazine and Ensign.
She uses her experience in researching her ancestors to weave some practical guidance about ancestor research through the book, shaping them into narrative rather than a list of facts.
“I want people to learn,” said Huber. “But I think they learn best through stories.”
Huber will also be speaking later in the day about tracing your ancestors from Europe and writing a page-turning history at the history fair, which will also feature several other speakers. The fair runs until 4:30 p.m. and is free to attend, but registration is required (you can register at the door, however).
She will also be doing a book signing at the history fair immediately following her noon presentation, and will do another one from 5-7 p.m. on March 5 at the Seagull Book in Centerville (316 N. Marketplace Dr.)
“People ask me how to write the stories of their own families, and my main advice is to just do it,” Huber said. “You don’t need to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning author to write a story that’s important to your family.”