Wed, Jun

Your Family Story to Go - A how-to guide for connecting through story



By artist Monica Dougherty and award-winning journalist Mary Beth Sammons

Your Family Story to Go is an interactive journal and portable kit to help you (uniquely) find and tell your family story – your own and those of your family members – and to organize those experiences into meaningful narratives.  

It is a storytelling playbook, and a simple reminder, that by taking the time to start recording, sharing and preserving the stories of your family and your life, you are creating a roadmap of inspiration for generations of family members to come. When you learn about your family, you also learn a bit more about who you are.

This book seeks to render these stories in ways that are engaging and exciting—making the small stories universal and the larger-than-life stories profoundly personal. All of us have ancestors calling our names. Serving as guides, we are here to help you explore the generations who came before you and to answer the questions: What’s your story? Where are you going?

The most important story you’ll ever learn is your own

We include dozens of tried-and-true questions and writing prompts to give you a jolt of inspiration. You’re learn:

•    Why you need to tell your family story
•    How to get your family to share their stories
•    Tips for researching and interviewing
•    Prompts to get you started
•    How to organize your story, book, journal, video, photo album
•    What this means for future generations

“To understand and connect with our stories, the stories of the ancestors, is to build our identities, who we are, where we came from, and what our lives are all about.” – Author Frank Delaney

Read more about the book.
About the authors
  Monica Dougherty
Monica Dougherty is an artist, author and art therapist with a long love of the arts and media.  She worked in a variety of positions at NBC-TV in New York.   After moving home to Chicago she received her Master of Arts in Art Therapy in 1991 from the University of Illinois at Chicago following completion of her thesis, “Lights, Camera, Action:  The Therapeutic Use of Film Animation with the Developmentally Disabled” (excerpts included in Art Therapy Practice:  Innovative Approaches with Diverse Populations by Harriet Wadeson, Ph.D., LCSW, ATR-BC, HLM published by John Wiley & Sons, November 2000).   She is the author of a children’s book entitled, You’re A Miracle…Pass It On! Co-author with Mary Beth Sammons of Images of America: Irish American Heritage Center and a fact-based historical novel, Rose’s Ring.   

Mary Beth Sammons

If words are involved, Mary Beth Sammons is your person! Mary Beth’s journalism career began in grade school when she started writing stories for friends, and it took off from there. It has spanned multiple decades and as a result, she has been involved in a wide variety of print and digital media. Some of the awards she has won include: First Place for Best Spot News Coverage from UPI (United Press International), a William Randolph Hearst scholarship and a PR Silver Anvil for winning clients widespread media coverage for placement with The CBS Early Morning News, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Tonight/WTTW and more.

Mary Beth’s experience has run the gambit. She has been the Bureau Chief for Crain’s Chicago Business, a contributor for The Chicago Tribune and reporter for The Daily Herald, Family Circle and AOL News, and a best-selling author of 11 books, including: The Grateful Life: The Secret to Happiness, and the Science of Contentment (Viva Editions), one of a series on harnessing the power of a positive attitude.