07/30/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

A Family Gathers

With July 4th right around the corner, many families across America are getting ready for family reunions. Every year, my family meets in Maine during the 4th of July. This year, however, we're organizing a bigger family reunion than we've ever done in the past.

Well over 100 cousins are expected to show up. We have 4 days of activities and meals planned. Plus, we're using our family reunion as a way to collect oral histories about generations now passed on.

Like most families in America, mine is a multi-layered story of immigration. Layers in the sense of time and also nationality. The first of my family to settle in America settled in Boston and then Maine in the mid-1800's. My mother grew up with many relatives who knew our first generation of American family. Because my great-grandmother and several of her siblings lived into their 90's, even I grew up, until my teenage years, with direct descendants of our first generation of American family.

However, most of my family who at one time lived with our first generation of American family are now almost all gone. In order to preserve their memories, and pass along family oral histories, my family will be filming interviews during our reunion. Our goal is to weave together a documentary of intersecting stories of family, history, culture, entrepreneurship, religion, and love.

Here's a glimpse into the story of my family: A Homecoming

Is your family having a reunion this year? What are some cool, innovative ways you've managed to document your family's oral histories for the benefit of future generations?