Friday, December 12, 2014

Whiskey Brothers

A good chunk of my waking hours are spent attempting to make genealogy relevant to people. More and more I attempt to steer my clients away from just finding names to fill up their family tree. Instead, I want to help them find the stories behind those names.

Recently, there was an article in Entrepreneur magazine about two brothers who were really putting their family history to work, and I knew I had to share it. The two brothers, Charles and Andrew Nelson, who had recently graduated from college, took a road trip with their dad to Greenbrier, TN, where they began to discuss stories that had been passed down through the generations about a family whiskey business. When they arrived in the town, they asked the local butcher about the Nelson's family distillery and he pointed them in the direction of the large warehouse that was built by Charles Nelson, the brothers' great-great-great grandfather. They spent the day visiting Greenbrier's historical society, and learned more than they could have imagined about their grandpa and his business. The fire was lit, and a plan was hatched to carry on their family's legacy. By 2009, the brothers reopened the family business that had closed 100 years before in 1909. 

So cool. I love, love, showing how family history can inspire what we do today. If you want to learn more, there is a lovely bio on Charles Nelson's life, here, on the company website, along with this kick-ass photo of him.

What do  you think? How well do you know your family history? Do you know what job your great-great-great grandfather had? Or your grandmother, for that matter? 

(Photos courtesy of: Greenbrier Distillery)

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