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David G. O’Neil

Founder & Personal Historian

My Story: Preserving Treasured Memories

My parents raised six children—I’m “number five.” As I grew into adulthood and saw the changes in my own life, I wondered more about my parents and what their lives were like, in the 1940s and ’50s, before we kids—and the ensuing chaos—came along. Like many of their generation, my parents told us very little about those years.

David G. O'NeilWhen my father passed away years ago I knew I needed to sit down with my mother and encourage her to tell me her stories. I kept putting it off and putting it off until August 2006, when I finally stirred up the courage to ask if she would agree to be interviewed. I was surprised and pleased when she said yes. A month later, though, my mother fell and broke her hip. She never recovered and passed away a few weeks later. I regret now that my brothers, sisters, and I will never know the answers to those questions.

I have spoken to many friends and colleagues who have felt that similar sense of regret and loss of not having captured the knowledge and experiences of older relatives when they had the chance. I started Story Trust to help others preserve those treasured stories.

My work with Story Trust brings together many passions: family, history and understanding one’s own place in the world, books and publishing, and storytelling. When I graduated from college, I moved to Brooklyn, New York, to teach high school English and history. After graduate school I ventured into publishing and spent most of my career developing award-winning educational software and books. I have studied economics and theology—an unusual combination, I know. There’s certainly a story behind that. Ask me and I’ll tell you!

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