Eternal Roots: Preserving Life Stories for Future Generations to Cherish

In genealogy, you may often hear people say “If only I paid more attention to *insert relative here* when they were alive”. While it wasn’t intentional, it’s just not something they thought about at the time.

It can be a magical moment when one day you’re organizing a storage area and you stumble across an old family filmstrip or photo album and it’s full of moments captured of your ancestors.

Today’s technology provides us with many ways to document life events with just as many places to store and share them.

Older generations may not be using the latest technology. For the older generations, or maybe even for yourself, have you thought about having a professionally created documentary to capture your legacy to pass on to the future generations?

Eternal Roots is a professional resource that provides an outlet to complete a video documentary of the story of your life that you can pass down to the future generations of your family.

“You should not procrastinate. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us.”

About Eternal Roots

In 2016, Tom Ladegaard, the founder of Eternal Roots, came up with the idea to capture a person’s life story after an interview he conducted with his grandfather. On a whim at lunch one day, he told his grandfather that he wanted to interview him about his life and capture it on video so the future generations of the family would be able to know his story.

A man who seldom discussed himself, his grandfather was excited to participate in this project and Tom learned a lot from the interview.

After this interview, he realized that not only is documenting your family important, services like this didn’t exist.

Eternal Roots is quickly growing as a part-time operation with interviews being conducted on the weekend primarily in the Southern California area or through online video conferencing,

Everyone Has Something to Say

“Your life has value and this is something that you should record, not only for yourself but for your family so your life story can live on. “

Tom has learned from various projects is that everyone has a story. A person may present the objection that they don’t want to do an interview because they don’t feel like they have done anything interesting or think that anyone would care.

He will encourage those people and their families to start that conversation that yes, you do matter and to hopefully spark ideas.

For example, a person may not realize that an occupation or activity that they did when they were younger might not exist today. It may sound trivial to them but may be fascinating to someone today who has never heard of that occupation or activity.

Tom has seen an interesting diversity in his clients.

  • A Native American who wanted his collection of extensive genealogy research documented so it could be easily passed down
  • A person who hand wrote his own biography but wanted it transcribed into a digital format
  • A woman who started adulthood down her luck but rose above to become an accomplished author
  • WWII bomber pilot who later operated a lumber company
  • Dairy farmer
  • A marathon runner with cerebral palsy who has worked in many presidential administrations.

The Process

Once you commit to the project, Tom will schedule an interview in person or via video conference (depending on your location). He’ll give you a general idea of the questions he’ll ask. You’ll also have the opportunity to provide an idea of the topics you’d like to cover as well.

After the interview is completed, you can submit other home videos or photos that Tom will incorporate into the final video to create emotional resonance with topics discussed during the interview.

To ensure this is a positive experience, you have the flexibility to change the subject if something becomes uncomfortable (religion, politics, etc.). It’s your story and it’s private.

From start to finish, a typical project takes 4-6 weeks. There is an expedited process for clients that have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses.

What You Get

Once editing is complete content has been reviewed and the final video has been produced, you’ll receive the following items…

  • Hardcover book of your transcribed interview session which will contain a table of contents and the additional photos you provided.
  • USB storage drive of the final version of the fully-edited documentary

“It’s a value all around for everyone.”

About Tom Ladegaard

Tom is a civil litigation attorney with over 13 years experience. He enjoys taking depositions where witnesses are examined under oath. He has developed a knack for coming prepared and probing with incisive questions which also helps him with the interviews that he conducts for Eternal Roots.

His empathy, intuition, and focus enable him to see the world through the eyes of his subjects.

Tom double majored in philosophy and communications studies at Sonoma State University. He received his law degree from the University of San Diego in 2003.

Tom lives in San Diego, California with his wife Nicole and their two children.

Eternal Roots has been featured in both Ranch & Coast Magazine and the San Diego Union Tribune.