Love Your Lineage is a multi-faceted, friendly, and shame-free approach to family history.

Our hosts, Michelle Franzoni Thorley and Miyamoto Loretta Jensen, help us see beyond finding missing names and show us how everyone, no matter what our background or family situation, can make deep and powerful connections to our ancestors.

This podcast is centered in the BIPOC family history experience, although we invite all to listen and find and claim their space.

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Meet Your Hosts

Miyamoto Loretta Jensen, of Laie, Hawaii, is a professional genealogist that specializes in Polynesian family history work.
She is of Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian), Samoan, Tongan, Japanese, Korean, English, Swedish, and French descent.
In her free time, she loves to eat out at different restaurants with her husband, teach herself how to paint, tend to her plants, play with her cats, learn how to make foods she never made before, swim at the pool with her son, lift weights because it makes her feel like a beast, listen/dance/sing to BTS, eat boba with her best friends, explore different makeup looks, surf when she's visiting home, and spend quality time with those she loves most.
Michelle Franzoni Thorley is a Mexican American visual artist, anti-racism consultant and plant lover. Her work and words are available on Instagram at @florafamiliar.


March 02, 2023 05:00 AM MST
Here’s an interesting question: How many generations ago were your ancestors speaking a different language than you are now? When Dr. Joel Selway lost his mother when he was 12 years old, he also lost a tie to his Thai ancestry. But shortly before his mission he came across an old book about learning Thai, and something sparked inside of him. Little did he know then that he would embark on a decades-long journey to learn the Thai language and, in turn, discover more about his family history than he could have ever anticipated.
February 23, 2023 05:00 AM MST
What does sunshine have to do with family history? Well, besides helping our plants and vegetables grow, sunshine has a profound effect on our bodies. One of those effects is melanin production. Melanin is a dark pigment in our hair, skin, and iris of the eye that protects us from the sun’s radiation. Tragically, throughout history some have used melanin to create caste systems that determine social status, ultimately affecting our family history. In this episode, Dr. David-James Gonzales discusses how these caste systems and resulting colorism began and the impact they still have on us as we seek to learn more about ourselves and our ancestors.
February 16, 2023 05:00 AM MST
Have you ever heard the term “spill the tea”? In recent contexts, this phrase means to perpetuate gossip or rumors. But is spreading gossip and rumors always a bad thing? In family history, it might not be. For this episode, we invited Dr. Sharon Staples to discuss what gossip has to do with family history and whether it can be used as a clue to learn more about our lineage.
February 09, 2023 05:00 AM MST
“Late at night when all the world is sleeping, I stay up and think of you. And I wish on a star that somewhere you are thinking of me too.” These first lines of legendary singer Selena’s “Dreaming of You” may have been written about a romantic relationship, but they also apply to family history work. Our ancestors think of us, and we think about them—and sometimes we even dream about them too. For this episode, we invited Miya’s and Michelle’s friends (as well as our amazing producer Erika Free) to share how dreams have helped them draw closer to their families in the past, present, and future.<
February 02, 2023 03:00 AM MST
An indigenous teaching in many communities around the world is that in nature, poison is often located very near the antidote. For example, in Mayan legend, the Chechen trees have a toxic sap that causes rashes or burns when touched, but the Chaca trees grow nearby and provide an antidote. This idea of sting and relief can also be found in family histories. In this episode, artist Jalynne Geddes shares in her own life how generational trauma has been a sting and family history the relief.
January 26, 2023 03:00 AM MST
When you think about the term “family history tools,” images of gigantic binders, wrinkled family history charts, and dusty rolls of microfilm probably come to mind. While these items can be useful, there’s another less obvious set of tools we need when we research—especially when we learn about challenging aspects of our family history. For this episode, we invited Dr. Ofa Hofaka to discuss emotional tools we need as we approach body dysmorphia, mental health, and internalized racism in family history work.
December 01, 2022 12:50 PM MST
Here’s a joke: What did the pickle do when it won the championship? He just stood there to relish the moment. If you’re wondering what a pickle joke has to do with family history, just a wait a minute. Miya and Michelle invited Latter-day Saint comedian and actress Lisa Valentine
October 25, 2022 09:45 PM MDT
Have you ever heard of Marie Kondo? She’s a Japanese professional organizer known for her method of only keeping what “sparks joy” in her life. We can follow her example by becoming a transitional character—someone who breaks cycles of negativity and embraces joyful practices. In this episode, we talk with BYU professor Christopher Jones about what it means to be a transitional character, and how we can spark joy in our own family histories.
October 25, 2022 09:32 PM MDT
Thanks to Encanto, everyone knows we don’t talk about Bruno. But there are other aspects of family history we don’t talk about, like poverty and shame. Our guest Dr. LaShawn Williams explains, “When we talk about shame, we’re talking about this felt sense of unworthiness to be in connection or relationship with other people despite desperately, desperately wanting to connect with other people.” And like we see in the Disney movie, this feeling of shame can be passed from one generation to the next. So how do we combat it? We talk about Bruno. We talk about poverty and shame within our family histories. And that’s exactly what hosts Miya and Michelle plan on doing with Dr. LaShawn as they address shame and poverty in this episode.
October 25, 2022 08:59 PM MDT
Dead cats and genealogy might seem like an odd mix. But when it comes to genealogical consciousness, they actually make perfect sense. BYU professor Amy Harris puts this into perspective by explaining that as a child, she would mourn the passing of her pet cats. But then she found peace when she realized that all “relationships are durable and meaningful—even beyond death.” This got us thinking—if we can feel connected to cherished but long deceased pets, shouldn’t our feelings about our ancestors run just as deep? In this episode, hosts Miya Jensen and Michelle Thorley discuss with Professor Harris how we can ensure our relationships with our ancestors stretch into the past as well as the future through genealogical consciousness.