Family history, sometimes called genealogy, is a growing hobby and interest for thousands of people, with more joining the ranks daily. In a recent survey, 65 percent of the respondents claimed to be interested, and with the recent developments for using the Internet for genealogical research, it's easier than ever.
Since genealogy is all about family roots, wouldn't it be rewarding to get the entire family involved? Family members can learn more about who they really are by searching out and learning about their ancestors. Is there a way for young and old alike to participate in family history?
Gone are the days where doing family history work meant hiring a professional genealogist, or hunching over a darkened microfilm reader, straining to read faded records. Sometimes these old ways are still necessary, but much has changed. Millions of records have become digitized and are available for online search. Computers make this fast and often more accurate.
With kids so savvy on computers, it's a perfect match.
Here are some ways to get the whole family involved in family history:
We often think of family history as being the search for our ancestors, but it's just as important to record our current family history. Kids and parents alike can help capture what's happening to your family now. A family journal is a great idea for accomplishing this. Family members can make entries recording important dates and places for things like births, graduations, and performances. Kids can draw pictures of things they want to remember.
Four generation charts are available online for free download, and they are a great way to introduce family history to kids. Help them fill out the information. Younger kids may enjoy drawing pictures of these ancestors, and older kids could find and insert photos.
Introduce family history as a challenging puzzle the family can do together, using detective skills from everyone. Keep it fun, without deadlines or pressure.
Kids often need suggestions for school projects, and family history can be an answer, depending on the class. Your ancestral homeland can be a great choice for a country report.
Find out more about the lands from where you came, and explore some of their traditions to create a bond with your ancestors. Special foods, stories, and games can be part of a family activity. You may have more than one region in your ancestry, so have fun trying a few different ones.
Kids can use their modern tech savvy to interview and record memories of grandparents or other older relatives to preserve them for future generations. They'll get to know these people better at the same time.