Feature: Get children involved in tracing family tree

Kids will enjoy helping with family research.

| September 2008

  • Family Tree
    Discover your family history by researching ancestors.

  • Family Tree

Involving children in your genealogy research is a smart idea. You can:

  • Let them play detective. Your children can help you find old photos or mementos in the attic or basement.
  • Test their high-tech skills. Challenge computer-savvy children to use their skills to help research possible online resources, which could lead to more family clues.
  • Get ’em talking. Ask children to interview a grandparent. They can ask questions such as what the grandparent did for a living, what memories the grandparent has of favorite relatives, or how the grandparent had fun as a child.

While your children track down those leads, you can scout other sources of information. Some possible resources include:

  • Census records. These can tell you where your ancestors lived, where they were born, what their occupation was, the names of family members and other clues to solving the family puzzle.
  • Newspaper collections. They carry birth, marriage and death notices, all of which provide valuable family information. You may also find your ancestor’s name mentioned in legal or social notices, articles or advertisements.
  • Military records. These also hold important clues. You can search for your family military heroes in records from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War. Draft registration cards hold personal statistics such as height, weight and eye color. Service records tell you what unit an ancestor served in, and if a relative was injured or received
    any commendations.




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