Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ideas to Share Family History With Younger Generations at Family Gatherings

by Heather Murphy

With the end of the year comes opportunities to gather together generations of family.  Why not take advantage of that to share with your living family the people who came before them?  Remember to keep your ideas simple and brief to not overwhelm family members with too much information.  Pick out little pieces of interesting information to share and don't explain distant relationships in detail because most won't be able to follow you.

Family Memory Game

Print pictures of your ancestors, either on cardstock or regular paper and then paste the pictures onto cardstock.  On another set of cards, put the name of the ancestor and a fact about their life.  Use interesting facts about them and try to stay away from using dates and places.  Examples could include "grew up on a dairy farm", "came to the United States from Germany when he was a baby", "loved to grow flowers."  Turn the cards upside down and lay them out in a grid.  Players then take turns flipping over cards trying to match the picture with the name and fact that correspond.

A variation of this game is to only include the pictures of couples.  The goal is to match couples together.

Family Name Word Search

Make a word search with family names or other words that have significance to your family.  This website is free and does not print any advertising with your word search other than a small line referencing the website.  You can enter your own title, any instructions you want to include, and a list of words you want to use.  Simply type the words in the box separated by a space.

There a lot of options to personalize your puzzle, but don't let them overwhelm you.  If you don't want to change anything after typing in your words, scroll toward the bottom where you will find a large green button that says "Generate Word Search."  Another window will open with the puzzle.  You can then print or save your puzzle.

Question Ball

On a medium sized children's ball or beach ball write questions with a permanent marker that help you learn new things about each other.  Players get in a circle and toss the ball to someone.  The question closest to their right thumb is the one they get to answer.  You can get question ideas here or here.  Be sure to include multiple generations!

While genealogy is a lot of dates and places, the most memorable part are the stories.  Be ready to share little moments of your ancestors' lives, and your own, to help younger generations develop a curiosity and desire to gradually learn more about the family that came before them.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for those ideas, Heather. I use a quiz ball for my Junior Audubon club.
    I got an idea for sharing family history from attending RootsTech last February. I made a list of birthdays from my Ancestry family tree using Roots Magic. When I have a chance, I choose an ancestor from the list and share a paragraph about that person on "My Family" Facebook group. I add photos if I can. When a living family member has a birthday, I find an ancestor with the same birthday and write about them. I got another idea from Diahan Southard. I jotted down her memes during the workshop and made my own using family photos and posted them on our family Facebook group. Cherie Baudrand