Beginning Genealogy for Kids
March 14, 2013
How can I keep my kids/grandkids busy this spring break and summer? Or, I guess the more "politically correct" way to say this: "What new skill may I teach my darlings in order to keep their busy little minds and bodies occupied?"
My suggestion: start them on their life long journey of tracing their family tree! We have several books available for checkout written for younger people to help them get started in genealogy. Any of these three books, written by Jim Ollhoff, may just provide the spark to get them interested. The book Beginning Genealogy: Expert Tips to Help You Trace Your Own Ancestors includes chapters on:
- "What Does Your Last Name Mean?"
- "Genealogy Golden Rules"
- "Family Trees"
- "Myths in Genealogy"
- "Getting Started"
- "What’s Next?"
The book poses questions like, "When did your family first move to this country?" and "How did they make a living?," which are always great conversation starters. A basic explanation of the four ways surnames evolved is included in the chapter, “What Does Your Last Name Mean?” In the chapters "Genealogy Golden Rules" and "Myths in Genealogy," each paragraph is numbered with a rule or myth. For example, Rule #4: Write It All Down. Rule #5: Don’t Get Frustrated. Myth #1: You can find everything online. Myth #2: You can buy your family’s coat of arms or family crest.
Another book we have in our collection by Jim Ollhoff is Exploring Immigration: Discovering the Rich Heritage of America’s Immigrants. Chapter titles include: "Coming to a New Country" and "Why People Immigrate." Also included are separate chapters for European, African, Asian, Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Hispanic immigration.
The third book to round out this trio for junior genealogists is Filling the Family Tree: Interviewing Relatives to Discover Facts and Stories. Sample questions are included for interviews with grandparents and others. Relationships (my first cousin once removed?), drawing an extended family tree, and how to chart a blended family are also explained.
Check out our other titles by Jim Ollhoff and keep those kids occupied. Who knows, they may be the gifted researcher to break through that family brick wall!
Midwest Genealogy Center