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Go Climb a (Family) Tree!

Published on Tue, 07/23/2019 - 12:21pm
summer sunset

It’s July! The temperatures continue to climb while—for some kids and grandkids—spirits are beginning to falter as the joy of June with its anticipation of a long and relaxing summer vacation slowly shifts into a midsummer slump. Need a solution? How about reviving the excitement of summer with some intergenerational family tree fun!

Family treasures surround us. From keepsakes safely tucked away in the attic to antiques and photographs hidden in plain sight in our living rooms, family artifacts can provide hours of enjoyment. They can also help connect children and young adults to their heritage by learning the stories of their ancestors, which are an integral part of a family’s journey.

But how do we begin this adventure into our family’s past with the young people who will be our family’s future? Start by sitting down and sharing what we already know. “My full name is …and I was born in…” Consider filling out a family unit or pedigree chart as you visit the Midwest Genealogy Center to create a record that can be used down the road as a springboard for future research and discovery. 

The next steps are all about learning something new about the family. Arrange to visit—either in person or by phone—other family members, asking them to add their information to the family story you are compiling. Plan a visit to MGC to check out materials from our children’s section or to do a little online digging together. You might also encourage your child or grandchild to participate in MGC’s genealogy events for kids on Friday, July 26, at 10:30 a.m. and Friday, August 9, at 6:30 p.m. There is also a Genes for Teens program on those same dates, which is more suitable for older kids. 

Taking time to introduce children and young adults to their roots can be great fun, creating connections across the generations and celebrating our most precious gift—the gift of family.

So, what’s your family’s story, and with whom will you climb your family tree this summer?

Kim A.
Midwest Genealogy Center

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Newspaper Databases at Mid-Continent Public Library

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