Kids and Genealogy

FutureGenealogists.bmpSorry for the blog silence, but I’ve been trying to catch up after a lovely week off of work. We were blessed with some great weather, and my daughter and I took a trip to Chicago to take in the aquarium and meet my husband for dinner.

While I was out, Megan sent me a heads up that some interviews Chris Haley did on RootsTelevision with some of the youngest members of our genealogical community at this year’s FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Click here to view the interviews.

It’s really wonderful to see kids getting involved at such a young age. My daughter has been taking an interest and at that same conference got involved with the FGS youth organization, Future Genealogists. With kids like these taking an interest at an early age, the future of genealogy is looking very bright!

8 thoughts on “Kids and Genealogy

  1. I think I’m sort of a unique case.

    I was the first person in my family to get really interested in genealogy, at age 11, after I saw the mini-series Roots and reas the book.

    So I kind of started from scratch, when I was 12. My mother and I went down to the Federal Archives in our city and started looking at microfilm records.
    I was so young, I had to write the president of the Newberry Library for special permission to get in and use the library (even today, as back then, the Newberry practices age discrimination–no one under 16 (or a junior in high school) is allowed to get in. Fortunately, they made an exception in my case (but not without massive effort and occasional complaints).

    I encourage all young people to get involved in genealogy. It’s easier now than it used to be. It is tremendous fun, and also an educational tool, as it teaches about history and the process of research, which can be used throughout life.

  2. I had to laugh when I read your post Keith. My mom started my sisters and me very young, and I remember a trip to Newberry one time when I had to sit downstairs in the coat room with a book and read all day while my mom went up and did what she had to do. I was only a year or two shy of the requirement, but they wouldn’t budge.

    Juliana

  3. I too started young – around age 11 or 12. My first exposure was in talking with my great-grandparents and looking at old photos of relatives. It was difficult for me to keep track of who was who.
    When I went to college in Washington, DC, I had access to Nara and the Library of Congress where I did some basic research.
    But in 1997 I was given the key to opening the door of my family history: a copy of The Genealogy of David Putman and His Descendants by G.W. Putman, 1916. This ancestor on my mother’s side had privately printed 100 copies of this small book and I was lucky enough to be given my great-grandfather’s copy. And now, 10 years later, I just can’t stop.

  4. I started rather late, I suppose, about 30 yrs old. But, I think getting children interested in their family geneology is a terrific thing. I sent the idea of working on the family geneology to my nephew who was at the time working toward the highest medal in the BoyScouts…they apparently would accept/recognize working on geneology as one of the things they had to work on a complete…I never did find out if they took me up on it, but I still haven’t given up hope.

  5. I’m 61 and remember talking to my father about family as I road with him on his insurance collection route. He would tell me about his brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and answer any questions he could. In my family there is a lot of handing down nmes and nicknames. He helped me understand who was who. Thanks to him I have known the names of my grndfathers back 4 generations. Today, I know that I am an 8th generation American. Today, I have 3 grandchildren and whenever the opportunity arises, I tell them stories about my family and theirs. I try to make the stories relate to what they are studying in school in Social Studies. It’s important that they make a connection to their past. It helps them understand not just who they are but our national history.

  6. My children were 2, 5, and 8 when we started taking genealogy trips. When we would visit cemeteries, I’d give them an index card with the surname that we were looking for printed on it. They loved seeing who would be the first to find a matching name. Today they are 20, 23, and 26 and while they no longer make as many trips with me, they now help me plan our annual reunion and publish the family newsletter.

  7. When growing up I lived with my my maternal great-grandmother, my grandparents, an aunt, my mom and my sister. There were always family stories. My grandmother, bless her wonderful heart, wrote on the back of every photo ever taken the names of the people in the photos. My aunt was the first in the family to take the time to draw out on an envelope a basic family tree for me when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. It always fascinated me to realize that people had lived lives–were born, lived, and died–before I was even thought of as a possibility in my parents’ minds. After my aunt died, my mother and I went through her personal belongings and papers. She had kept everything–letters, postcards, photos, legal documents, newspaper clippings, everything a beginning genealogist could possibly need to begin the search for the complete story. I have been working at this for the past 20 years and my journey has taken me from Ireland to England, to the United States, to New Zealand, to Canada, and back to England. My children are grown now and often roll their eyes when I mention “family history”, but I know for sure that when they have children of their own that they will remember all the stories they have heard from me about their ancestors–the stories that I was able to share only because someone shared them with me.

  8. I am the wife of Terry(deceased 4/13), son of Lloyd Wold (deceased 7/04), grandson of Lewis and Tonette. The Theresa Delikat I know is the oldest daughter of Francis(Lars) and is married to Thomas. They have 2 Kids and used to visit us in Cleveland, OH. They moved to Wyoming to work on an Indian reservation. Her brothers are Mike, Mark, and Paul. Merril and Marion had Debbie, Gary, and Becky. I noticed that you have Thelma’s family listed.( I met Henry Fedje’s father when he was 92. He told us about ND before it was a state).
    We would take our children to North Dakota or Minnesota for family reunions. I got some of the old pictures through the years. We had the oldest grand and great-grands. It was a lot harder to keep in touch through phone calls and the post office. Keep up the good work.
    Terry and I had Michele in ’69, Daniel Lewis in’71, Meg Ann in ’75, and Kristina in ’78

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