August 1, 2013
Things might get a little spotty here as I we work through changes at my day job—I can’t believe I missed Wordless Wednesday!—But hopefully I’ll be able to get reorganized quickly.
I don’t know if it will last or what he will retain but my almost nine-year-old nephew, inspired by his mother who has discovered
Ancestry.com, asked me if I would show him how to make a tree (online, of course) like his mom. So, last Sunday we met up at my parents and sat down with my laptop and got started. He quizzed/interviewed my parents for their full names and birthdates and birthplaces and the names of their parents. Taking the hint that my father was a Junior so his father’s name was probably…? It’s a bit of a trick question as my Grandpa changed the spelling of his name somewhere along the way.
My nephew then started a private tree in Ancestry that I’ve shared with his mother as a full editor so he can work on it with her as well. I was fascinated watching him enter in the information and think of more questions. And I was doubly impressed when he started really thinking out the hints that he was offered through Ancestry.com. He really looked at what the records said, pulling up the originals and actually listening to the stories I was telling—no, really, you have to understand, my leading complaint is that he doesn’t listen—so that he caught a few errors in the indexing before I got to them. He was reading through the page for himself, asking thoughtful questions, spelling things mostly on his own, and he didn’t want to stop for dinner—which was an issue because, among other things, I didn’t want Parmesan cheese in my laptop.
I am so thankful for that afternoon which has gotten me through a rough week. I had a wonderful time and I hope he did too!
October 27, 2012
One of my non-travel experiences for Family History Month was my extensive prep for a genealogy for kids class to presented at work. I spent a lot of time collecting great resources and coming up with funny family stories, neat resources, artifacts they could get their hands on. I put together a “treasure box” of neat stuff—my great-grandmother’s locket that they let my grandmother use when she was teething, a variety of pictures, postcards, documents, and more. I created a high-graphic slideshow, I had craft ideas, and even resources for parents. I even tested ideas out on my oldest nephew.
The only thing I didn’t get … were attendees.
I was more than a bit disappointed. But we’ll try floating the program one more time in the summer and see what happens. In the meantime though, I found a lot of great resources that I think people need to check out. Here are a few of the websites I found interesting and helpful.
Have you seen other sites you liked?
October 17, 2011
I was thrilled to find a new picture book by Caldecott Honor illustrator Lane Smith (It’s a Book) that had a fabulous family history theme just in time for Family History Month. In Grandpa Green, a little boy tells the story of his great grandfather’s life against the backdrop of a topiary garden of memories. The grandson walks through the garden picking up items his grandfather has forgotten while he tells the story of the man born before cell phones and computers who wanted to be a horticulturalist but instead went to war, met his wife in Paris, had lots of kids, grandkids, and one great grandson—the narrator. Each section of text is accompanied by a corresponding illustration of the grandfather’s garden where his memories live on. The detail in the topiary garden is amazing and the story is moving. It’s a well-constructed book with something for children and adults. And it would be a great conversation starter when talking about family history with a child. Recommended for ages 5 and up.