Genealogy for Kids
Where did you come from? What is your family history? What does genealogical ancestry even mean? The following guide will help you figure that out.
All you need to get started is a pencil and notebook. On the first page, start with yourself. Write down your full name, your birth date, and where you were born. If you were baptized or christened include that information as well. Include the date and location. These printable forms may help you keep track of things.
Be exact with dates and place names, if you are not sure, ask your parents to confirm with correct dates and spelling. This is important for future reference.You can add notes about special things about your life at this time, where you lived, if you've moved at all and special memories you have.
Next, do the same as above for your brothers and sisters, if you have them. If you have step-siblings, or half brothers/sisters be sure to include with their information.
Now it's time to move onto your parents. Sit down with Mom and Dad and record their information. Get birth dates, and where they were born. Also include marriage dates and location. If one of your parents has passed away, ask the living parent for information about the other. Include death date and burial location of deceased parent.
If your parents are divorced you can ask about divorce date. If either parent has remarried you may have to include another page for step-mothers or step-fathers. If there has been a name change be sure to record the changes. It's up to you if you want to record the step-parent side of the family.
In the notes section for your parents include stories or special memories about your parents, or have them tell you something about what they remember as children. Also include your parents occupations.
While you have Mom and Dad sitting down, you can also ask them about their parents, brothers and sisters. If you do not have access to your living relatives, or if they are deceased, be sure to write down this information as well.
If your grandparents live near by, call them and ask to set up a day to record their family history. Most grandparents love doing this. It's a great way to spend the day with them.
Be sure to bring your notebook and start a page for each of them. Record their full names, birth dates, birth locations, marriage date and other pertinent information. If one of your grandparents has passed away, you can get that information from the other.
If you have step-grandparents you can do the same for them.
In your notes section ask your grandparents about their lives, what they did, where they have lived and travelled. You can also ask about their other children, your Aunts and Uncles. If your grandparents immigrated from another country be sure to collect information about how they got where they are now.
Grandparents can be a key to going back in your family history. If their parents, your Great Grandparents, have passed on, be sure to collect information about them as well. If your Great Grandparents are alive, you can set up meetings to talk to them yourself if they live nearby.
Going Further Back:
In addition to parents and grandparents, you can talk with living relatives you have to record their information. Aunts, Uncles and cousins can all be very helpful with dates and information.
Once you have interviewed all of the living relatives you possibly can, there are still ways to go further back in your family tree. Once you determine where your family came from, Census records, Church and Parish records, cemetery records from those locations may help you determine who your ancestors were.
Newspaper archives will also help you trace birth, death and marriage records. Many newspapers keep archives that are often searchable either online or at their locations.
There may also be a local genealogy club that can help you find the information you need. Check the phone book for one near you, or perhaps you can find online.
Your local library can also be a valuable resource. Libraries often keep these types of records. There are also national archives available both online and at your government offices.
Another fun thing to do is collect photos as you are doing your research. Often people write things on the back of photos that may help with your research. If you can't keep the photos, ask if you can scan them and keep for your own notebook. Attach the photos to the page of the relative it relates to.
One of my favorite sources is Family Search Organization. Not only do they have wonderful resources to help you get started, they have a vast database of ancestry information that is searchable and free.
There are hundreds of resources online for searching for your ancestors. While some are free, some are pay to use. Be sure to read all details when visiting these sites. Doing a simple search on a search engine, like Google, of your surname, may help you get started online.
Tracing your family can be a lot of fun, and also sometimes, frustrating but with some digging you may uncover some interesting stories about who you are and where you came from.
More Topics | Printable Forms | What Your Name Means | Genealogy for Kids Online Resources