“By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family.”Orrin Hatch
Since 2001, October has been observed as “Family History Month” – an opportunity for individuals to improve their genealogy skills, find out about new resources and meet others who share your passion for the past! It’s also a great time for families to sit down together and honour the stories that enrich their family tree.
Most children will learn to appreciate their family history if you turn it into a detective game. Start your children or grandchildren on a lifelong journey of discovery by introducing them to geneology. Take a look below for some wonderful projects to do with your children this month.
6 Activities to Help you Celebrate your Family History
1. Go through old photos
It’s so important to share stories of our older generations – see if you know (or can find out) who is in the pictures, where they were taken, and what story is there to be shared. Sit down with some photos and your little one and see what stories you can share with them about the family!
2. Make a Family Tree
Here’s a fun Tigger Movie to watch with your youngster, and a range of templates for for creating your family tree, from trees including extended and adopted families, to blended and same-sex families: Family Tree Templates.
3. Visit cemeteries
If you know where family members are buried, visit their memorials. Take rubbings of their tombstones. See if you can find the oldest one. Did they have any neat things on their epitaphs? If your ancestors aren’t buried near you, check out the website FindAGrave.com – where you can see or request tombstones from other graveyards. You can even help other people by taking pictures of requested cemeteries near you.
5. Create a family cookbook
Contact your parents, grandparents, and others from the family – ask them to send you a few of their favourite family recipes, with a story about each dish, where or who it was handed down from, why it is a family favourite, and when it was traditionally eaten (Christmas, family reunions, etc.)….and try out some of the recipes with your little one!
6. Find out what your family surname means
The roots of your family name can be a great family activity. And, we would encourage you to take a look at the maiden names of the women in your family as well! Here’s a link to get you started: https://www.surnamedb.com/