Have you ever wondered about your family's history? Who were your great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents? Where did they come from? Genealogy is the record or account of the ancestry and descent of a person, family, or group. It's also the study of families and history.
Why Would You Want to Know?
Learning about your family's past can be fun and educational at the same time! It's important to learn your family's history so you can find the origins of some of your family traditions. You might want to research your ancestors to find out what countries they came from. Many times your parents come from different backgrounds and their family histories can be very unique. Your ancestors may have passed down some of your favorite family recipes, holiday traditions and even family names. Some physical traits can also be researched. Where did you get your curly hair? Why do your brothers and sisters all have green eyes? Why are you so tall? You might be able to find out that your great-great grandfather or grandmother may have had the same traits.
How Do I Find Out?
Researching your genealogy can be a great family activity. There are many places to look for information. There are several great Internet sites that offer old records and documents. By typing in some basic information they will generate records of your family history. Your local library or town hall may also have records of marriages, births and deaths in the public records file. You could also find out genealogy information by interviewing your grandparents or another relative. Many older relatives love talking about the history of their family, and they will have lots of great stories and sometimes even pictures from their childhood. They may have more information than you think! Sometimes you can hire a professional genealogist who will do the research for you! They can often trace your family history many years back. Who knows, you may be royalty!
Activities to Try!
One fun activity to try is making a family tree! You can make a family tree by starting with the trunk (the oldest person you can get information from in your family). Then the largest branches would be the oldest person's children. Then the smaller branches will be their children, and so on.
Another activity would be to make a family scrapbook. After interviewing some family members, write down their names and dates of birth in a scrapbook. If you have any fun stories, facts or pictures, you can add them also. Try to see how many ancestors you can get to know!