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Ginevra MorseDirector of Education & Online Programseducation@nehgs.org617-226-1227
Genealogy gives everyone in the family a reason to come together, share photos, listen to stories, and remember those who came before us.
Getting children and teenagers interested in learning about the past is no small feat. Yet, they are our next generation of family history “keepers” and “seekers.” It is important to engage them in thinking about previous generations while their oldest relatives are still alive. Genealogical research teaches many lessons and skills that children can put to great use both in school and when trying to understand the world we live in today. It can also be important to their development into inquisitive, self-assured, thoughtful, grounded, and empowered adults.
What can children and teenagers gain from genealogical work?
Help guide your children or students through these simple steps to discovering their ancestors:
Talk to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members as you work to fill out your family tree. Gather information on birth, marriage, and death dates as well as the places where each event occurred (remember to get the city and state!).
Use AmericanAncestors.org and other websites to begin searching for information relating to your family. Keep track of where you have searched and what information you find (or don't find).
Pick an individual or family who you would like to know more about. Some possible questions are:
Visit a library, such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts, or your local library to look for answers to your questions.
Often research leads us to more questions about our ancestors. Keep researching, asking questions, and learning new strategies for discovering information about your ancestors.
Family TreeA Bibliography of Resources for Kids and FamiliesMake Ancestral Ornaments!