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Ways to get your Family Interested in Genealogy

antique photo albumGenealogy is the study of your family. It is only natural that a genealogist will want to share the fascinating things that he or she learned about relatives and ancestors with their family members. The difficulty is in getting them to see that genealogy can be exciting. Here are some great ways to get their attention and spark an interest in genealogy.

Does your family tree include a famous person? There are plenty of people who wonder if they might be related to someone noteworthy and famous. Often, the search for the answer to that question is what sparks a person’s interest in genealogy.

If you have discovered that there are famous people in your family tree you should share that with your relatives. They may want to learn more about how you figured that out. This could lead to a discussion about the ancestors that are links between your family members and the famous person. In some cases, you may have to teach a short history lesson in order to get people to understand what the famous person was known for.

Another great way to get your family members to connect with the past is through photos. People like to put a face with the name. Genealogists tend to forget that other people are not always going to be familiar with kinship terms and family lines. Instead of mentioning the things you learned about Grace “your third cousin twice removed”, show your family members a photo of Grace herself.

Photo albums, filled with old family photos, are an excellent resource for getting a family member interested in genealogy. Sit down together and flip through the pages of the albums. This allows your family to naturally come up with questions about ancestors. Share the answer to those questions if you know them. Unanswered questions can lead someone to want to dig into genealogy to find out more.

Make good use of Facebook. It has become very common for a person to be connected to many of their relatives through Facebook. Start sharing little tidbits of interesting information about your family tree. Create posts that point out an ancestor’s birthday. Teach the family remembers that respond to those posts exactly how they are related to that ancestor.

Overall, this advice can be summarized into an easy to remember key point. Emphasize the people in your family tree. Share their photos, and their stories, and your family members will naturally want to know more about them. Not everyone can understand what they are looking at from charts and old documents. Photos of people are much easier to connect to than paperwork.

Image by Svadilfari on Flickr.

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