Posts Tagged ‘ancestors’
Thank you to Jennifer Shoer for her second guest post for kids! If you missed Part I, you can still read it here.
Turn the Camera on Your Parents and Grandparents – Video for Family History – Part 2
The holidays are right around the corner. No matter what holiday you will be celebrating, I bet you will be spending time with your family. Sometimes it seems boring to spend time with older people, but when was the last time you sat down and asked them questions about their lives…what they love, what they remember and what it feels like to be X years old?
In my last post I told you about my grandfather, Bubba, who was an amazing family historian. He recorded the details of our lives in both photos and movie film. Bubba died twelve years ago. I will always remember how many years it has been because my youngest son was born the same year. Bubba did get to hold him, make a wish (Do all families make wishes on new babies?) and call him the ugliest baby in the family (the newest was always the ugliest).
I like knowing that Bubba lived to hold all of my babies and I love looking at pictures of him, but do you know what I really wish? I wish I had taken movies (or videos as they are known today). I wish I could hear his voice and his chuckle. He told my sister and me so many stories. I tell my kids the ones I can remember, but how much cooler would it be if they could hear his stories and his chuckle as if he was sitting in the room. Some people might find that creepy and it might have been hard to watch the videos soon after he died, but now twelve years later I would love to hear and see him tell one of his stories again.
Turn the Camera on Your Parents and Grandparents
When you get together with your parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents over the holidays, do me a favor and turn the camera on your parents and grandparents. Borrow a video camera or whip out your smart phone and ask one of them (or the eldest) to sit down with you. Tell them you want to learn more about them and their lives and that you would like to create a video of your conversation.
Create a Video for Family History
- Make a list of questions before the interview or look at websites for questions:
- Be sure your video camera is fully charged and that you have extra batteries or a charger.
- Ask as many or as few questions as you would like. There are no rules! This is your interview.
- Prop the camera up so that your hands are free and so that your subject does not get distracted by it.
- Let your subject talk without interrupting him or her. If you think of something to ask while they are talking, write it down and then ask it when they finish.
- Thank them for their time and for sharing their stories with you!
- Upload the video to your computer and share it with your family members. Burn copies to DVD or flash drives.
I hope you get a chance to make a video soon.
Photo credits: Jennifer Shoer’s personal collection. Used with permission.
Want to know more about Jennifer? You can find her at the Scrappy Genealogist blog or on Twitter @ScrappyGen. Thank you Jennifer!!
This continues a series of guest posts from my friends around the blogosphere who can offer specialized tips for kids.
Lorel Kapke on using Sort Your Story
Finding your grandparents name listed in a document can be very exciting, not just for you but for your parents as well. My dad Raymond Kapke, was 5 years old when his father Walter Kapke died and he new little of his fathers life. He took the train from Milwaukee to Cedarburg, WI to visit his grandparents, John Kapke and Mother Marie Nero but they passed away when Ray was 7 and 8 years old. Ruby Toll, Walter’s wife, was left to raise Ray and his three older brothers, this left little time to discuss their family history. Ruby and her mother Bertha Gilbert ran a boarding house and while cooking and baking they would talk about family with little Ray under foot, this was during the 1930’ and 1940’s, during troubled times.
So back to finding those documents and forming a picture of your family as you put the pieces of your puzzle together.
I went into Ancestry.com and entered my grandfathers SURNAME (last name) and First name and found my grandfather in the 1920 Census. Walter was listed with Ruby and dad’s older brothers but my father would have to wait until the 1930’s census as he was born in 1923. Each Census offers different data and 1920 Census offered this information.
I transcribed and placed this valuable information into the Sort Your Story Profiler and included thumbnails of both the 1920 Census and the Ancestry.com 1920 Template Census for reference.
Now it is time to print out this data and add to the KAPKE PROFILER BOOK!
I’ve acquired valuable information to continue the search for more information about my grandfather.
Walter A KAPKE.
Have you found a Census of your grandparent???
Thank you Lorel for sharing your story about Walter Kapke!
Today I have an another activity for you. Let’s break down your family. Write a story about your mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandma and grandpa that includes the following information:
Date of birth
Place of birth
How big they were at birth – both in length and weight?
What color are their eyes and hair?
Where did they live when they were born? Who lived with them?
What is your father’s full name? What is his date of birth?
What is your mother’s full name? What is her date of birth?
Name all your aunts and uncles and write down their dates of birth.
Did your family attend church? Which one? Did they have any special roles in the church?
Where did your parents or grandparents go to school? Who were their teachers? What were their favorite subjects?
Have they achieved anything? Won a contest? Received an award for something?
What hobbies do they have?
Did they play any sports?
Who were their best friends? What did they like to do together? Where did they hang out?
Make a timeline of important events in their lives.
Add important historical events to that timeline.
Ask them how much things were when they were growing up.
Save your responses in your notebook. Check back next week for a guide to write about your parents and grandparents.
Hey kids! Have you heard of 1000memories.com? This is a free site that helps you share your family history with your family or the world. There are several ways to create privacy within 1000memories.com. You can create a family tree here, upload pictures, videos, stories and more. Just create a free account and get started. Then tell family about it and let them follow you on 1000memories.com to see what new information you have been working on.
So how do you start?
- Get a free account.
- Click “My Shoebox” on the top of the page.
- See the “Share a Memory” box on the page that loads? Choose something there to share. Follow the process to finish.
It is very easy to use 1000memories.com. Want to see what I have started putting out there? Type “Jennifer Holik-Urban” in the search box at the top of the screen and see my Shoebox. I’m just getting started but there will be more added. But do you see how easy it is to share your photos and stories with family?
There are many other features of 1000memories.com but start with the Shoebox and share your memories.
Give it a try. Leave a comment and let me know if you do and what name to look for.
If you follow me on Twitter @jencoffeelover, you may have seen my rant recently about those Ancestry.com leaves and people merging stuff into their trees. Let me explain.
My Holik ancestors came to Chicago from Senetin, Bohemia. They all came to Chicago and appear based on all the records I have found, to not have lived anywhere in between once they got off the ship. Their ship logs all indicated another member of the family as the person in the U.S. they were meeting. For pretty much all the kids that immigrated, Frantisek Holik, their father in Senetin or Anna Holik, their mother in Senetin, was listed as the closest relative in the old country.
I found a tree on Ancestry.com where a woman had merged all my Holik stuff into her tree for a Marie Holek. Names and birth years were close so it must be right? Right? Wrong! This researcher took my Marie Holik, sister to my great grandfather John, as hers. She merged in records for that Marie and my great great grandmother Marie Rataj Holik into her Marie.
I was reading some comments on being a professional genealogist and new genealogical researchers that my friend Caroline posted and was inspired to write a breaking it down series for kids. I want to not only teach you about documents and research but break things down so you learn techniques to look for clues and make better decisions about what to add to your family tree.
Subscribe to the blog so you get updates on breaking it down. I’m going to walk you through step by step all the reasons and documents showing why my Marie is not this other researcher’s Marie. Through the process you may discover something I did not.
The month of October has been designated as Family History Month. A month where people are encouraged to start or continue working on their family histories.
Who is in your family tree? Anyone famous? Do you have a connection to a President or King? Do you not have anyone famous in your family? Do you think your non-famous family was boring? If so, why? My family is in no way related to Abraham Lincoln. However, if I examine the life of that family, I may find some similarities to my own.
Every family, famous or not, has an interesting story. You just have to keep talking to your family and digging into records to find it.
With this in mind I decided to post a set of questions I gave my oldest son. If your mom or dad asked you these questions, what would you say?
Why is my family history important to me?
So I can learn how far my family goes back in history.
One interesting thing I learned about my family history is:
My cousin was a Flying Tiger.
If I were interviewing my parents, I would ask these five questions.
1. Did you get expelled?
2. Favorite food
3. Worst grade
4. Favorite teacher
5. Best subject
Other things I want to know about my family history:
1. How many family members served in a war?
2. How many cousins do I have?
3. What is my oldest living family member?
4. Was my family rich?
5. Was my family ever famous?
Check back tomorrow and I’ll answer my son’s questions.
If you visited the blog last week you learned about many great PDF resources provided by PBS through their Ancestors series. Today I would like you to download and print a Timeline.
This timeline is great for kids because it outlines every age from birth to age 18 on a sheet about one specific ancestor. At the bottom of the sheet it has a space for listing source documents where you gathered the information. Use this along with the Research Checklist from last week to uncover your ancestral information.
Last week I posted a few great research files from the PBS website. There was another fantastic resource you should know about. It is called the Ancestors How to Select a Record to Search.
This four page document outlines information on record types and where to find information for that type. For example, if you are looking for a birth date of an ancestor, look for sources like cemetery records, military records, town records, and census records. These are just a few of the records listed.
Not only does the sheet outline where to find records but also background information on a place, group or subgroup. Examples include the history of a place or group or record repositories.
The sheet ends with a glossary of genealogical terms. These are all terms every young family historian should learn.
Download the sheet and print it out for your research file. I think you will find it very useful.