Posts Tagged ‘kids genealogy’
Are you a homeschool parent or teacher? Librarian or scout leader? A parent or grandparent? Are you interested in engaging the younger generation in their family history?
April 1, 2012 I will launch a set of kids genealogy lesson books for first through twelfth grade students.
Stay tuned for more information and where you can find these books and me in April!
- Follow Friday – Launching Kids Genealogy Lessons (generationsbiz.com)
- Kids Genealogy: The Family Unit (examiner.com)
- Kids Genealogy: Evaluating Records and Information (examiner.com)
- Follow Friday – Tony’s Genealogy Blog (generationsbiz.com)
- Kids Genealogy: Activity – Write A Story About Your Thanksgiving Traditions (examiner.com)
This continues a series of guest posts from my friends around the blogosphere who can offer specialized tips for kids.
Jennifer Shoer talks about Recording it for Posterity – Video for Family History – Part 1
Have you ever thought about creating videos of your family? If you are over the age of ten, you probably already have made at least one video of yourself or your friends. Many of you even have phones that video. Let me tell you about my grandfather and his videos.
My Grandfather, known to his grandchildren as Bubba, recorded thousands of feet of video tape during his life. He recorded his children, his siblings, his nieces and nephews and of course his grandchildren. It is possible for me to view in video most big events in my growing up years right through and including my wedding. Bubba taped that too.
If you listen to the later movies after Bubba bought a video camera with sound, you can hear his chuckle, or his quiet prompts for you to do something for the camera. I loved his chuckle. If we ever complained about being taped (I remember not loving it when I was a teenager.), he would remind us that we were “recording it for posterity.” At the time I didn’t know exactly what posterity was, but Bubba said it, which meant it was important.
Posterity means all future generations. How cool that Bubba recorded our lives as they unfolded for our children and our children’s children and their children. He was our family historian, creating an amazing record of the lives of his family members.
Bubba recorded his movies on film. Digital didn’t exist yet. His first sound camera was immense. Now, video cameras fit in your pocket. At the holidays this year, whip out your video camera and try recording your family members. Ask them questions about what they are doing. If they have a special skill, ask them to perform it. Ask them how they celebrated the holidays when they were younger. If they complain, tell them you are recording it for posterity. Your children’s children’s children will thank you.
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 activity for you. Let’s break down your life, family, and interests. Write a story that includes the following information:
Date of birth
Place of birth
How big were you at birth – both in length and weight?
What color are your eyes? Your hair?
Where did you live when you were born? Who lived with you?
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 siblings and write down their dates of birth.
Do you go to church? Were you baptized? Who are your godparents?
Where have you gone to school? Who were your teachers? What were your favorite subjects?
Have you achieved anything? Won a contest? Received an award for something? Earned an A in a subject you did not like very much?
What hobbies do you have?
Do you play any sports? Are you on any teams?
Do you have pets? If you do not, what pet would you have?
Who are your best friends? What do you like to do together? Where do you hang out?
Make a timeline of important events in your life.
Add important historical events to that timeline. For example: My oldest son was born January 2001. I would put that in. I would mark his birthdays each year. I would mark the date he started school. I would mark the date he did something important. Then I could go add history – 11 September 2001 was an important day in history. He was only 8 months old but it happened during his lifetime.
Write down how much things cost that you use all the time. This could be gas for your car, how much a loaf of bread is or a gallon of milk. How much did you pay for your computer? What kind of computer did you buy? Those sorts of things.
Where have you gone on vacation? What trips did you like best?
Save your responses in your notebook. Check back next week for a guide to write about your parents and grandparents.
Yesterday I tweeted that I found an obituary full of family information. I had so many names in one obituary it was fantastic! I got a response from a follower that obituaries are great but you have to do the research to make sure the names and relationships are accurate. We had a brief discussion on twitter after that and I thought this topic would make a great post for today.
Obituaries are death notices written when someone dies. They typically list the deceased’s name, possibly with a (nee …) “nee” stands for the maiden name and “…” is what the maiden name was. So you might see Alice (nee Smith) Jones died as the beginning of an obituary. The notices also usually tell you when and where the funeral and church service, if any, is being held and where the person is being buried.
Obituaries sometimes also provide a wealth of information on the deceased’s family. It may list the spouse, the names of the parents, siblings, in-laws, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. The obituary I found yesterday contained almost all of those groupings of people.
Ok, so the obituary has all the names now what? Well that depends on what information you already have. In my case, I had the names of all the people listed in the obituary in the family tree. Those people were also already listed by the relationship stated in the obituary. I already had other records documenting each person and relationship.
What if I didn’t already have documents? What if most of the people in the obituary were “new” to me? Then I would begin to search for documents that prove the relationships. I would start by looking at census records and vital records. I would compare the information to other obituaries in the same family.
At this point maybe I have proven most of the people are who the obituary says they are. But there are some I cannot find a record for….yet. Maybe they were born between census years and I cannot find a vital record online. This would require me to search paper records. Maybe there are vital records online and I need to do a more thorough search and change the spelling of the last name to attempt to find a record. I would also visit the cemetery and try to locate a grave and other information. Most cemeteries keep good records so you may be able to find out who the owner of a plot is. If someone you have not yet identified through other sources is buried with the family you think they should be, then you have a clue.
Don’t always believe everything you find in a record, book, or newspaper article. Follow the paper trail to prove the people are who it says they are. If you are still unsure after searching, make a note in your research report to follow up at a later time.
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.
Yesterday I posted a set of questions I gave my son. Below are his answers and my responses.
Why is my family history important to me?
Son: So I can learn how far my family goes back in history.
One interesting thing I learned about my family history is:
Son: My cousin was a Flying Tiger.
If I were interviewing my parents, I would ask these five questions.
1. Did you get expelled? Mom: No. Your father and I were never expelled from school.
2. Favorite food Mom: Chocolate and Home Run Inn pizza.
3. Worst grade Mom: F. I’m fairly certain I flunked out of one college course early on.
4. Favorite teacher Mom: Mrs. Willis my first grade teacher. She was so nice.
5. Best subject Mom: Band and English/Literature. I loved playing my clarinet and I loved to read. I still love to read. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Other things I want to know about my family history:
1. How many family members served in a war? Mom: On my side, Michael Kokoska WWI, Frankie Winkler WWII, Robert Brouk WWII, your great uncle John Vietnam. Those are the ones I have confirmed. There were a few other Kokoska men who were stateside during WWI either training or working in the Army. On your father’s side I have not identified anyone who served yet.
2. How many cousins do I have? Mom: Too many to count.
3. What is my oldest living family member? Mom: Currently that would be your great aunt Bea I believe.
4. Was my family rich? Mom: Not that I am aware of.
5. Was my family ever famous? Mom: Robert Brouk could be considered famous as he was one of the Flying Tigers in China between 1941-1942.
Kids, what would your parents answers to these questions be? What other questions do you have? Write them down and start talking. You never know what interesting facts you will uncover.
- May I Introduce You at Geneabloggers (chicagofamilyhistory.wordpress.com)
I just finished reading a book called Bloody Times The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and The Manhunt for Jefferson Davis by James L. Swanson. This book is written for a 3-6 grade child.
When I saw this book I thought, they didn’t teach us about Jefferson Davis in elementary school and Jr. High. I remember only learning about the Civil War in general and Abraham Lincoln. So this book was a very interesting read for me.
The stories of Abraham Lincoln’s death and funeral are told side by side with the stories of the end of the Civil War and Jefferson Davis on the run. Swanson describes the state of Lincoln’s body as it made the rounds on the funeral train ride back to Springfield, IL. He describes the elaborate funeral processions and services given in each city along the route. Swanson discusses Davis’s retreat from Virginia into the deep south where he tries to escape when Lee surrenders, yet continue the war.
This was a great book for any child interested in Lincoln and the very end of the Civil War. It is a quick read and you will learn a lot about history. After you read this book, try to link it to your family. Do you have any Civil War ancestors? Do you know their stories?
I found a great resource for kids and parents working on family history. The Library of Congress has a Teacher’s Resource Section.
The site has activities for students, discusses the use of source materials and has numerous photographs and interviews.
Take a peek. You may be able to use something for a school project or to help with your family history research!
Hey Kids! Want something fun to do on Saturday, September 10, 2011? You can attend the Free Family History Camp for Kids at FGS 2011 Conference!
The Federation of Genealogical Societies is holding its annual conference in Springfield between September 7th and 10th. There will be four full days of education for the adults and now a day for you! I am one of the FGS2011 Official Bloggers so you can watch my Generations site for updates throughout the conference.
Here are the day’s details:
Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011
Time: 9 a.m. to noon
Cost: Free admission; registration is required
Place: Hilton Hotel in downtown Springfield, Illinois
Ages: 10 to 14 years old
Want to know more? Check it out here or at the link above.