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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Genealogist Holiday Check List

Over the next six weeks every genealogist has a great opportunity to reach out to his/her immediate and extended family and involve them in your genealogy research. Whether it is a family newsletter, a collection of  recipes or putting together an album of old family photos the holidays are a great time to share your research.

The holidays can also be a good time to ask your uncles, aunts and cousins for updates to their family trees. My mother comes from a large family and I have many relatives I have not seen for over forty years. Genealogy is not just about finding your past it is also about staying in contact with your living relatives. On the plus side those relatives may have photos, stories and artifacts that could help break down some brick walls.

This holiday season the most important research you do could be at your dining room table!

Sunday November 20
  • Create a letter to send to your extended family to update your records. Questions could include:
    • Children's names and birthdates
    • Names of children's spouses or children
    • Has anyone in their family done any family research
Monday November 21
Tuesday November 22
  • Check out the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores when visiting your hometown for out of print books, local artifacts, photographs, etc. that can help flesh out your family research.
Wednesday November 23
  • Involve the Younger Generation:
    • Take advantage of a book, movie or television program that a younger member of the family might be interested in and relate it to your family history.
    • Making home made decorations, place settings or a recipe is a natural way to start a discussion across mulitple generations.
Thursday November 24
  • The Genealogy of Thanksgiving: Explore the origins of the holiday, gather recipes and find a list of the 25 Mayflower passengers who left descendents.
Friday November 25
  • Genealogist Supply List:
    • A portable scanner can help capture family pictures and documents during family gatherings.
    • Make copies of documents you want to share with your family. This will allow you to pass them around and take notes during conversations.
    • Never go to a family gathering without a camera! You can take pictures of people, things and artifacts without having to rely on someone else to 'get a copy' for you. 
Saturday November 26
  • Make a list of topics or questions for your next family gathering. It could include:
    • Naming a memorable birthday
    • Favorite Uncle or Aunt
    • Least favorite side dish or family recipe
    • How someone met their spouse
    • Why did they move to a different town or state
    • The origin of their first or middle name
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that I have given you some food for thought for the rest of your weekend.

Take Care,

Five Generation Photo: Charles N. Schultz III, Mary Schultz, Charles Clayton Schultz holding Victoria Faye Schultz, Charles N. Schultz, Jr.

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