Family Tree For Kids

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Family Tree For Kids! Why learn the history of others in the world and not know your own history.

Children are fascinated with their name. A great way to get them interested in their family tree is by giving them information about their name.

It is time to have our children enjoy their family tree and to understand their connection to the past. Children will put their family past together with the history they learn in school, an instinctual timeline is formed leaving them with a better understanding themselves.

 When did our family come to America? Where was our family during The American Revolutionary War, or the Civil War? Find out who came first, your great grandfather, or the invention of the television. It can not be stressed enough how important it is to know your past, helping your child understand the present and future.



Family Tree for Kids


Family Tree for Kids

LeafThere are many things one can do to interest children and young adults in genealogy. What follows are some suggestions and ideas. They are by no means comprehensive and are intended to provoke brainstorming on the part of the reader. The activities should be geared towards the appropriate age, ability level, and interests of the child.

The ideas are not grouped according to any cognitive scheme. As with anything, some activities will work better with some children than others.


Decide first how to handle this issue. If one family has significant skeletons, it might be best to work on another family. Keep in mind the age of the child and their maturity level. Lengthy discussions of mothers dying in childbirth, young fathers dying, and children dying may leave the child with anxieties about their own parents and siblings. Criminal acts and other unsavory activities might be best used when the children are older. Of course, it does not necessarily hurt to mention the bad along with the good. Just be careful that the bad is not overemphasized.

Be open-minded! Your children need to understand that cultures can be diverse, these diversities just make us different, not better or worse.


Looking for tombstones can be a family activity. Children can copy tombstone information on to their own notepaper or even make a map, showing the respective locations of the stones. While plotting the location of each and every stone may be beyond their ability, a map showing the relative positions of family stones and enough landmarks to help find the stones again later may be a more workable project. If the child has a camera of their own, they may even want to take pictures.

Family Tree for Kids

children family tree



We all have ancestors who moved from one place to another. Using an age appropriate map, the child could mark where various events in the ancestor's life took place. Other activities could include determining the mileage between the various residences and how far the ancestor moved throughout their life.

Family Tree Maker 2010If you know exactly where a certain ancestor lived, mark it on a map. If it is in the country, what towns are nearby? If you know where the family attended church, where was it in relation to their house? Where was the school in relation to their home? The same mapping could be done with other landmarks. The library, courthouse, historical or genealogical society may have county, township, or city maps to aid you in this process.


Family Tree for Kids


Genealogy requires a lot of reading. While suggesting a child read a transcript of a court case is too much, there are records that are more appropriate. Biographies from old county histories and "mug books" are ideal. The locations could be mapped out or you could even ask the child questions based upon the biography. family tree for kids


Genealogists use numbers frequently. Taking a family in the 1850 census and approximating the individual's birth dates from their ages is an exercise in subtraction. How much older is the father than the mother (or vice versa)? Were all the children born in the same place?

Take a person listed in several censuses and have the child use the age listed in each census to determine the year of birth for that person. Are they all the same? Are they close? What would you guess the birth date is? Why?  


Do you have any CDs that have well-known people on them? There are several large databases commercially available that contain presidents and well-known figures. Statewide census CDs and census indexes are good examples. I have the 1850 Illinois census on CD-ROM. While he's not related, it only took me a few seconds to find Abraham Lincoln listed as an attorney with his family in Sangamon County, Illinois.

Who was president when a certain ancestor was born? Who was president when they died?


Have the child think of alternate spellings for a surname. It might be best to demonstrate this first, by misspelling a word based on different phonetic interpretations or "dialects." You might even want to keep the list the child makes for you own use. After all, not all 1850 census takers were highly educated.


Are there ways the child can assist you in your research? If they are old enough, they can look for individuals in the Social Security Death Index, the AIS Census indexes, or any of the hundreds of online databases available through the Internet. Of course, you will want to point your budding genealogist in the direction of offline sources. The advantage in using online sources with children is that if they get cranky or bored, other "patrons" are not bothered and you can always come back and do more research later.

Family Tree for Kids

family crest for kids

Family Tree Maker 2011Children love to learn and if appropriate activities are presented to them in a non-threatening fashion they frequently warm up to them. Math, social studies, and language readily avail themselves to genealogy in many ways. After all, adult genealogists need to read and use history and math in order to do research. If they don't, they should. And if you thought these ideas were just for kids, how about using some of them to create visual aides for your genealogy book?

Who is going to keep your genealogy materials when you are gone? It may be in the best interest of your family's history (and all the papers you have collected) to encourage younger family members to have an interest in their own history.


Family Tree for Kids


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Family Tree for Kids


Information Source: "Michael John Neill"

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