Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My grandson made my day...

Lucas is only five years old, and just started kindergarten in a private school this fall. So I was quite surprised yesterday when he and his mom asked me on the phone to provide a family history chart for his school homework. Umm- OK!! Alright! How many generations do you want? 5, 7, 12? back to who? Charlemagne? Adam? Showing Barack Obama? After all, Lucas is Obama's cousin too.

Of course, they wanted Lucas' ancestry, not just mine, so that entailed a bit of work, since I didn't have his father's ancestry in my database, and I didn't have my wife's ancestry in my master database. So the task was in two parts:

1) Add Linda's ancestry to my ancestral database, and add Lucas' father's ancestry (from a MyFamily database - I discovered that's where the Our Family Tree data was - who knew?) to my database. Now I could make a decent pedigree chart for Lucas.

2) Since I'm still working in Family Tree Maker 16 for the time being, I created a 5 generation ancestors chart on one sheet of paper, and a 7-generation ancestors chart on 10 pieces of paper (since it is 14 x 50 inches in size). I saved them both as PDFs and emailed them to my daughter.

I asked why they wanted this now, and my daughter said that they are studying geography and wanted to know where their ancestors came from. This little guy has ancestors in the 7th generation who were born in the USA, Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Norway and Australia. How "American" is that?

They also asked for some pictures from a long time ago - I'm gathering some from my Seaver/Carringer collection and will send them today.

I anticipated that this might happen in 3rd or 4th grade, not kindergarten. I'm glad it did, and maybe Lucas will want to know more about his 4th great-grandparents who came from all of those countries to America way back when. I'm ready to tell him stories. He likes stories at bedtime, and now I may be able to tell stories about his ancestors, and his cousin Barack, rather than about dinosaurs and astronauts.

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