Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Baiting the Genealogy Hook

We just had four fun days with our eldest daughter and her two sons, Lucas (age 13) and Logan (age 11).  The boys know that I do genealogy research, but they don't know anything about it.

In past years, I have supplied relationship charts for both of them and their relationship to Prince George of England and President Obama.

They have a relatively short Italian and Danish/German ancestry on their father's side of the family, and in my ancestry (Mayflower passengers, British royals, English, Germans, Dutch, and lots of farmers) and in my wife's ancestry (Maryland, England, Germany, and Norway).

While we were driving around this weekend, I asked them if they wanted to go on a narrated tour of the Seaver "mansions" and schools in San Diego - the response was "not really."  I asked if they wanted to go out to Point Loma and have a gravestone hunt for my parents, their great-grandparents.  Nope.  Oh well.  They wanted to go shopping at Seaport Village, go to the beach, watch the eclipse, eat dinner in Little Italy, and go to the Jump Around (trampolines) in Chula Vista.

Last night after 9 p.m., I was in the Genea-Cave pecking away on my keyboard adding information and source citations to my database from Ancestry Hints, and Logan came in and asked "what are you doing?"  I think his real mission was to take some M&Ms from my stash, but I digress.

I told him that I was "feeding my family tree with information - it's what I do."  He looked puzzled.

 I also asked him "Do you want to see your Pedigree Chart?"  He said "Sure" and so I used RootsMagic to show the Pedigree View with him in the #1 spot.  It was colorful.  I asked if he could find his great-grandmother (who was born in Italy, but is still alive) and he quickly did.  I went back three more generations and showed him her great-grandparents (his 4th great-grandparents).  He was curious about all of the names - especially the Italian names.

I told him that there were records for these people, and I've been trying to find them, and have had some success.  I also told him that each of these people, and the people in his mother's family tree, have contributed to making him who he is.  He looked pensive.

I also told him that I have not found a link back to Leonardo DaVinci or Galileo yet - that may be his task in the future.

The boys really want to go to Italy to sightsee and perhaps see their ancestral home villages.  Their parents have been to one of them and met cousins.

 Hopefully, this little discussion will "bait the genealogy hook" to encourage them to find their Italian cousins (I think there are many of them, and their great-grandmother has family contacts there).

That was fun.  It was totally off the cuff.  However, Logan never did dig into the M&M stash.  Isn't genealogy software great?  Can I really hook him and reel him into the genealogy world?

What other ways have you "baited the genealogy hook?"  I need more hooks!


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Marian B. Wood said...

Great story, Randy. Often I bait the hook using old photos and dramatic stories (doesn't every family story have some drama?). Grandsons play trombone. Oh, I ask, did you know that your great-great uncles played the cornet? They were military bandmasters in Canada during WWI and by the way, here's a photo. Look at those interesting uniforms! Thanks for sharing the idea to show their pedigree on the screen.

Stephen said...

Thanks, Randy. I'm teaching a Boy Scout Genealogy merit badge course here in San Diego next month, and I appreciate any tips that will get young people interested in family history (not to mention my own children!).

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

I think just being with each child one-on-one, giving them special time, while you tell a story or two, will help. They'll have that memory of the time they spent with Grandpa learning about their family.

Dallan said...

I agree with Lisa, having my parents spend with my children seems to be the best way to get them interested in their family history. I'd love more ideas.