Family matters

Children take on family history

Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of children in our Genealogy Centre. During school holidays in particular, the centre is buzzing with enthusiastic kids, helping their parents and grandparents research the lives of their ancestors. Family history gives them the opportunity to be a detective for the day, discovering interesting elements of their family’s past as well as having a lot of fun in the process.

Here are a few ideas to help get them started:

Younger kids may like to fill in family charts, draw their family tree, or create a family scrapbook (filled with photographs, stories and other memorabilia). You could also get children to document their own lives – what are their favourite foods, hobbies, games, football team – all of these facts will be of interest to the family historian in years to come.

Isabelle, age 9

Isabelle, age 9

Older kids may like to search for records of their family, using databases like Ancestry and Findmypast. Our historical newspapers are also popular with our younger users. Kids can look up their own birth notice, or search for notices of their siblings, parents or grandparents. They may even like to check out the headlines on the day they/their parents/or their grandparents were born – what significant events were happening at the time?

The Argus newspaper - 7 April 1932, page 9

The Argus newspaper – 7 April 1932, page 9

We also hold a great collection of kid focused genealogy books including Climbing your family tree, The kids’ family tree book, and When I was young. These can be a great starting point for kids, or even for parents or grandparents who’d like some ideas on family history activities.

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For those with interested kids, the Genealogy team will be running family history activities outside the Library’s Genealogy Centre as part of the the Children’s Book Festival (this Sunday 23rd March). If you’re not able to make it to the festival, feel free to bring your kids and grandkids into the Genealogy Centre on your next visit.

You never know what they might find!

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