Genealogy Research

Sparking Genealogy Conversations…

Genealogy Family History ConversationsI often hear from friends new to genealogy comments such as “I just don’t know where to begin.” They express feeling overwhelmed by the so much information on the internet.

I tell them:

Genealogy starts with conversations.

Conversations  with your parents/grandparents around a dinner table.

Conversations with distant cousins at a family reunion or other family gathering.

Conversations with relatives through social media.

Sometimes those conversations need a little help getting going. Have you ever asked a relative for information about the family history only to hear, “Oh, that was so long ago I don’t remember.”? Or “What do you want to know about all those people for? They’re long gone.

Consider trying one of these tips to get those family history conversations started.

  • Let the person you want to talk with know ahead of time any topics you want to know about. For example, “Grandmom, I will be asking about what Christmas was like when you were a little girl.”
  • Take along a family photograph(s) and ask about the people in the photo.  Ask about where a photograph was taken or what was the occasion for the photograph. (This is my personal favorite!)
  • Ask about a specific event in a person’s life.
  • Make a list of questions you would like to know the answers.

Once you get the conversation started, I expect you will not have trouble continuing.  Sometimes you just need to get started.

  What are some of the ways you spark a family history conversation?

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