Posts Tagged With: family history

Friday’s Family History Craft: A Family Tree for the Kiddos!

I have decided that Fridays are going to be dedicated to the more creative side of family history and genealogy.  Sometimes I will go with a family recipe based on an ongoing prompt from Geneabloggers and sometimes, it will be a craft with a prompt of my own creation…Friday’s Family History Craft.  Today, marks the first of these prompts and I hope that this post inspires you to get your little ones involved in family history early on.  Oh and FYI if you think that this post looks familiar, you may have seen it over at my other blog Musings from Mommyland.  My 3-year-old son and I did this family tree craft a few months ago, but he still loves to go up to it and talk about all the leaves on his tree.


The Boy Child and I had a great time putting this craft together.  He has a blast painting and it was a really good chance to talk about our family too.  And now that it is done, he loves to look at and point out which leaf is mommy or daddy or grandpa or grandma.

My son’s name and my daughter’s name are written on the trunk though I photoshopped them out here.

What you need:

  • Posterboard or foamcore board…something on which to paint.  I opted for a large piece of foamcore because I have found with little kids, bigger is usually better.
  • Paint…greens, blues, and browns
  • Scrapbook paper in various shades of green
  • Twigs
  • Scissors and glue
  • Black marker

To start out, I drew a really loose outline of a tree and grass just to give him a place to start.  Then I squirted some paint onto a tray and let him go to town.  I did stick to one color at a time just to avoid a blobby brown mess.  To give him a few more options, I put out a couple of shades of each color though.

“Noodle” had a blast painting…yes it is a bit messy, but worth it.  It was great watching him screw his face up in concentration.

While the paint is drying, depending on the age of your child, either you or them can cut out the leaf shapes from the scrapbook paper.  I just found a really simple leaf template online and used that to trace what I needed.  One little hint…don’t get too dark of a shade or green or something too busy other wise it won’t be as easy to read the names.  Once all the leaves were cut out, I let Connor pick out which one he wanted for each person.  We used 14 leaves all together.  I put his and Lily’s name on the trunk as a place to branch from.

The next part is more for you to do.  Take the twigs and arrange them on the board to make the branches of the family.  Two for mommy and daddy and then two coming off each of those and then two more coming off of those.  We went back to great-grandparents because Connor and Lily are lucky enough to still have 3 of their living.  You can go as far back as you want.  If you are going further back, I would say make the leaves smaller though.  It gets crowded fast.

After the twigs are glued on, glue the leaves on and there is your family tree!

The finished product!

Categories: Family History Crafts, General Genealogy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Importance of the Family History Interview

When doing genealogy research, the focus tends to be on the vital statistics of your ancestors.  When they were born, where they lived, who and when they married, what their children’s names were, when they died, and where they are buried.  These are the bread and butter of genealogy and I love these records because they give you dates and a timeline and geographical information.  However, what they don’t give you, and what I find myself increasingly wishing for is a personal connection to your ancestor.  For example, I have a Great-Great-Great- grandmother, Phebe (Avery) Jones, who through her lifetime, went from North Carolina to Indiana to Iowa to Missouri to Montana.  This is the information I have gathered vital records and census data.  What I don’t know is why.  The most intriguing of my why questions is, why would a 60 something year old woman make the trek from Missouri to Montana in the 1870’s?  What I wouldn’t give to find a diary or journal or letters from her.

Ok, back on track now…we can’t go back in time and talk to our ancestors about the how’s and why’s of their lives.  But, we can talk to the generations still here with us to make sure we find out everything they know as well as the opportunity to pass down a part of this knowledge to the future generations.  Recently, I have been reminded that time is a fleeting thing and that you may not have as much as you think you do.

My grandmother, the one I sometimes talk about on here, has had a bit of a health scare recently.  She had to have an emergency surgery last week and now that terrible C-word has come into play.  The doctor sounds quite optimistic and with some chemotherapy, it sounds like there is a very good chance that things should be just fine.  Everything that has happened recently has made me realize two things.  First, just how important my grandma is in my life and that I need to tell her this a lot.  And second, that she isn’t going to be here forever.  It is easy to put off doing something like an interview of a family member thinking that there is more time, but the fact is you never know just how much time there is so don’t put it off.  I have heard stories from my grandma about her parents and siblings, but I have never really sat down with her with a recorder or video camera and had her tell me her story.  This is the connection to the past future generations will be searching for.  I think that I am lucky and still have time on my side, but you can be sure that I won’t be putting off this interview anymore.

Categories: Jones, Tallman | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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