9 Thanksgiving genealogy tips

9 Thanksgiving genealogy tips

Thanksgiving genealogy tips

Many American readers will be visiting relatives this week for Thanksgiving, or inviting family members to their homes. It's a fantastic opportunity to share stories and traditions ... and get the next generation interested in family history! Here are 9 Thanksgiving genealogy tips for sparking a conversation:

  1. Use food as a starting point to discuss specific ancestors or family traditions. Who was the best cook ... and who was the worst? (Be nice!)
  2. Share a recent family history discovery you unearthed through genealogy interviews, traditional research on FamilySearch, DNA tests, or other sources.
  3. If you have a few interesting old photos, bring the photos with you or take pictures with your phone to share at the gathering.
  4. Try to spark curiosity among younger family members with stories or photos. (Download free genealogy interview sheet for kids)
  5. Use historical events or well-known people from the past as a starting point. ("I remember when I first saw James Brown/Elvis/Sinatra in concert")
  6. Share filled-out pedigree charts with relatives that show basic details of direct-line ancestors. (See our free genealogy PDF or editable genealogy PDFs)
  7. Hand out blank pedigree charts or family group sheets to cousins for them to fill out.
  8. Talk about planned genealogy road trips next year.
  9. For families who can't get together in person, it's always possible to pick up the phone to have a chat.

If you're wondering whether people really use such tips during Thanksgiving and other family gatherings, check out this recent comment from the EasyGenie Facebook page:

My dad had an aunt that did this every year at family gatherings ... for over 30 years! Births, deaths, adoptions, marriages, divorces, etc . It’s been a wealth of knowledge! She collected photos, family stories, news clippings etc as well.

Bottom line: Be sure to make the most of Thanksgiving to share your love of genealogy with family!

Photo credits: Library of Congress

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