Wednesday 02 April 2008

GENEALOGY FOR CHILDREN

My interest started too late. By then most of the people I could gather information from had already passed away.”
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“If only I could speak to my grandfather/-mother today.”
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“When I asked them for photographs, they said they had thrown them all away, because they
thought it was of no use to anybody anymore.”
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How often do we hear these word?

Besides the foregoing, family registers are currently part of the social sciences school curriculum in South Africa.

In view of the above, the following was taken from ABOUT.COM. It was written by Kimberly Powell, a professional American genealogist.

While genealogists find family history fascinating, most children just don't see it the same way. What's the point in learning about people who are already dead? It is possible, however, to involve children in your favourite pastime -- they'll likely even find it interesting despite their best efforts to appear bored.

Almost all children like to play detective -- to look for clues and sift through information for answers. This fascina-tion with detective work provides the perfect vehicle to introduce the children in your life to something unique and personal -- their ances-try -- with the child playing the leading role of Ancestor Detector! Whether introduced at home or in the classroom, genealogy is a wonderful hobby for all age groups, including children, and provides an opportunity to:

• develop a stronger sense of family;
• bridge the gap between generations;
• share special time with your loved ones;
• make history come alive;
• encourage organizational, planning, com-munication, logic, problem solving, and presentation skills and
• create an opportunity for lifelong learning.

The genealogical treasure hunt is a search for something more precious than gold or jewels --information that reveals something about your family.

It can be in the form of a document such as a will, a picture of a long-dead ancestor, or a doll that a little girl played with a century ago. Children can have so much fun playing detective that they won't even realise that they are learning along the way. They are stubborn by nature and will find it especially rewarding to uncover pieces of their past that relatives might have said were lost forever. Ask your children or grandchildren to help you unravel the mystery of your family history, and you will be starting them on the journey of a lifetime.
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Maureen A. Taylor, a contributing editor to Family Tree Magazine and author of "Preserving Your Family Photographs", says:

“Why don't more genealogical societies offer special memberships and programming for children? By educating a younger generation about family history you not only encourage them to become adult members but reach out to their parents as well. The Boy Scouts have a genealogy badge, but once those boys start researching their history, where else can they go? Someday, a genealogical organisation will see that their future is with the children. After all, not only are they potential members, but donors as well.”

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