3 Reasons to Introduce Kids to Genealogy

In a recent post, I mentioned getting involved in genealogy as a teenager. I don’t remember doing this as a child, such as for a school family tree project. But I wish I’d have been introduced to family history research at a younger age.

Today I’d like to share why that is by sharing three reasons you might want to introduce your own kids (or those in your life) to genealogy sooner rather than later.

1. It builds deeper relationships with elders.

The best way to start family history research is to talk with older relatives about their stories. And in this day and age, real conversations are often lost to digital alternatives. Getting kids involved in genealogy at a young age encourages them to have these deeper conversations with their parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and even great-grandparents if they’re available.

It’s not just about hearing stories though. It’s about letting children bond with their elders in deeper ways (much as I did with my own grandfather and his stories of being a German immigrant). These are relationships they’ll come to value even more as time goes on.

2. Genealogy appeals to kids’ imaginations.

Is there really a better time to get into family history research than when you’re young and fantasizing about living other lives and all the things you could be? What if your ancestors really were pirates (like mine)? What if they were kings, or queens, or knights? Or an author? Or an artist? Or a scientist? Or a long line of doctors? Just think about all the fantasies that could suddenly seem achievable to the children in your life when they find out their own family already walked those paths.


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3. Family History Research Instills a Love of Learning

Research isn’t always something kids take to naturally. But by tying that research to their own roots and imaginations and the people they know and love, you have a chance to instill that love of learning and passion to know more in them from a young age. And that can translate to so many other areas in life later where it can help them get ahead.

Did you get into genealogy as a child? Have you introduced children in your life to their family history yet? What did you like most about it, or how did it influence you? And if you’ve introduced your kids to genealogy  research, what would you say were the biggest benefits for them?


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2 thoughts on “3 Reasons to Introduce Kids to Genealogy”

  1. I like that learning about genealogy can help kids to form bonds with and learn more about the people that came before them. Ever since my grandfather passed away last year, I have been thinking about hanging up some kind of ancestry chart in my home office. It seems like a great way to keep the memories of our family members alive, even those who we never had the chance to meet.

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    • I’m sorry about your grandfather Lyla. But I think hanging up a chart might be a great way to stay connected. 🙂 I’m a bit sentimental myself. Every since my grandfather died (nearly 10 years ago), I’ve kept his photo on the wall next to my desk. And the other side of my family founded a town in CT, so I’ve been up there for several research trips and love the place. One visit I stumbled into a little shop, and they had framed reproductions of old maps of the area — one of the entire town and one of the lot lines from the original families. They’re both also hanging in my office. Useful when I need to go back and find something specific, but also beautiful and meaningful to me every day.

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