Today I’m kicking off a new series of weekly genealogy prompts. These will include family history research prompts as well as genealogy writing prompts.
Why Genealogy Prompts?
Whether you’re new to researching your family history or an experienced genealogist, your next steps aren’t always clear.
Sometimes this is because you’ve hit a brick wall and aren’t sure what to try next. And at other times you might have so many leads and branches to chase down that it can feel overwhelming.
This weekly genealogy prompt series will hopefully give you new approaches to consider, new tasks you haven’t pursued yet in your family history research, and some ideas on how you can write your family’s story as you go along.
Genealogy Prompt 1: Reach Out to a Relative
I know many people feel isolated these days while we’re living through a pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain human connection. Plus, if you’re feeling lonely or isolated, it’s likely family — especially older relatives — are too. And chances are, they’d love to hear from you.
So this week, set aside some time to reach out to a relative.
Pick up the phone. Get on a video chat. Even consider writing a letter.
Reach out to a relative like a grandparent or even great-grandparent if you’re lucky enough to still have yours around. With family remaining more distant these days, they’d probably love someone to talk to, especially someone genuinely curious about their life and interested in their stories.
Some of my fondest memories of my paternal grandfather are of me listening and asking questions when he told me about growing up in Germany during WWII before he came to the United States.
Not only do I treasure those memories, but those stories led me down so many fascinating research paths. Because of those stories and the questions I asked while I still could, I even discovered I was a dual U.S.-German citizen by birth.
This week, make an effort to reach out to a relative who might have their own stories to share. You never know what you could learn about your family’s history, or about yourself.