Monday, 12 August 2013

Training my replacement!

Family Tree magazine in the UK has included a free seven generation family tree chart this month, which has turned into a great way to get my youngest son familiar with those in his background!

Jamie's older brother Calum was never one for caring about who was connected to who - Calum's much more a story man, he loves hearing about who got up to what and when, and not so much how they connect! Jamie's very different - he's our wee Vulcan, he has to cross the t's with everything, and to dot the i's. Although I've occasionally told him some family stories, the conversation usually gets bogged down in process - how does he connect, who is that, why is she Irish but he's Scottish - questions, questions, questions...! So the new chart has turned out to be a great way to get him going from scratch with his interest in his ancestry, because he wants to join the dots. If it works out, this could be my replacement...!

What we're doing each night is taking two ancestors - a husband and wife - and entering them into the tree chart, with details of their names and their BMD info. Once their names are in, I then tell him a family story about each. We're doing a different couple each night, and will keep going until its filled up in a couple of months time - assuming he keeps interested!

If you want to get the kids involved, there's a few books might help:

  • Family History For Kids, Emma Jolly
  • How 2*t Ur Fmly Hstry, by Jane Starkie
  • Who Am I? The Family Tree Explorer, by Anthony Adolph

Plenty of ideas in all of them to inspire!



  1. Gold stars, Chris - this is a great idea to pull the kids into your passion and their personal history.

  2. So long as he's interested, I can keep talking! lol :)

  3. My parents got me interested by paying me 50p per family name gravestone found in the numerous cemeteries we trawled looking for ancestors. Not that I was a mercenary child particularly, but I did my year 9 work experience at my local record office and never looked back! Sounds like a lovely way to introduce your son to it all.

  4. Lucky boy. You're a pretty good storyteller.