Exploring Family History with Kids: A Mom’s Perspective

Diahan Southard

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Inspiring family history activities and ideas from a mom who’s at home with her kids! Here’s how she’s started exploring her heritage with her kids—keeping it simple but meaningful.

Family History with Kids

Recently, I got this email from a mom named Carol, and I share part of it with her permission. It speaks for itself!

“With all the talk about ancestry and DNA testing being such a hit right and with all the kids home being home for almost a month, we decided that we would build and research our own family tree before I buy a kit. My family is loaded with veterans from almost every war, and Holocaust victims (one Holocaust survivor), which is super interesting to me.

“At first it started out simple, with a basic family tree which eventually brought us to where we couldn’t go on, so I decided to call and do a few little interviews and record the talks with everyone. The kids wrote down some really cool questions too.

“We ended up finding a ton of sites about genealogy and how to dig up hidden or forgotten documents, and your Resources page had the best help for us and we wanted to send over my thanks!

“We also wanted to point out a page that we bookmarked. Our oldest found it at the beginning of our little process and at first we didn’t realize the awesome tips it had. It touches on a wide variety of oral interviews, old documents, preserving old photos, and church documents. Both pages were such a huge help to us. I know it’ll be a great help to others out there, trying to get started, it helped us out tremendously.

“We even found my great-great-grandfather’s mill, which is still standing, by a thread (ha ha). I can’t wait to see what else we dig up. Finding forgotten family members is a strange feeling, the kids are loving it and I can’t believe how big my husband’s family really is! Thank you again for all the help, it’s more than appreciated!”

Try These Ideas!

Sharing your family history with kids should be interactive. Explore with them, as Carol did—let them make some discoveries themselves. Carol isn’t the only one digging up exciting new stories about her ancestor, read Pamela’s story about using DNA to find her great grandfather!


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<a href="https://www.yourdnaguide.com/author/guideyourdnaguide-com" target="_self">Diahan Southard</a>

Diahan Southard

As founder and CEO of Your DNA Guide, Diahan Southard has been teaching people how to find family history answers in their DNA for several years, and she's been in the genetic genealogy field since its infancy. Diahan teaches internationally, writes for popular magazines, consults with leading testing companies, is author of Your DNA Guide–The Book, and producer of Your DNA Guide–the Academy, an online learning experience.


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