Connect To The Youth In Your Family By Connecting Them To Their Family History

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What I learned on the ultra family history trip

So here are the things I learned while taking my family back to some of our British family history sites. 

  1. Focus.  I have several other lines of ancestry from England.  I would have loved to have traced them all, but the kids would have been completely overwhelmed.  It was good to focus on one line so that they could really come to know those people.  We'll just have to go back again so that they can learn about those other lines ;)
  2. Be flexible.  We never did get into one of the churches.  I could fixate on being disappointed in that.  But I can't let that overshadow how much we did see and learn.  It was a great trip.
  3. Look for aha moments.  I had several aha moments because of the recent research I've been working on.  I understand the whole Draper thing much better.
  4. Sample the local culture.  It was fun to try the food, see the sites and be thinking of what our ancestors ate and did.  
  5. Make sure there is some down time.  Family History trips are go, go, go, learn, learn, learn.  I think most family members of all ages will get tired at some point.  Then they can't absorb as much.  Even if it just means going to bed early, find some time to wind down.
  6. Let them pick a few activities.  The London Eye, Bletchley Park, etc. were great additions to the trip. Of course we were there to see London too. I think most youth can pick some local sites they want to see on any family trip.  Again, it is good to have some down time and let them process a little.  
  7. Watch for serendipity.  Arriving in Taunton on the 275th anniversary of my 6th great-grandparents may have been more naivete than serendipity.  But it sure felt like serendipity.  Finding the law firm of Hatton and Wyatt was pretty fun too.  It made me feel like they were watching over us.  
  8. Be flexible if things aren't the way you think they are going to be.  I've got to do some more research on the Congregationalist/Church of England issues.  It was not quite the way I had envisioned it but it is great to have more research work to do. 
  9. Read in the car.  When you are traveling--especially by car, you have a captive audience.  Use that time to read to them, show pictures, etc.  Refresh their memories to make these ancestors become more real in the places you are visiting.
  10. Take a chart.  We all referred to the chart many times.  It was useful to have the basic names, dates, and places out where you can see them.  And even better to have the known pictures available right there together.  If you don't know where to get a chart, don't worry, I can hook you up.  :)
I hope you can have a great family history trip soon with your family. It is soooo sweet to be able to take the family you have now with you. Good luck.  Let me know how it goes. 

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