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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Top 8 Websites For Family Reunions

Family reunions are a great time to explore your family's heritage together. Whether your family reunion is large or small, the key to a successful event is in the planning. Once you have selected the date and location, the beauty is in the details.  How do you inform family members about the family reunion?  What about meals, sleeping arrangements, and transportation?  What activities will bring the family members together for a meaningful event?

Take a look at our favorite 8 websites to help you plan your upcoming family reunion:
Wonderful website with all sorts of ideas from the people at RootsMagic. Also check
out their family reunion planner software at
Laura Phelps has written a beautiful website to accompany her book. Ideas
for activities, food, locations and much more.
Popular magazine website gives resources for exciting places to hold your
reunion. Lots of amazing ideas.
Extensive planning website that includes e-books and e-courses with lots of
ideas. She gets the heritage piece.
Reunion theme ideas with lots of great quotes on family.
By Kimberly Powell, also a great starting place for learning about your
family’s genealogy.
The world's largest family social network. Share your favorite photos, create a profile with your family reunion announcement and add a homepage with up-to-date information about your event. Members keep the dialog going by leaving comments, questions, photos, ideas and encouragement on each others' posts!
Search Pinterest for great ideas for reunion planning.

As you gather ideas for your family reunion, consider the interactions between family members to be one of the most important purposes of gathering together. Have you ever been to a family gathering where the kids go off to play together, the teens all sit around and look at their screens and the adults talk in the other room? Or have you ever been to a large family reunion where people didn’t know each other well and they were too shy to get to know their distant cousins?

Our newest book, "My Ancestor Family Reunion Edition" will show you how to change all that. Included are many ideas that will have Grandma playing games with her grandchild, aunts and uncles interacting with distant cousins and Grandpa sharing stories with the whole family. A real family reunion has cross-generational activities where everyone gets a chance to interact with their relatives, old and young. Order now and let the planning begin!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

5 Fun Tips for Using Technology With Family Reunions

My son Matthew and I are in sunny California this weekend at SCGS Jamboree. Not only are we seeing both new and old genealogy friends at our vendor booth and hearing some great lectures (I brought Matthew down early so we could catch some of DNA day), but we are also speaking on some fun topics including online activities and using technology for binding families.

I'll be speaking on "Family History Adhesive: Science and Simple Tech for Binding Families" and "Family Links:Easy Interactive Online Activities to Share Your Family History".  And Matthew will be giving his "Get to Know Your Geezers" lecture.  

Two of our lectures are being streamed live.  You can catch them on Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon at 

With family reunion season in full swing, here are 5 fun tips for using technology with your upcoming family reunions. Incorporating technology and devices is an enticing way to get the younger generations involved in planning and participating in your family reunions.  What a great way to Zap the Grandma Gap--instead of rejecting technology, embrace it!
  1. Create a Social Networking Team. In order to have a successful family reunion, you have to tell them about all of the fun you are going to have and then get your family there. Put together a social networking team with some of the older and younger generations of the family to get the word out about your family and your family’s history. A member of the family can set up a family Facebook page, Instagram account and YouTube channel. They can also put together a Twitter account, a blog or a Google+ page. Do a survey of which social networking tools your family members use the most and then focus your efforts accordingly. If family members are spread throughout the different social networking platforms, and you have enough time, consider starting with a blog and then letting your social media team broadcast those blog posts through other social media.
  2.  Create a Custom Family Reunion Hashtag.  Designate a hashtag for your family reunion before you get started with these social media ideas. Something like #FisherGathering15 or #ColsonReunion2015 will help you follow what your family is doing and help you determine the winners of any social media contests you have. Hashtags are labels that help people follow what is going on and search for what your family members have said about the reunion.
  3. Create a "Get to Know You” YouTube Channel. Challenge each family to send in a short 3-5 minute video about themselves, their pets, their favorite food, song, activities, etc. If you are comfortable with it, and careful with private information in the videos, you can keep the video
    “public”. Otherwise, “unlisted” videos could be used but you will need to share the links with
    family members in order for them to view the videos. The beauty of this activity is that you
    will get to know those distant family members who you don’t know well. You can have something to talk about with them right when you walk into the family gathering.
  4. Create a Facebook Storytelling Contest. Once you have put together a Facebook page for your family reunion (private by invitation or public) invite your family members to join you in getting excited about the reunion. Post a few intriguing family stories and then invite the members of your family to do the same. Award prizes for the post with the most comments, the most likes, and the best attachment.
  5. Create a Picture Captioning Contest. This challenge works on several different social media platforms. Post a family history photo (or several) and see who comes up with the funniest caption.Votes can be taken online or at the family reunion.
Using these fun ideas for technology at your family reunion will invigorate, modernize, and bring a whole new level of interest and engagement to your family reunion activities.

Find more meaningful family reunion ideas on over 100 pages in my new book, "My Ancestor Family Reunion Edition" .  We offer 8 different versions to customize to your family's heritage. This e-book is an instant download with over 100 pages of fun and ideas for your family reunion.  Click here for more info or to order now and Happy Summer!