Connecting to the past is a wonderful way to preserve the family unit and recording a genealogy is a way to start. The following step-by-step guide is full of tips for recording a thorough family history.
- Decide what kind of genealogy to create. Seniors can choose to create a genealogy that is very high-tech or one that is extremely simple. Decide on using a scrapbook or notebook for recording the family tree, or if you would rather create the genealogy completely on a computer. Pick which method is most appealing.
- Come up with a general family tree. It is always easier to start with your own basic information. Include when and where you were born, siblings and their birthdates, along with other basic information. Keep things simple in the beginning.
- Branch out with the family tree. Work your way backwards through time. Begin with your own parents, then your grandparents and so on. Focus on basic information again; include where they were born and when, siblings and where they grew up.
- Fill in the gaps. Go back and add the intricate family information to the tree. Include things like important life events like marriages, military service or employment.
- Include fond memories. Future generations will appreciate small tidbits of information about ancestors. Consider using stories about your grandparents or tales your parents passed along to you. Be very clear when relaying these memories. Add when you heard the story, who told it and how it was passed down through your family.
- Complement the family tree by adding photos, newspaper clippings or important documents. For safe keeping, consider using a scanner so a digital version is always available. This allows seniors to share media with other family members all over the world via email or social media sites.
Online Genealogy Resources
There many different genealogy sites, applications and software programs available. Many of them are available to use free of charge. Enter family information as prompted and easily keep things organized.
The most popular options are:
Ancestry.com – The largest family history resource available online, ancestry.com also offers useful step-by-step guides when you get started. Benefits of this website include free videos, online classes, downloadable forms and a detailed research guide.
FamilySearch.org – This free site is dedicated to helping people find their ancestors. Many public records are available online and one of the best ways to start is by using the learning resources on Family Search. Seniors will also find hundreds of free articles, helpful guides, and free online courses for research challenges.