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So, we all (8 kids, 2 parents, plus 6 spouses) traveled over there (thanks to Dad’s frequent flier miles!) to learn about our heritage. It was a life changing experience to me. I finally felt like I knew who I was and where I came from. I got to visit coal mines that my ancestors (including my grandfather) worked in. I got to visit grave sites that they were buried in, see the church they attended each Sunday. They had to sit in the balcony because they were in the working class. It helped me see why my grandfather did not really like religion. I got to hear the Welsh accent and imagine myself living there, working there, what I might have been like if I grew up in Wales.
The trip made me appreciate my ancestors, come to know them in a way I never thought I would. It made me want to help them & do more for them. Since then, I have tried really hard to work on my family history. I have become a sort of go-to family history person in my family. I guess it’s a good thing since the torch needs to be passed on in the family eventually. I love it! I love the feeling of completing an ancestor’s temple work- sealing them to their family.My husband is also very interested in learning about and doing his family history. His family came from the Mormon pioneers. He loves to collect stories and journals, visit grave sites nearby and has taken the children with him a few times. They really enjoy doing this with their Dad. What a great way to learn about their heritage!
I made a little game for my kids to go along with the family tree. I wrote names of their family members & ancestors going back to their great grandparents- on popsicle sticks. Each person got their own stick. Then we had to try to put our tree together. It was a little tricky for them, but they were starting to get it after a little while. Even if it takes them a while, I feel it is really important for them to be familiar with the names of their ancestors.
We also have been working on putting together this Family Tree lapbook from Lapbook Lessons. They have some wonderful printable projects that we are enjoying.Here are a couple of fun books to go along with this theme:
The Family Tree Detective: Cracking the Case of Your Family’s Story, by Ann Douglas
Me and my Family Tree, by Joan Sweeney and Annette CableHow do you instill a love of family history and your heritage in your children?