Like Peanut Butter and JellyWritten by Valerie Elkins
Some things are just made to go together, pizza and pepperoni, Fred and Ginger, family history and reunions; you can hardly separate the two. Some things are just better together!
Family reunions provide the perfect opportunity to honor your shared ancestry and to preserve family values, stories and memories. Honoring and remembering your heritage helps provide the next generation with a quiet confidence and strength that comes from knowing who they are and where their family comes from.
Here are 7 suggestions on how to include family history at your next family reunion:
• Create a wall banner family tree. Help everyone see where they fit in. It also is a great opportunity to add the new baby and marriages dates.
• Play Family History Bingo or make playing cards with ancestor’s pictures and facts. Check out my Pinterest Board: http://pinterest.com/valerieelkins/ for ideas and links.
• Make a family history cookbook and share grandma’s secret recipe for Roquefort Dressing or grandpa’s pancakes. Make your family’s heritage dishes! Sometimes, memories are stirred best with a spoon.
• Create a family history committee to collaborate, share and divide the research. No sense in everyone researching one family line and neglecting another. Don’t duplicate the effort – multiply it!
• Share and scan photos, letters and journals and photograph memorabilia. Digitizing allows all to share. Having a scanning party!
• Visit your ancestral homes and tour the land from whence they came.
• Record the oral history and traditions and stories of the oldest family members. Never put off preserving their story. Writing, recording and publishing our family’s stories helps to ensure their legacy will not be forgotten and will benefit future generations.
This February my 3rd and 4th cousins will all reunite in Hawaii for another family reunion. How lucky am I that our ancestral home is Hawaii and not Nebraska! We are all descendants of Captain Thomas and Mary Anne Lewis who came to Hawaii in the 1840’s from England. How did I find out about their reunion several years ago – a Google search!
Who is the one person in your family history who you would like to learn more about? Why?
Vlaerie is the CEO and founder of Advantage Genealogy and serves on the Board of Directors for both Story @ Home and for the Utah Genealogical Association. She utilizes her experience to blend research and technology with the art of storytelling, to help make the past come alive. Valerie believes that every family has an amazing family history full of stories of love and loss, guts and glory, victory and deafeat... along with a few skeletons in the closet. Finding those stories and learning to dance with them is her passion. Valerie is a Pinterest "pinja" and a blogger at Family Cherished. You can find Valerie on Twitter @elkinsvalerie.
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