Want to get involved in family history but don’t know where to start? Try some of these ideas.
You’ve probably noticed there’s been a lot of talk lately about young people getting involved in family history. You’ve been told how your tech-savvy generation is made for this work and how participating in family history brings blessings. But how exactly can you get involved? Learn more about how you can participate in family history.
Here are some suggestions:
A fun way to get into family history is to record your living relatives telling stories about their lives. All you need is a way to record them (like a video or audio recorder, pen and paper, smartphone app, and so on) and some time with your family member. You may also want to bring a list of questions that will help guide the interview.
You’ll be surprised at all the interesting things you can learn about your family members when they tell you stories about their lives. After the interviews you can transcribe the stories and upload them online.
Gather and Take Photos
Chances are that your family members (including your extended family) have a lot of old photos in albums or displayed in their homes. Those photos are an important part of your family history, and they can be better preserved and shared if they are digitized.
Learn how to digitize photos (by scanning or another method), and then you can help your grandparents (or other relatives) to get all those photos posted online so they are available to your entire family. You can also take photos of living relatives, heirlooms, places, reunions, and the like to add to your collection of family photos.
Discover Your Fan Chart
A fan chart is a visual representation that shows eight generations of your family. It can also show you where you are missing information so you can get started looking for your own ancestors.
After making his chart, Kyle S., 16, said: “Your family fan chart helps you see that you have many ancestors to be grateful for. It made me want to learn more about the individuals and be able to help them.”
Take an Ancestor’s Name to the Temple
A really rewarding part of family history work is when you have the opportunity to go to the temple to perform ordinances for one of your own ancestors.
After doing this, Abigail A., 13, said: “I’ve been working on family history ever since I was old enough to have my own FamilySearch account. I helped my mom do family history, but I never really thought about how all these names I’m entering into the system are real people. I finally started to do baptisms and confirmations for people I’m finding, and it is such a good feeling. It is a great experience to be at the temple and to do family history on my own and with my family and friends.”
Get Involved in Indexing
Indexing records makes it so that other people can digitally search for family history information. You take images with information on them and type the information you see. It’s like a treasure hunt for information.
Many youth have discovered how fun, simple, and rewarding indexing can be. After doing indexing, Alexis R., 12, says: “I love indexing! I love to think I am helping people who have died without the knowledge of the gospel. I can’t believe that when I submit what I find in one census, almost 40 people can be one step closer to living with Heavenly Father.”
Record Your Life
Remember that telling your own story is a part of doing family history. Keeping a record of your life is important. There are many ways you can do this—in a traditional journal, a scrapbook, a blog, video or audio recording, and more. Your way of capturing your own story can be as unique as you are.
What are some ways you are involved in family history? Click share your experience below.