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Genealogy for Kids: Building a Family Tree

Genealogy is the study of family history. It includes details about how people are descended from an ancestor, how people are related to each other, where families are from, how they may have traveled from country to country, where they lived, what kind of work they did, and what sorts of lives they led. A family tree is a visual representation of a family's lines of descent. Some family trees include photos and other vital information. Researching a family's genealogy and making a family tree is a great way for kids and adults to learn more about who they are. It also brings history to life in a new way, making it possible to see how historical events impacted one family: the researcher's own. Genealogy is also a great way to sharpen research skills.

How to Make a Family Tree With Kids

The entire family can work together to create a family tree and chart their extended family history.

Types of Family Trees or Pedigrees

There are many different ways to build a family tree. Options include an ancestor chart and a kinship diagram.

5 Genealogical Charts and Forms

A family tree can get very complicated! There are other types of ways to display information about who is related to who that can help when researching for more information about an ancestor.

How to Build a Family Tree: Tracing Your Ancestors

When tracing ancestors, it's important to start by listing out what is already known, like the names and birthplaces of grandparents.

What Is a First Cousin Once Removed?

One particularly tricky area when studying family relationships is understanding how all the different cousins fit together in the family.

Who Counts as Family in a Family Tree? Who to Add and Who to Leave Out

A family tree is a way to visually show the relationships between various family members.

Ten Basic Steps to Researching Your Family Tree

The easiest way to discover the past is by recording information about the family in the present day.

Using Local and Family History Photographs to Tell the Stories of Your Ancestors

Photos are full of valuable information. The type of photo, what's in the background, the clothes people are wearing, and any handwritten caption on the back all provide an opportunity to learn more about the people that came before!

Unusual Sources for Finding Old Family Photos

Families are the best sources for old photos, but other places to check include old newspaper databases and websites that host images of old yearbooks.

Organizing and Preserving a Family Photo Collection

Good genealogists preserve the primary documents they find so that other family historians can see them in the future.

2020 Census: What is the Census?

The United States government conducts a census every ten years.

The '72-Year Rule' Governs Release of Census Records

Census data is confidential for 72 years after the census was recorded.

Research Your Family and Nation's History with 1950 Census Records

The 1950 census is the latest one available to researchers. It was released in 2022.

Digging Deeper into Local and Family History with Census Data

Researching the census gives information about where an ancestor lived, who they lived with, and who were their neighbors.

Free Online Census Records and Indexes - USA

The census is available to search for free on various websites.

Genealogy Tips: Searching the Census by Address

Most researchers search the census databases using the names of their family members, but searching by address can help them find new information.

9 Tips for Reading Old Handwriting

One difficulty faced by all family historians, no matter what their age, is deciphering handwriting on old documents!

The Archive Lady: Deciphering Old Handwriting

Tricks to understanding old handwriting include enlarging the document and reading through the whole thing to understand how the writer formed various letters.

6 Must-Follow Steps for Genealogy Research in Cemeteries

Cemeteries are full of information about ancestors!

Genealogy Research: How Visiting Old Cemeteries Can Expand Your Family Tree

A cemetery survey is a like a census for everyone buried in a graveyard. Some older ones are available as books in local libraries, but now many websites have them available as well.

Find a Grave

One of the largest online databases of cemetery surveys has information about cemeteries and the people buried inside.

Genealogy Activities For Kids!

The National Archives hosts a page with many different templates for kids to build their own family trees. Templates include a photo family tree and a tree for blended families.

Family Tree Template

This free template is easily customizable so that the family tree can be both accurate and artistic!

Genealogy Forms for School Projects and Research

One big part of genealogy is organizing information. These forms help track biographical information, cemetery information, and other family data.

Getting Started with Genealogy Research

The first step in building a family tree is organizing the information already on hand.

Genealogy for Kids: Interview Your Relatives (Video)

Family members are a wonderful source of information. Knowing what questions to ask and how to take an oral history will help kid genealogists make sure they get all the good stories their family members have to share!

Conducting a Family Interview (PDF)

It's important to interview family members, but it's also important to remember the information gathered in interviews is just a starting point. Anything learned in an interview should be researched to see if it's correct.

Genealogy for Kids (PDF)

Genealogy is the study of a family's history. It often involves talking to family members and doing research through primary source documents like the census.

20 Family History Activities for Your Family Reunion

Family reunions are a great time to conduct interviews. It's also a great place to both collect and share information about the family's history.

Make a Digital Family Museum

One way to display the family photographs and documents gathered while doing a family tree is to make a digital family museum!

Genealogy 101: Understanding Family Tree Relationships

It's important to understand how family relationships work before trying to record them on any type of family tree.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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