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Genealogy and Family History

Youth Corner

Genealogy at School

3rd and 4th Grades

Student Handout

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Introduction to Genealogy

Special words are underlined. You just have to consult the glossary to see the definition.

Would you like to find your ancestors? This document will help you to learn what genealogy is.

Genealogy is the study of a family's history - from children to parents, to grandparents, to great-grandparents to great-great-grandparents... and so on!

Figure it out ... if you go back four generations to your great-great-grandparents, how many ancestors have you?

What's so fascinating about genealogy? Genealogy is a lot like trying to put all the pieces of a big puzzle together.

Do you sometimes ask these questions? Take the test:

  • Where do I come from?
  • Why do I live in this part of the world?
  • When did my family arrive in Canada?

So, explore your family's past. Make the journey through time.

How to find out more about your family and ancestors... Follow these 5 steps to help you find information and complete your Family Chart.

Step 1: Start by... You!

Write down all the names and information you know about your family. Write them into the Family Chart (last pages of this document).

Step 2: Ask family members...

Interview your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. This will help you find more information about your ancestors. Look at the interview guide and the list of questions!

Guide to interviewing

  1. Make a list of all the people you would like to interview.
  2. Before starting, write the name of the person you are interviewing on the questionnaire.
  3. An interview can be conducted in person, by telephone, by e-mail, or by writing a letter and sending your questionnaire.
  4. To remember all the information you are given, write down the information and take notes during the interviews. You can also audiotape or videotape the interviews.

Interview questions:

Your name:_________________________________________________________

My relation to you:___________________________________________________

Questions to ask:

1. When where you born?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

2. Where were you born?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

3. Are you married?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

4. Where do you live?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

5. What type of job do you have?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

6. What are the names of your parents and grandparents?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

7. Can you tell me stories about your parents and grandparents?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

8. Can you tell me where your parents and grandparents lived?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

9. What is your favourite family memory?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

10. Do you remember special family traditions?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

11. Do you have a special story about me when I was younger?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

Remember to send the people who help you a copy of your final Family Chart... and of course thank them four their help!

Step 3: Look for clues ... and become an Ancestor Detective!

Special documents can help you find information about your family and family events.

  1. Baby books: Parents write information in baby books. Where were you born? What were your first words?
  2. Birth or death announcements: Some people announce the birth and death of family members in the newspaper. You will find important information, such as names of parents and important dates.
  3. Letters: New and old letters are a great way to find stories about your family.
  4. Photo albums: A photo album will give you many clues. Discover what family members looked alike, how they dressed, what they did, and where they lived.
  5. The Internet: Special websites can help you find information about your family history. However, when you find information or documents on the Internet, ask yourself these questions: What type of document is this? What is the date of the document? Who created the document?
    Visit the following websites:
    www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/index-e.html.
    In the box Ancestors Search, enter your family name and see what happens.
    www.familysearch.org

Step 4: Fill out the Family Chart!

The Family Chart is like a Family Tree and it's a great way to keep the information you found during your research! Write down the information in each section. To make it easier for you, each person receives a number in the Chart. Pay attention to the numbers!

Attention: It's important to handle old documents with care. Ask permission to photocopy the documents and create a book with the photocopies. You might want to add tabs to your book to indicate each generation.

Step 5: A project on your family. It's showtime!

Create a presentation panel that shows the information you found on your family. Your presentation should include:

  1. Your given name and surname;
  2. Your Family Chart;
  3. A fascinating facts section;
  4. Funniest story about your siblings, maternal ancestors or parternal ancestors;
  5. Photos (photocopies);
  6. Photocopy of an old document;
  7. A favourite family recipe. Why not bring a sample of the recipe for your presentation?

Now to try to find as many family members as possible and complete one of the two Family Charts! To go back 5 generations you would need to identify 31 family members ... WOW!


Family Chart

1st generation

1. Me
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

2nd generation

2. Father of #1
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

3. Mother of #1
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

3rd generation

4. Grandfather (Father of #2)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

5. Grandmother (Mother of #2)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

6. Grandfather (Father of #3)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

7. Grandmother (Mother of #3)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

4th generation

8. Great-grandfather (Father of #4)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

9. Great-grandmother (Mother of #4)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

10. Great-grandfather (Father of #5)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

11. Great-grandmother (Mother of #5)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

12. Great-grandfather (Father of #6)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

13. Great-grandmother (Mother of #6)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

14. Great-grandfather (Father of #7)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

15. Great-grandmother (Mother of #7)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

5th generation

16. Great-great-grandfather (Father of #8)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

17. Great-great-grandmother (Mother of #8)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

18. Great-great-grandfather (Father of #9)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

19. Great-great-grandmother (Mother of #9)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

20. Great-great-grandfather (Father of #10)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

21. Great-great-grandmother (Mother of #10)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

22. Great-great-grandfather (Father of #11)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

23. Great-great-grandmother (Mother of #11)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

24. Great-great-grandfather (Father of #12)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

25. Great-great-grandmother (Mother of #12)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

26. Great-great-grandfather (Father of #13)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

27. Great-great-grandmother (Mother of #13)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

28. Great-great-grandfather (Father of #14)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

29. Great-great-grandmother (Mother of #14)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

30. Great-great-grandfather (Father of #15)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________

31. Great-great-grandmother (Mother of #15)
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Date of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Place of Birth: ________________________________________________________
Date of Death: _______________________________________________________