Genealogy for the Next Generation

mother and son

Genealogy gives everyone in the family a reason to come together, share photos, listen to stories, and remember those who came before us.

Getting children and teenagers interested in learning about the past is no small feat. Yet, they are our next generation of family history “keepers” and “seekers.” It is important to engage them in thinking about previous generations while their oldest relatives are still alive. Genealogical research teaches many lessons and skills that children can put to great use both in school and when trying to understand the world we live in today. It can also be important to their development into inquisitive, self-assured, thoughtful, grounded, and empowered adults.

What can children and teenagers gain from genealogical work?

  • Improved critical thinking skills as they compare documents and stories
  • Understanding of primary and secondary sources
  • A deeper appreciation of both American and world history
  • Enhanced understanding of current events and how they relate to history
  • Stronger connection to family
  • Self-awareness and identity
  • Improved research, writing, speaking, and storytelling skills

Resources & Activities

Family Tree (for grades K-3)
Five-generation chart (for grades 4-12)
Word search
Glossary of terms
A Bibliography of Resources for Kids and Families
Make ancestral ornaments!

child at computer