The Sweetest Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day 2021

mother's day

This year Mother’s Day will be celebrated on May 9th, 2021. While many of us cannot visit our mothers due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to find other ways to celebrate this special holiday and honor our beloved moms. We’ve come up with six brilliant gift ideas to give our mothers the recognition they deserve. 

The Holiday History

The history of Mother’s Day goes back to ancient times when people held various festivals to honor the mother figure itself. Most of these festivals were usually tied to honoring goddesses. For instance, the Greeks honored Hera, the goddess of family and marriage, and the wife of Zeus, who was also a divine representation of a mother. 

With time, the tradition has spread into other cultures. In the 16th century, the English were celebrating Mothering Sunday. During that day, those who served as domestic servants would be given a day off to reunite with their families and spend a special day with their mothers. 

In the US, the first modern Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1907. Anna Maria Jarvis who held a memorial service for her mother is now officially known as the founder of this holiday. Only in 1924, it was declared a national holiday in the US and is now held every year on the second Sunday in May. 

mother

Six Exceptional Gift Ideas for This Year Mother’s Day

We’ve come up with the six sweetest and very personal gift ideas for your moms to make this mother’s day even more special and memorable.

Homemade videos

Be creative and make your own video filled with memorable moments spent with your family members. Simply take all of the videos you’ve ever taken with your smartphone and put them together with the help of free editing tools and apps. If you have any recordings left from your childhood, add them as well to make a whole story about your family. 

Your mother’s favorite flowers or plants

Your mom’s favorite flowers and plants are always a great gift. If you are local, be the one to deliver a bunch of flowers to your mom’s door. If you don’t have a chance to visit your family in person, use one of the local flower shop delivery services. Mother’s Day is one of the busiest times of the year so make sure to order ahead of time.

flowers for mother

DIY family tree

Family tree gifts are the most special ones. You can spend time with your mom learning more about your family history and then create a stunning family tree visualization. Create your own traditional family tree in a matter of minutes and add pictures of your family members to make it even more special. 

A family presentation

Create a presentation with your childhood or your kids’ photos, and other pictures of happy moments spent with your mother. Use Canva, Prezi, or any other tool to create a unique presentation and remind your mom of how special she is. 

A long phone call

While it’s still not safe to visit your family during the COVID-19 pandemic, most people don’t get a chance to congratulate their mothers on this amazing holiday in person. A good idea will be to give your mom a phone call and spend hours chatting about everything in the world. These moments may become even more precious and special than any other gift. 

happy mothers day

A virtual talent show

Skype and Zoom calls have become a common thing over the past few years. If you live far away from your mom or simply don’t have a chance to visit her, you can always give her a video call and have some fun together. If you have kids, you can plan a talent show together and make a great performance for your mother. 

The Treemily team hopes this holiday will be very special both for you and your beloved moms. Happy Mother’s Day!

5 New Family Traditions to Start This Holiday Season

Team spirit

The holiday season is the best time to bond with your family and spend a great time with the people you love the most. To make your next Thanksgiving or Christmas even more special, try out one of these family traditions and engage the entire family in the process.  

Make your advent calendar

Advent calendars are the all-time favorite gift both for kids and their parents. So why not make your calendar? For instance, you can add small pieces of paper containing interesting facts about your family’s history to let your kids learn more about their ancestors. Instead of candy or chocolate, you can also fill your calendar up with small LEGO figures, tiny toys, pieces of a puzzle, and much more.   

Advent calendar

Create a family tree

There is no better way to educate your children about their family’s past than making a family tree from start to finish together. Use an online family tree chart maker to design your family tree and share it with your closest relatives so they could participate in the creation process and add more info on your ancestors. The final tree can be downloaded from the website or you can order a printable version of any size and type you like. 

Treemily family tree

Collect family signature recipes

Every family should have a great number of recipes that their grandparents or parents used to make every holiday. Try collecting all of these recipes together to make a family cookbook. Moreover, every other holiday you can pick one or several recipes from the book and cook these dishes together with the members of your family and enjoy them together. 

Family cookbook

Make personalized ornaments and decorations

Make ornaments or special holiday theme decorations with your family every year to make a whole collection at the end. For example, you can try making snow globes with your family’s picture inside for Christmas or craft a Thanksgiving garland made of maple leaves with your family members’ names on it. 

Family ornaments

Create a short movie about your family

There is nothing more exciting than watching your family change and grow throughout the years. Make it your new family tradition to make short movies about your family every time you gather together and rewatch them during the next holiday season. No professional cameras are needed, you can simply use your smartphone to record 1-minute videos and compile them together.

Hopefully, some of the above-mentioned ideas can become a new tradition for your next holiday season and make your family get even closer to one another than before. Stay tuned with Treemily. Happy holidays!

The Treemily Walkthrough: Meet Our Enhanced Family Tree Builder

Treemily Family Tree Demo

The Treeamily team aims to make it easier for its community members to create diverse visualizations of their family trees and let them enjoy the process to the fullest. After months of developing and testing the beta version with our users, we are happy to introduce our first major update. In this article, we will guide you through the new features and enhanced functionality of the Treemily family tree online builder.

What’s New?

Besides the enhanced User Experience-focused layout and redesign, we’ve introduced a richer and cleaner interface for our family tree online builder. Our major goal was to provide the Treemily community with seamless user experience and let our users create family history visualizations easier and faster than ever. These are the key updates you’ll get with the new builder:

Demo Tour for New and Existing Users

Both new and existing users can now try out our family tree builder for free. If you already have a Treemily account, simply click on the Treemily Demo button on the top bar of your profile. If you are a new user, try our demo for free now. New accounts will be automatically assigned to the Treemily Basic plan. Our demo is a fully-featured interactive family tree builder that allows you to design your own stunning family visualizations in only a few steps. As soon as you are finished with the creation process, you can proceed to the next step and order one of the available products. Choose a poster or a framed picture to place your family tree at home or share a digital version with your friends and relatives on Facebook.

Treemily Demo

New designs

When generating a descendants tree from a family chart, users can now pick out of three types of design including a newly introduced Traditional Photo Tree template.

Suggested sizes

As soon as your ancestor or descendant tree is ready, you can pick one of the three types of products: posters, framed, and digital versions. When choosing any of the following options, the builder will offer the most preferred sizes for your tree. However, you can still pick any other size available on the size list.

Treemily Free Demo

Improved performance for the Family Charts & Treemily editors

Our family tree online builder is fast and easy to use. You can play with various designs and sizes of your family charts and trees to make them look exactly as you want them to be. Create visualizations of your family history in a few clicks and get back to your project to add new family members any time you want!

Visualize your family history now!

If you are a member of the Treemily community, go ahead and check out the Treemily demo now and enjoy all the new features at once. New users can create an account and will be offered to try out a demo version as soon as the registration is complete.

Join Treemily now and create the most stunning family tree visualizations. Invite friends and family members to help you with your project and share it on Facebook. Try our family tree builder free of charge and keep the memory of your loved ones for future generations!

Best Genealogy Blogs

best genealogy blogs

In the very beginning, researching your heritage can be overwhelming and daunting. Fortunately, there are many genealogical blogs providing helpful tips, tools, and insights. We are sharing good genealogy blogs that you can keep an eye on. See our list below!

Are You My Cousin?

In her blog, Lisa Lisson shares her experience and publishes articles on how to efficiently research your family roots. If you’re looking for actionable insights on new ways to search for your ancestors, check out her blog.

Amy Johnson Crow

Amy Johnson Crow is a professional genealogist with her own blog on ancestry research. She shares many actionable tips and covers rarely discussed issues (such as finding ancestors with disabilities).

The Family Curator

A professional genealogist and lecturer, Denise May Levenick has created this blog to share her experience and help people to uncover their family secrets. In her blog, she shows the different techniques that you can use for searching information in archives and family collections.

The Family Curator blog has already grown into two books with even more ideas on creating and maintaining family archives.

The Occasional Genealogist

Not all people are professional genealogists. For some people, this is just a hobby, so they can’t afford to spend days and nights at archives looking through records. If you have limited time for genealogy, you may want to check out The Occasional Genealogist blog. In her blog, Jennifer Dondero shares bite-sized ways to do genealogy research even when you’re extremely busy.

best genealogy blogs

Heart of the Family

Elizabeth O’Neal provides a ton of great ideas in her blog. Being a professional genealogist, writer, and lecturer, Elizabeth shares advice on how to find your ancestors in a variety of resources without spending a ton of money. Besides that, there you will find many DIY crafts and ideas for displaying family history in your home.

The Genealogy Reporter

If you’re not only looking for tips on doing genealogy but want to stay up-to-date with the latest news in the genealogy world, subscribe to The Genealogy Reporter. Besides that, they have a YouTube channel in case you prefer visual content.

The Sunburned Penguin

The Sunburned Penguin run by Rebekah Zobel covers various topics on genealogy. Besides articles that are very interesting to read, you can find there a Genealogy Sources Checklist that may be helpful in your research.

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

This blog covers everything related to genealogy, from genealogy basics to what you can do with outdated hardware. It was started as a weekly email in January 1996 by Dick Eastman – a fount of knowledge for any genealogist!

The Genetic Genealogist

If you or your relatives have taken a DNA test you may want to check out this blog. Blaine Bettinger, the creator of the blog, is a recognized expert in genetic genealogy. If you want to stay up-to-date with genetic genealogy news, add The Genetic Genealogist’s RSS feed to your feed reader.

list of genealogy blogs

The DNA Geek

What if you test with MyHeritage and your relative tests with Ancestry? Is it possible to transfer your DNA among different services? Issues like this are covered in The DNA Geek. So, if you have questions related to genetic genealogy, chances are you will find answers to them in this blog.

DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

The blog is run by Roberta Estes, a professional scientist, and obsessed genealogist. She writes about various aspects of DNA testing – she even covers historic figures in her blog! Her articles are a great way to begin learning about genetic genealogy.

The Legal Genealogist

A lawyer and a genealogist, Judy G. Russell covers the legal aspects of genealogy, from dealing with documents to claiming copyright to old letters. If there are some legal issues to worry about, check out her blog.

Genea-Musings

This website has everything you may need: weekly highlights, news updates about genealogy databases, events reviews. The blog is run by Randy Seaver – he teaches computer genealogy classes, so his expertise may help you in your research.

Olive Tree Genealogy

Lorine McGinnis Schulze is the author of several books. She is on a mission to bring free genealogy data online for genealogists. In her blog, you can find many tips on using technology and other tools to find records and track your ancestry along with tutorials, genealogy news, and more.

top genealogy blogs

The Ancestor Hunt

In his blog, Kenneth R Marks covers hundreds of valuable techniques and tools that you can use to overcome stumbling blocks and make progress in your genealogical research. The blog is focused on helping primarily hobbyist genealogy and family history researchers

Family Locket

Diana Elder, Accredited Genealogist, and her daughter Nicole share their ideas for ancestry researching, preserving memories, and involving all ages in genealogical research. They aim to help people with different backgrounds be successful in researching their family heritage.

Sassy Jane Genealogy

The blog features articles and e-book guides on genealogy research in the United States and Europe. There you can find a host of useful posts about doing family history research and organizing records and photos.

Genealogy Stories

The blog will let you travel back in time and explore the lives of your ancestors. Being an experienced Genealogist, Natalie Pithers uses social history to bring their stories to life in her blog.

Legacy Tree Genealogists

The Legacy Tree Genealogists blog is created by a team of professional genealogists, researchers, and genealogy enthusiasts who help people find their family roots and history. The blog covers a great number of topics and shares data gathered from one of the world’s largest family history libraries in Salt Lake City.

 

No matter whether you’ve just begun your family history research, or have been doing it for years, these blogs can help you discover the stories of the people you’re researching. Use Treemily to record important information and visualize your family tree, and share it with your loved ones. It’s collaborative, so you can make a family project out of it.

How Intergenerational Trauma Impacts Mental Health

Impact of Intergenerational Trauma

Did you even notice how some of you behavioral patterns – be it towards ourselves, our partners, children, or friends – are pretty much a copy of our parents’ behaviors? We either mimic them or go fully to the other end of the spectrum. And if we look closer, often their behavior will have the same dynamic vis-a-vis their own parents. Ever wonder how that works and why?

This is why it’s important to know as much as possible about the relationships between your parents and older family members. The more we understand the background of our ancestors and what they had to deal with, the better idea we will have of what behavioral challenges we and our children are likely to face.

An untreated intergenerational trauma can result in a compromised trust, honesty, and openness within a family. There are studies that confirm the transmission of trauma to children of victims – for example, the children of holocaust survivors can experience emotional problems, difficulties in relationships, in the way they function. Let’s look at one case, a case of a family including 3 generations.

How Is Trauma Transmitted? Generation 1

As a baby, you’ve got a primary caregiver who mirrors you – who smiles when you smile, who’s upset when you cry. You internalize that and it becomes you. The issues arise when the parent is unable to play that role, possibly due to trauma. And when you are maltreated, you take that experience of maltreatment as you. The child’s personality can’t develop properly without continuous emotional contact with their mother which involves basic things like communication, smiling, tenderness.

Let’s take the example of a newly married couple. They are young, in love, waiting for a baby. Suddenly the man is mobilized because of the war. The young mother is left alone with a child to bring up. She is too busy struggling to survive and doesn’t have time to recover from grief. Many women in this situation develop a simple defense reaction – keep all their feelings locked up deep inside. Others suffer from a latent depression and live their lives on autopilot. They put on a mask and minimize communication and interaction with their kids because it causes almost physical pain to them.

In such circumstances, the child seeks the mother’s attention and affection, and sometimes the mother responds and other times she just growls asking to leave her alone. The woman is angry at the cruelty of fate, not the child – but the kid doesn’t understand what the problem really is. No one explains what’s happening so the only explanation that seems natural is that mommy doesn’t love them.

Years pass by; the woman adapts and learns to live her life without her husband’s support. She keeps playing the iron lady role, even when it’s no longer a necessity. She makes every effort to provide her child with all the necessary stuff, but the child doesn’t realize that. Instead, the kid is developing trauma because they feel insecure and convinced that they don’t deserve love.

What are the effects of intergenerational trauma

Effects of Childhood Trauma: Generation 2

The child grows up feeling unwanted, although that’s not true and they are the only reason their mother has gone through all the hardships. People with such childhood trauma often die earlier because they don’t understand they should take care of themselves, get proper treatment. By and large, they don’t think they represent any value, especially when they become ill and “useless” in their old age.

So, the child grows up trying to earn love, not knowing that love is unconditional. The kid is on their own, not causing trouble, helping around the house, looking after younger brothers and sisters. They do their best to be helpful since they are convinced that only helpful children are loved. So, one day this child will get married and have kids too. Chances are, they will follow their mothers’ patterns of behavior.

But let’s take the best-case scenario when the child has grown with trauma but managed somehow to stay affectionate. For the first time, when a young mother who has suffered this trauma holds her baby in her arms, she suddenly realizes – that’s it. This is the one who will finally love her and need her. From that moment on, her life takes on a new meaning – she should live for her baby. She loves her baby so much that she can’t even imagine loving someone else.

She tries to spend every single moment with her kid and realizes how many things she was deprived of in her childhood. She is completely absorbed in this new feeling. She lives the life of her baby, caring about their feelings, interests, and anxieties. She is better off with her child than with anyone else.

However, there’s one problem – the child is growing.

Generation 3: What’s Next?

Children are sensitive to their parents’ trauma and often feel the burden to compensate for their parents’ losses. They can’t help but respond to their mother’s request for love. They care about their mother and agree to stay with her out of fear for her health. But somewhere out there are love and freedom, and the child has to break the connection because mom won’t let them enjoy adult life voluntarily. Despite the mother’s attempts at manipulation, the child leaves one day with a painful feeling of guilt. The abandoned mother feels resentment because she has invested all her effort in her child and that’s not what she expected to get in return. That’s when she remembers the “iron lady” pattern and resorts to threats, scandals, and pressure.

When it’s time to grow up and leave the house, there comes the agony of separation – the child understands that if they decide to leave this will “kill” their mommy. On the other hand, if they stay they won’t be able to develop as an individual. However, even when children agree to stay with parents, they will be told that they are living their lives in the wrong way. Any date is never good enough. Nothing is good enough. Ever.

Childhood Trauma in Adults

The third generation is forced to act like parents to their own parents. Therefore, they have learned to be self-sufficient from a young age and feel responsible for their parents. They have to become self-sufficient out of fear to upset their parents.

In some families, parents don’t get divorced because of children but still, live together (better say co-exist) like cats and dogs. Their children have to act like mediators, peacemakers who would reconcile their parents. Their children don’t complain – they have to learn to keep an eye on their parents.

Since children don’t know how to think critically, they can’t assess the real situation and take a certain lack of maturity of their parents for vulnerability. The third generation is a generation of anxiety, guilt, and hyperresponsiveness. This situation has its own advantages, on the one hand, since these people are now successful in many aspects, they know how to negotiate and take into account different points of view. They are good at foreseeing and making decisions on their own, and not waiting for someone’s help.

But on the other hand, such people didn’t have an opportunity to enjoy the carelessness of childhood. However, their inner child will resurface one day. People of this generation show aggressive-passive behavior. They neither protest openly nor surrender. They use all sorts of ways to sabotage: to forget, to postpone, not to keep promises, etc. Often people with this kind of trauma feel mentally older than their peers. And at the same time, they don’t feel like real grown-ups, they don’t have a sense of maturity.

One more thing. Children who grow up in a situation when their personal boundaries are violated care about their privacy too much in adult life. They rarely invite people to their homes and rarely visit others. They don’t socialize with neighbors because they don’t know how to set boundaries naturally while enjoying communication.

Childhood Trauma in Adults: What About Men?

Imagine a woman and a man who are raised by single mothers create a family. They are both hungry for love and hope to get it from their partner. However, the only family pattern they know is a model of a self-sufficient woman who doesn’t really need a man. Such marriages are built on the fear of being abandoned – people get married simply because they have never experienced anything else but loneliness.

Men who are raised by their mothers are used to obeying. Being brought up by iron ladies, some men start behaving like mothers: they are gentle, caring and never tell “no” to their children. Some become workaholics who escape from all problems at work. In worst cases, they may become alcoholics. What can we expect from a man who feels unloved?

Such men have no clear model of responsible fatherhood. They saw their fathers disappear one day, forever. Therefore, for many men, it’s natural that when they leave their family, they don’t stay in touch with their children. Given that they felt unloved in their marriage, the resentment they feel makes it easy to soothe the voice of conscience.

Effects of Childhood Trauma

Childhood Trauma: Impact on Parenting

Most people with an emotional childhood trauma are in complicated relationships with their parents, many failed to make their first marriage work, but managed to save their second marriage only after mental separation from their parents.

Often the first child who was born during an unhappy marriage has to be brought up with the help of a granny so that the mother could get a chance to separate and start living her own life. In addition to that, they hear their mothers complaining that they are giving all their time and effort to their grandchildren. As a result, children grow up with the idea that raising a child is something very hard, and even heroic.

Early adopters of the parental role are often obsessed with conscious parenting. They think that if they have mastered the parental role in relation to their own parents, they will manage with raising their own child. Balanced nutrition, gymnastics for infants, developmental classes. Parenting books and the constant fear that something can go wrong.

While the older generation lives believing they are excellent parents and their children had a happy childhood, the younger generation is seriously affected by neuroticism. They lack self-confidence in themselves as parents and are always dissatisfied with something, be it school, society, medical care – they always want more and the best for their children. But their efforts have the opposite effect. Children want nothing. They don’t want to work or study. They just want to lie on the couch staring at the phone. They don’t want to talk and bear responsibility for anything. Why should they care if their parents have already made a decision about everything they should do?

There’s a chance that for the next generation, the specific family context will be much more important than the global past trauma. But it’s obvious that many of today’s problems have their roots deep in the past.

As you can see, the past of older generations affects the present of the youngest ones. Studying our roots at a deeper level provides answers to many questions, allows us to understand the problems and their causes, and can help to build a solid foundation for healthy family relationships.

This is why it’s important that parents understand the influence of intergenerational trauma on the younger generations. If they want their children to feel loved and secure they need to change the course of the generational trauma by doing things differently. To change the generational patterns of thought or habits they need to initiate their own healing journey. When you develop self-awareness and resilience, the future will look brighter.

Using Quarantine to Strengthen Family Bonds

How to support aging parents

We are going through tough times due to the COVID-19 virus. Many of us have moved across the country to be with our families, others are relegated to Skype, unable to be near their loved ones. The challenges brought by this new virus are intimidating and cause perplexities. While universities and schools are being shut down and companies are transitioning to remote work, people are questioning how they can comfortably (and safely!) spend time with their families, and potentially support and care about their old parents.

COVID-19 is most dangerous for older people so it’s important to make sure children (who are notorious for transmitting germs) are healthy. Grandparents shouldn’t be doing childcare. And even if the child stays at home most of the time, you can’t rest assured that the kid’s parents won’t bring anything home. So, how to keep family connected at this trying time?

Ways to Stay Connected to Your Family Members During Coronavirus

Ways to Stay Connected to Your Family Members During Coronavirus

How to Entertain Your Kids During COVID-19

If you are far away from your family members it’s high time to get skilled with video call platforms like FaceTime and Skype – whatever you find convenient to communicate face-to-face. Establish regular online meet-ups for reading books, playing games or doing activities.

You’ll get bored soon with just online calls. The kids who are not attending school or daycare are deprived of the daily routines they are used to. The good news is that you may start teaching kids their family history or get them involved in genealogy research. Why not make fascinating ancestry lessons for your kids?

How to entertain your kids

Again, be guided by the needs of your child, and your own. Begin with simple activities and gradually move on to more complex ones. Once you get started, you’re likely to discover a wide array of opportunities.

Tell them stories about what it was like to live in times before iPads were invented. If you have children of different ages you can read a story to all of them, or ask the older children to read to the younger ones. Let it be the time to share stories and memories from your childhood and the childhood of your parents.

Ask kids what they would like to improve in their current routine and discuss all together how each of you can contribute to improving your family wellbeing. Life may not return to normal soon so it’s crucial to make sure every member of the family feels comfortable.

Make and maintain some new traditions. You may also use this opportunity to create family rituals such as having theme dinners together or playing certain games on Sundays.

Do chores as a family. Make cleaning your home responsibility of the entire family. Create a list of chores and remind them that doing chores together makes the job go much faster than doing them alone. This will help you foster a sense of teamwork.

How to Support Aging Parents During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Taking care of your aging parents should be a priority. Free up at least a bit of time for them. You may want to schedule regular video chats so you can stay in touch with them. Spending half an hour or so with them every day will let them feel secure and confident that you will give them a helping hand in times of hardship.

Provide support. Feeling supported by your family is one of the most important elements of building strong family bonds. Learn what things are important to your parents right now, what worries them and do your best to support them. At times like this, it’s so important to share both the good and the bad news.

Taking care of aging parentsSupport your parents financially. This crisis will have a negative impact on the economy and all the people but it will affect some of us more than others. This is a time when you should be there for your parents. Be it just giving cash or paying bills, you can ease the finances a bit for your parents and help them cope with the stress that the economic downturn has produced.

Invite relatives to plan virtual celebrations and holidays with you. If a birthday is approaching, you and your family members might buy a special gift online and get it delivered to the celebrant’s home and open it “together”.

One more way to strengthen bonds with your parents and older relatives is to ask them genealogy questions, of course! It may sound weird, but this pandemic provides lots of time and opportunities to proceed with your genealogy research and uncover clues to your family history. Talk to your older relatives about their past – this activity will not only help you reveal new details but get to know them better. Undoubtedly, because of the pandemic, you have many issues to care about and the last thing you’ll want to spend time on compiling a list of questions, so, here is a ready-made questionnaire for you. Enjoy!

Don’t Forget to Entertain Yourself

If you are one of the lucky ones who have a bit of free time, it’s always a good idea to do a bit more of your genealogy research. Many online platforms are providing free access to their resources, so, why not make use of them? Search for some online webinars to improve your skills or connect with researchers to discuss some topics – it’s high time to socialize and support each other.

Family is the most important thing in life. COVID-19 may temporarily change the format of our relationships with the family. It’s hard but this will make us stronger. No matter how you like to communicate, there are all sorts of meaningful ways that we connect with our families despite any distance between us.

30 Questions to Ask for a Better Genealogy Research

genealogy questions

Tracing your family history is a great way to maintain a connection with your past. It seems that with unlimited access to the internet genealogy search has never been easier: all you need is to enter a name and a date and then browse through multiple records. However, this approach is likely to make you feel overwhelmed and doesn’t always let you find accurate information. Genealogy research is a skill and if you follow the appropriate steps and strategies, you are much more likely to find what you’re looking for and create a family tree you want.

So the first thing to begin your research with is a family interview. To make the most of your interview (even if you are going to hold it through the phone or email) you need to get prepared. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • print your genealogy questions;
  • bring along a notebook and writing utensils;
  • bring a tape recorder or download a recording app on your phone;
  • bring old family photos or mementos that you want to learn more about to
  • help your interviewee bring back memories;
  • prepare a copy of your family tree to make sure your interviewee hasn’t forgotten any of the ancestors you want to ask about.

Prepare Research Questions

Genealogy research questions form the basis of your research. The more specific they are the better the chance to get detailed answers. For example, if you ask “How can you describe the life of my great-grandmother?” you will probably get a general description with basic facts. This question can’t give you a specific piece of information to set you on the right path.

Genealogy research questions

Genealogy can make you feel overwhelmed – we all want to know as much as possible about our ancestors, but no one can do it in a single session. That is why we need to divide research into smaller pieces and narrow it down to include only the information that may be helpful to you.

On the other hand, direct questions can sometimes lead to getting uninteresting answers, even though they are worth a goal. Try to formulate questions that are both direct and fluid, or ask them in a way that could help you get story-based responses.

One more important detail – you need to find triggers. For instance, if you’re holding an interview around holidays, you can ask about food. Food involves senses that are tied to memory so chances are you will trigger a conversation that can help bring memories back up to the surface.

If you’re just starting your genealogy research and looking for information to create your family tree, then you may need to focus on usual facts like:

  • names;
  • dates of births, death, marriage, etc.;
  • date and place when a specific event occurred.

General facts will help you to fill in basic details and set priorities for your further in-depth research.

Sometimes your research will require creativity. For instance, instead of asking “Where did you live in the 1960s?” you may need to ask “Where did you live when you were a child” and calculate the approximate age of your interviewee.

Here’s the list of questions for an interview – you may use all of them or add your own. Such an interview is a very personal experience so you may need to tailor your questions to your individual interviewee.

Genealogy research questions

No matter what your final list will look like, remember to enjoy the process. Most importantly, your interview should result in an exciting story that is both data-rich and interesting to share with your family – if you capture it properly, the story may become a treasure trove. Remember that a genealogist should be flexible and open-minded, only then your effort will be successful.

DIY Family Tree Template for Kids

Father and son Relations

Have you ever had to make a family tree at school? It seems that everyone was given a genealogy project at least once during the school years. For children, tracing ancestry can be confusing since it may be hard for a child to understand the entire lineage. Family trees help to make the process more fun.

Free Family Tree Template

If you need to help your children make a genealogy project at school or maybe you’re just trying to involve your kids into your ancestry research – the first step for any ancestry project is to start a genealogy tree. However, if you want to avoid the hassle of creating it on your own, then you can download a ready free family tree template or use our family tree chart maker. Our chart will help your children quickly organize ancestry information. It is great for class handouts and lets you hand-record your family history. All you need to do is to download the blank template and add data by hand. In addition, you can add color to the chart and make it look more striking.

Tips to make a family tree:

  • begin with what you know – your living relatives;
  • look for records somewhere in the drawers;
  • interview your relatives;
  • review other websites to see what other researchers have already discovered;
  • be patient – it may take a long time to discover your roots;
  • use a single dates and places format to avoid confusion.

family tree template