Family history is one of the ways that our prophet has asked us to help gather scattered Israel. That means helping ourselves, our family here on earth, and our family who has died to come to Jesus Christ. As you can imagine, that happens in so many different ways! Keep reading for more ideas on how even the youngest among us can learn more about their families and prepare to be able to take the names of their deceased ancestors to the temple.
Check out these amazing, inspiring family history videos!
- The Promised Blessings of Family History – Find out all the many ways that family history can bless you and your whole family.
- The Promised Blessings of Family History, Part 2 – The first was so good they made a sequel!
- Spiritual Dynamite – Family history and temple work can cause a spiritual explosion.
- Preserve Your Photos and Family Memories – Some of the best family connections are made through family photos
- Every Family Has a Story, Discover Yours – Watch the journey of a family Bible through the generations. Your family has a story too!
Children aged 8 and older can create a FamilySearch account with parental permission. Keep in mind that the FamilySearch Family Tree is a giant, shared tree that everyone can contribute to. Please carefully supervise your children as they’re learning to use FamilySearch. These are the instructions for creating a child account.
Or here are some instructions on how to run the site in beta mode so that they can see information, photos, stories, etc. without being able to make changes.
Fun FamilySearch links
- Family History Activities – Find out if you’re related to somebody famous, record your voice for future generations, compare your face to your ancestors to find out who you most look like, and so much more. Fun for all ages.
- Family Tree – Browse your family tree to learn more about your ancestors and their stories.
- Memories – Upload scan photos, audios, and documents to preserve your memories for your family to enjoy.
- Indexing – An activity that older children and youth can learn. Help others find their family but transcribing information from real historical documents.
Preserving Family Memories
We know most of what we do about our ancestors by what they wrote down. Today, there are so many ways to record our own histories and the memories we have of our family members.
- Journal using a physical book, taking pictures, recording audio, or digitally with an app. If you need ideas to get you started, try this free journal from Family Search.
- Look at family photos, as questions about the people in them, and learn the stories that go with them. Write these things down in FamilySearch Memories.
- Interview parents and grandparents. If you’re struggling to come up with questions try these (from Family Search) for grandmas and grandpas. Don’t forget to upload your recording to FamilySearch or download the Memories app and record right in the app to go directly to Family Tree.
- Make a cookbook of favorite family recipes using these FamilySearch Recipe Printables.
For the little ones (and big ones, too)
Don’t underestimate how much the youngest children can learn about their families. Helping them become familiar with the names of family members and things about them is a fantastic place to start. Here are some more ideas.
- Let them see you working on FamilySearch. Show your excitement about your finds and tell them pictures and stories. The more you know, the more you can share.
- Look for everyday things that happen that remind you of a family story and share it with them.
- Show them family pictures and videos. They’ll especially love to see and hear the ones about themselves.
- Coloring pages! The Church has put out two entire coloring books of family history-related pages Family History and Gathering the Family of God.
- Watch movies with strong family history themes like Coco, Moana, and The Tigger Movie.
Fun and Games
- BYU Family History Technology Labs – Check out these fun games that will test your knowledge (and teach you a lot!) about your ancestors. I recommend starting with Wheel of Family Fortune and Geneopardy.
- The Friend Magazine has put out lots of family history activities, like Family History Mystery and Family History Quest. Keep your eyes peeled because the Friend is always putting out family history activity ideas.
- Google Earth is a fun way to go on virtual field trips to places that are special to your family.
As you can see, there are so many ways to “do your family history”. Digging into old documents combined with modern technology has made learning about your family and preserving your memories easy and exciting. Remember, it’s all about turning hearts and making connections. I know you’ll see the promised blessings of learning about and connecting with your family and someday the temple. Have fun!