Research Your Family Tree

Have you ever seen someones family tree drawn out with all the different people listed and who they were married to and when they were born or died. Genealogy (the fancy term for researching peoples families) might not seem like the most fun of activities for everyone and we get that. But in this case it’s not so much about the diagram you create with all the different dates and relatives you discover you had (or what they did that got them into the papers!) but it’s more about developing skills in research and having a good excuse to have long conversations with any older relatives you have that might be able to help you.

Perhaps it would give you the opportunity to spend a long afternoon talking on the phone to a grandparent who you haven’t been able to see for weeks, they would probably appreciate the company about now! They could tell you the different stories and you could write them up or put them into a video / presentation and share with other family members. The benefits of this activity aren’t so much about what finished product you end up with (although some of your family might surprise you) but more about the process of getting there. It will help you develop research skills which are useful in a lot of jobs and will look good on your CV or UCAS application. It will also help strengthen your family relationships as you send time chatting to older relatives and hearing their stories. It also could prove a lovely keepsake that you can come back to years down the line perhaps after those relatives are not longer with us and you can reminisce about their stories and their life.

If you have got the bug and want to start into creating your own family tree check out the great toolkit from the Office of National Statics (ONS) that shows all the resources you can use online to start tracking down different relatives:

Did you start researching your family tree and find out anything interesting? Please share it with us if you want to via the submit your activities button on the right hand side of this page and we will include it in the bottom of this post to encourage others to get involved too!

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