Sunday, August 24, 2014

Preparing for a youth family history night - one more thing

Ask the parents to come! Family history work is a family affair and the youth can't (and shouldn't have to) do it on their own. They need help from their parents or another family member to get started. Here are some reasons parents should be invited to youth family history nights:

1. Some youth don't have an e-mail address so they cannot sign up for a Family Search account even if they do have their membership record number. Also, many youth do not know their log in information, and they can't reset their password if they don't have access to the e-mail address associated with their account.

2. Youth under 13 need parent's permission to sign up for Family Search. They need to have a parent's membership record number or wait for their parents to respond to an e-mail providing consent for their child to use the website.

3. Many youth do not know enough about their ancestors to link back to a deceased person so they can't see the family history information that is already available to them. They expect to see their family tree just pop up when they log in, but usually they will have to add several people before they can get started.

4. The point of youth family history nights is to teach the youth to do family history at home. They can't get it all done in one night. They are much more likely to do genealogy at home if their parents are involved in helping them learn.

5. Parents can usually bring the youth's ancestors to life in a way that no one else can. Their memories make the people on the family tree real to the youth and that realness is what keeps people interested in genealogy.

Parents are the first link between youth and their ancestors. Even if they know nothing about doing family history research parents are the youth's most valuable resource for family history work. They should at least be invited to the activity.

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