Celebrate Your Family Heritage

Celebrate Your Family Heritage

Create a record of your family’s history to celebrate your heritage in a whole new way.

Connecting to your family's heritage — discovering who you are and where you came from — can be a wonderful gift for yourself, your children and other relatives. Try these tips to create a treasure trove of family history that will help you make and keep the ancestral connection for years to come.

Do a Little Digging and a Little Writing
Public libraries and the Internet serve as excellent resources for researching family history. Search for information online to get started. Write down birth dates, deaths, marriages, military enlistments and more in a journal. Throw in a few legends and funny events. Don't worry about your writing style — just use your curiosity and enthusiasm to create a record that will be a masterpiece of family memories.

Teach Your Children Well
Get your kids involved in family history by purchasing a family tree at a craft store or bookstore. Encourage them to add names to the tree as you discover more about your family's heritage together.

Cook Up Some Family History
If food and family are intertwined for you, make a book of well-loved recipes. It doesn't have to be fancy — a photo album or loose-leaf binder will work. Gather recipes from everyone you can. The Internet makes it easy to begin collecting, too. Simply send out a "call for recipes" to family members. Compile them and, if other relatives are interested, make copies of the recipes along with anecdotes and family culinary customs.

Map Your Origins
Wherever your family's place of origin, it's on a map somewhere. Find it, mark it and discuss it with your family. Then, if you're feeling adventurous (and if it's affordable), travel to Italy or Africa or Russia — to the places of your great-great-grandparents. Take photos of the places where your ancestors lived. Create a scrapbook of those special memories.

It Takes a Family
The best resources of all are, of course, family members. Grab a tape recorder, laptop, or pen and paper and let the interviews begin. You probably have an older relative or two who would love to share stories and recollections about kith and kin. They're living libraries of rich family history.


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