I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering how to create more interest in my genealogical pursuits among my family. I know many of you are familiar with the glazed looks that appear anytime the subject of family history is ever so subtly dropped into a conversation. Oh, some members of the family will humor you and at least TRY to look interested for awhile, but oddly enough none of them ever seem to actually get excited when you tell them that yes, you finally found great-great uncle Zephaniah on the 1880 census - listed as an inmate of the Podunk County Jail.
Well this Christmas I resorted to games and bribery ~ and it worked!
I have 2 nieces and a nephew who are all teenagers. During a lull in our Christmas morning activities I brought out a pile of presents and told them I had a game that would result in their winning some of this loot. [I do have to say that they are all very good-natured kids and are used to humoring their slightly wacky aunt.]
I had put together a family tree for each of them and worked back through their great-grandparents...except that the 8 greats were all blank. [in the example here I have deleted some of the information, but the originals had all had full names and birth dates etc]
I also gave each of them a list of 20 question and told them that they would have to work together because contained within their questions were answers that would help them fill in a few of the blanks but not all of them (each one of them had different questions.)
Some of the questions were straightforward - "Who is your father's father's father?" Others required them to go around and talk to multiple people - "Who had a dog named 'Stinky' and how did he get that name?" Still others required them to take my hand-held recorder and interview someone to get the answer - "How, when and where did you Dad propose to your Mom? - and then get your Mom's version of the story."
Everyone loved the pictures and actually asked me questions about who they were and how they were related. It was so much fun. At one point my nephew said to me, "What are we going to do next year? We will have to get different relative so we can have more questions." I told him not to worry, I have a lot more stories and questions about his current relatives. I was just thrilled that they really seemed to think this was now a family tradition and wanted to do it again next year.
The final bonus was having 9 short audio clips created...but that's a story for another post.