Thanksgiving is nearly here, which is one of the best times of the year for people like us who love genealogy, ancestry and just family in general. And since everyone in your family is together for the holiday, it makes for a perfect time to honor your ancestors and learn even more about the history of your family.
So with that in mind, here are five ways you can make that happen this Thanksgiving:
1) Put together a slideshow of your favorite family pictures
Chances are if you’ve been working on your family’s history a lot this year, you’ve seen a ton of pictures from numerous generations.
You could take some of your favorites, compile them into a slideshow on your computer – maybe even make them accessible from your tablet – and pass it around while everyone waits for the Thanksgiving feast to start. Your relatives seeing these photos is sure to drum up some stories, which brings us to our next tip.
2) Have your relatives share their favorite family stories
With all of the family together, it’s the perfect time to honor and celebrate your ancestors through everyone’s favorite stories. Your older relatives probably have a wealth of great stories about relatives you didn’t know as well or never had a chance to meet, and all of which would be perfect for your future research. Records are great, but getting some actual personal stories about the history of your family goes a long way in being able to shape who all of you are.
3) Share your family tree
Thanksgiving is also a great time to include other family members in the construction of your family tree. Share what you’ve been working on and be sure to take notes from your family members who have additional information to add about your ancestors. You’ll probably come across a couple relatives who had no idea you were constructing a family tree in the first place and would probably love to help. It’s the perfect way to bring everyone together and have some fun in the process.
And when it comes to building that family tree, especially now when you could have relatives giving you all sorts of documents and pictures, be sure to keep everything in one place with the help of Crestleaf. Upload everything you have to create a digital archive of your family, simplifying the process of chronicling your family’s entire history.
4) Create a family website
Since Thanksgiving might be one of the few times your entire family is in one place throughout the course of the year, it’s the perfect opportunity to unveil some things you’ve been working on. And one way that you can all keep in touch more during the year is through a family website.
Creating a website is simple with tools like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and more, and it can serve as a family portal that everyone can use to update. Post your family crest, the origins of your surname, various family pictures, updates on your family tree – anything you want to keep the entire family in the loop.
5) Find out where past relatives are buried
Maybe there are some ancestors who were lost among the family for one reason or another. Or maybe your relatives would love to visit the graves of your ancestors, but never knew where to start looking in the first place.
With a tool like FindAGrave.com, you can do the heavy lifting for them. There are 121 million grave records to search through on the site, and you can search by a number of factors, including location, date, by cemetery and more. It’s an incredibly easy tool to use and your relatives will be especially thankful that you went through the effort of doing this.
How do you celebrate your ancestors?
Does your family do anything different during Thanksgiving to keep the memories of your ancestors alive? Let us know!