Happy Mother's Day! Ask your Mom and Grandma about your family ancestry

What is the best Mother's Day's gift?

Could just be asking a few questions of your mother and your grandmother from their childhood or something else they'd like to talk about. And have your kids there too. Or nieces and nephews.  What a fun way to learn about your family ancestry and history plus how it connects to the broader history.  Multiple recent studies show that children learn and retain history better when they have a personal connection. Even if the school no longer has genealogy and family history as part of the curriculum, make family history a part of their education through family history stories and visiting as many places where you have a family connection as possible. 

Can't make it to those family history towns far away?

Planning trips to family homesteads and town sites may be more than your budget can take.  But the internet and books can really bring places to life when you include how your family was involved.  Watch a movie to learn more about a time period; what did they wear, would your family have been dressed fancy or the servants? 

Have fun exploring places on the internet.  Many towns have a history section and nearly every community has a genealogical society with books and exhibits.  I subscribe to several genealogical society newsletters so I know what's happening in the community and they give an wonderful twist on the history.  It also supports those society's financially. The republishing of old newspaper articles is a fun part and it's interesting to see how much things have changed...and how many things have stayed the same!

Check out the archives of local newspapers as well.  Many have digitized their old issues and you can search, and sometimes get, articles on the internet.  Many times we are so concerned, as genealogists, about finding death and birth dates and places we forget to find out about the living person!  I recently contacted my mother's hometown newspaper, the Hutchinson Leader, looking for information about the bank my grandmother worked at.  The editor not only called me back but also found one of the reporters who knew the history of the bank!  They were absolutely incredible and provided more help than I could have dreamed for. 

There are treasurers everywhere, you just need to be kind and look.

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