Family First

Reunions-Great Time for Genealogy Information

Family Reunions: one of the best times to seek out genealogy information. Cousins, aunts & uncles, grandparents, possibly great-grandparents in attendance, as well as good food. Let's not forget the fun and games.

Before the date of this special event, check with the person or persons in charge to get permission to ask for genealogy information. Explain you would like to bring some of your research. Also bring blank group sheets to be filled out.

You may suggest that the invitation include a request for family pictures, wedding, baby pictures and some of those school pictures (ugh!). Possibly some recent photos.

Check to see if you may have a couple of photos from each family to make prints for your genealogy research. If your relatives would prefer not to let go of the photos here is an alternative.

Laptops, scanners if you own these pieces of equipment, find out if there will be electrical outlets to plug in for each one, if not battery operated. Do you have a good camera? See if you will be allowed to take photos of their pictures. Copy as much information and pictures as you can. All the good work you are doing will be appreciated by one and all.

As you are visiting with groups of relatives ask questions. You brought those blank group sheets, yes! Good. Filling out the group sheets can be treated as a game. The person who fills out most of the group sheet (accurately as possible) will win the prize. An adult or a child over age 12 can fill out the sheet.

Reunions are an excellent place for telling stories. You can get the ball rolling by starting with your favorite Christmas. How about the time Uncle Joe & Aunt Mary invited you camping with their family.

A great time to talk to the elder relatives asking for genealogy information. Should he/she not want to talk at this time, see if you may be allowed a 1 on 1 conversation. He/she might prefer the word conversation instead of the word interview. Be polite as possible, because you will go from being excited about your research to being very passionate about your family history.

Camera in hand, take as many pictures of this reunion and offer to share with whoever would like a print or copy sent to a personal computer. Should someone not show up, find out his/her contact information. Send him/her an e-mail, letter or make that long over due telephone call. He or she will be delighted to hear from you.

There will be a time or two when someone will not be interested for whatever reason. Do not push it, wait, is there another event coming up? Try again, if no luck, check with another member of that family.

Your enthusiasm abounds, relatives think you have gone crazy. No way! You are having a fantastic time in researching your genealogy.

NOTE: This is about family, remember, there are other reunions: military, high school, college. Military reunions are expecially interesting. Is your relative attending one, see if you may go along. Meet the buddies and here the stories. A fascinating time.

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