How to inspire young people to genealogy


The nightmare of every genealogist is that no one else in the family appreciates the work that you yourself have laboriously used many years to assemble. It would be frustrating that they might think it is
not interesting at all! At best, you hope that your descendants will place your work in a drawer hopefully to be rediscovered in a few years. The worst scenario is that they choose the environmentally friendly solution and let your work become a part of the household’s monthly collection of waste paper.

You are not alone to be concerned about what will happen to your genealogy work the day that you also are among the names of those who once lived on this planet.

Perhaps you have gathered a number of family treasures. Or maybe also family stories and other things that connect the current day with the past. So what do you do about all that?

Start with the young ones

It may be easier to get young family members interested in genealogy than those who are in midlife. Their elders are often too busy with work and family.

There are many examples of those who start with genealogy at a very young age, early teens or younger. They tend to focus on this hobby more or less for the rest of their lives.

Young people have this unique opportunity to secure information about their family that older ones can only dream of. The older ones no longer have this rich selection of past relatives alive.

Make it easy

Let the youngsters try and fail on their own. Give them the opportunity to only gradually enter the serious part of genealogy. To be critical regarding the sources they might find are not so important in these first efforts. If they are young enough, they must have the opportunity to experiment with genealogy.

Make it interesting

If you know that one of your ancestors had a special story, this might be the key for a child to find joy in knowing their roots. Use this ancestor as a starting point for letting the young prospective genealogist feel curious. This might promote the excitement of learning about the ancestors that have formed the basis for the young persons own existence on this planet.

Can you see any traits of your ancestors in this young person? Then let him / her know about it … but perhaps refrain from mentioning any negative traits….