Friday, March 30, 2012

Sharing Genealogy Tips with a Group of Boy Scouts

Recently I had the pleasure of sharing beginning genealogy tips with a lively group of Boy Scouts, ages 11-16. I was amazed at how savvy they were with searching online databases. They were totally at ease with having multiple windows open, and digging right in to see what treasures they could find on Ancestry Library Edition and Family Search. Several of the Scouts used their cell phone to text their parents for ancestors' names and birth and death dates, as they filled out their pedigree charts. I told the Leader that if the Scouts choose to become genealogists, they will definitely be good ones! One of the disadvantages with doing genealogy with a group so young is that we had to go back several generations in order to find a deceased ancestor! (And hopefully, an informative obituary as well.) Not surprising was the fact that several of the young men had blended families and/or had a line about which they had little or no information. When that was the case, I encouraged the youngster to focus on the lines that they were able to learn more about, and perhaps interview family members in depth, to learn more about those ancestors' lives. It was refreshing to see the enthusiasm with which these Scouts dove into doing research for their genealogy merit badge. They have the advantage of having been born into the Information Age, and they already possess a working knowledge of modern technology and tools which are so helpful in doing family history research. One Scout found a picture of his grandfather on an online genealogy website, and another Scout traced his paternal line back to an east coast Pirate!


PalmsRV said...

So glad to see how you inspired the youngest generation of genealogists!

Greta Koehl said...

I'll bet that at least a couple of those Scouts have caught the bug for life! Wish my daughters had had a section on genealogy when they were in Girl Scouts.

Dorene from Ohio said...

Those young men were so focused! It was a lot of fun...if only I had as much energy as all those Scouts had!