Thursday, November 10, 2011

Got em.--our teenage experiment

Ok that was EASIER than I thought. I arranged to have my parents talk to my kids about their grandparents. So Mom and Dad were telling the kids about the kids’ great great grandparents. The kids were good and listened while Mom and Dad told them about their experiences as grandchildren. I was impressed that the kids were so interested and asking questions.

Then at the end, one of the kids asked them to name off all of their grandparents full names and we taped that too. And THEN….13 year old boy asked about how far the genealogy my mother has collected goes. We explained that we had British lines that tied into British kings, and once you did that, you can follow those king’s lines back to Adam. We explained that those lines were suspect and usually concocted to legitimize a king’s reign. And bingo… He asked for a copy of the file. So I emailed him the old PAF file that my grandmother had worked on. I really haven’t done much with it, and hey… maybe he’ll be enthralled.

I’ve been thinking. I think part of the reason I haven’t involved them as teenagers in the actual work of researching and entering things into the computer is that they will mess up my clean work. But then again that is not how to encourage a beginner. So I gave him a copy of my file, and I’m going to let him play with it. I can interact with him carefully and keep my file separate until I feel that I can trust him. But honestly, If I get him started at 13 years old, he has plenty of time to learn how to do it right and understand methodology and sourcing. By the time he’s my age, he’ll be far beyond my abilities.

He went in and added a notation to our civil war ancestor. It wasn’t a crisp clean citation, but it was learning the software, and learning how to document what you know about an ancestor.

Who would have thought. My sweet, silly, somewhat unfocused 13 year old is the one that came along and got serious first. He is the one who was on Familysearch with the scouts years ago and came home all excited that he had found an ancestor named William Cakebread. He thought the name was funny and I brushed it off as too far back to be concerned about. He’s sitting next to me now, looking for the oldest person in my Mother’s file. Yes he’s a name collector—but just think what level he’ll be at my age.


Michelle Goodrum said...

Fabulous so you've been successful starting a chance of an early age I hope it sticks!

Janet Hovorka said...

Yes Michelle, That's going to be the trick isn't it? I'm still working on them. It's going to be deeply ingrained if I have anything to do with it.