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Climbing Your Family Tree!

When you create a “Family Tree,” you are creating a history of your family.  This is known as Genealogy.  You can learn many things about family members of long ago, and you can learn many things about yourself.  To get started, write down the answers to these questions:

Our Family Tree
  • What is your name?  How did your name get picked for you? Did anyone in your family have that name before you?  Do you think you would like to have someone in your family get your name someday in the future?
  • Where do you live?  How long has your family lived there?
  • Who is in your family?  Brothers? Sisters? Cousins? Aunts & Uncles? Grandparents? Which ones are younger than you are and which ones are older?
  • Who are the oldest people in your family?  What do they remember about their parents and grandparents?
  • What do they remember about their lives when they were the same age that you are now?  How were their lives different from yours?  Do you think you would like to have grown up back then?
  • How many names can you fill out in a family tree?
  • Can you find out when these people were born, were married and died?  Sometimes your family can tell you the answers to these questions.  The rest of the time you have to use detective work.  There are lots of books to tell you how.
  • Does anyone have pictures of these people?  Does anyone in the pictures look like you?  You might think that their clothes and hairstyles look funny, but someday your pictures might look funny too.  
  • Does your family have any old letters?  Before people had telephones, e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter, they wrote letters in order to stay in touch with the other people in their families.
  •  If you could meet one person on your family tree, which one would you pick?  What would you talk about or show them?

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If you or your parents have any questions about this exercise or you want more information on doing family trees you can contact the Library's Local History Department at 908-757-1111, ext. 136 or by email
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