Genealogy Unit Study and Badge Resources
Where do you get your freckles from? Or your curly hair? How many generations back can you trace your family? Where did they come from? These questions and more will be answered as you work your way through our genealogy unit study to help you earn your Genealogy Badge. Other badges you may wish to work on alongside include topics such as Family, Grandparents, Heraldry, or Genetics.
What is Genealogy?
Genealogy is the study of tracing your family lineage. Genealogists compile lists of ancestors to form family trees and and charts to show the various relationships of each person. Learning about each person on the chart, from where they were born to what they did for a living, is all part of the fun. Genealogy can work forward or backward in time. Pedigree charts start with a specific individual and work backwards to find their ancestors. A descendancy chart starts with a specific couple and works forward in time to chart all their offspring.
To Do: Make a pedigree chart with at least your siblings, parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Include as many ancestors as you can. Get creative and create a poster in the shape of a tree, create a hanging mobile, or use photographs to create a scrapbook version.
To Do: Make a descendancy chart starting with your grandparents. Make sure to include all aunts, uncles and cousins.
Fulfills preschool requirement #1, #2, Level 2 requirement #1 and Level 3 requirement #2
Researching Your Family Tree
It is important when starting your research that you record and organize your information so important facts and clues will not be lost. Use standard genealogical forms such as family group records, and pedigree charts so that the information you already know about family members won’t get lost. These forms are standard in genealogy research and assure that your findings will be understandable to others.
To Do: Print and fill out a Family Group Record
Ancestry.com offers a variety of free downloadable forms to help with your genealogical research.
- Ancestral Chart
- Family Group Record
- Source Summary
- Research Calendar
- Research Extract
- Correspondence Record
To Do: On a map of the world or your country, place a sticker on each city or area in which your ancestors lived.
Fulfills Level 2 requirement #2 and optional requirement #10.
It’s All in a Name
Names have meanings and a heritage all their own. For example the name Amelia is a blend of the medieval names Emilia and Amalia. In Latin, it means “industrious” and “striving.” Last names also have meaning and were frequently used to tell what a person did for a living or where they were from. For example the last name Baker originated from those who were bakers or owned a communal oven. Norris on the other hand refers to someone who immigrated from the north.
To Do: Find out what your first name means and why your parents chose it. Find out what your last name means and where it originated.
Fulfills Level 1 requirement #2
Understanding the Lingo
Like any science, genealogy has a myriad of terms that must be understood if you plan to truly look into your ancestry.
To Do: Learn the list of genealogical terms on the list below. Then draw a line from the term to its meaning.
To Do: Print out the following form. Cut the terms and definitions into individual strips of paper. Shuffle them all together in a pile. Then time yourself to see how quickly you can sort them into pairs of terms and their corresponding definition.
Fulfills Level 4 requirement #2
Family Heirlooms and Memories
While genealogy is the study of ancestral lineage, the process can be so much more meaningful then just filling out charts. Studying your family history means listening to the memories of your grandparents, looking through old photos, and learning why family heirlooms have been passed down from generation to generation.
To Do: Have one of your grandparents teach you how to prepare a favorite food from their childhood. If they are not available, have a parent teach you to prepare a favorite food from their childhood.
To Do: Learn about a popular game or sport that your parents or grandparents played when they were young. If possible, get some friends together and play the game.
To Do: Learn a song or dance from a country your ancestors came from.
To Do: Ask your parents and grandparents if they own any family heirlooms. Ask them to show them to you and explain the history behind them.
Fulfills optional requirements #3, #4, #5 and #8
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