Family history isn’t just for old people, you can do it, too!
This plan turns what your grandparents think is family history into something worthy of the 21st century.
Time to make some connections!
*All activities with a * require a FamilySearch account to participate in that activity.
If you don’t have one please set one up with a tree or find another activity for that day.
Self-Assessment and Save Your Story
Start a journal today for this specific experiment in October. Record your thoughts daily as you complete each challenge, and maybe add a few sentences as to what occurred that day that you feel are important to write down.
Tip: Not into writing? Try a video journal! Use your talk-to-text on your phone to make notes each day. Make a post on Instagram, Facebook,a personal blog, Tik Tok or Twitter each day to document your connections with family.
You’re My Cousin!*
Visit Relative Finder to see who you are related to and how you are related. You will need a FamilySearch account. Join the group “Gen Z” (the password is y0uth) to see how you are related to other teens in this experiment! You can also connect by going to our Instagram page and commenting on our post!
Tip: Want to connect with ALL experiment participants? Join the group “Connections-Experiment” on Relative Finder to see how many cousins you have participating in this experiment with you. Reach out to them, it could be an incredible connection waiting to happen.
Get to Know Your Ancestor
Get to know an ancestor a little better today! Pick an ancestor and write down a few facts and special events in their lives. Find a story about them. Click here to download a premade sheet you can fill out.
Share what you found out on social media or with your family!
Do You Have Famous Family*
A very quiet and tasteful way to be famous is to have a famous relative.” -P.J. O’Rourke
Ever wondered if you had anyone famous from history in your family? Visit relativefinder.org to view your famous relatives!
Discover all sorts of things about your name and what happened the year you were born here at the All About Me activity page. (No account with FamilySearch is needed, just use as a guest)
Tip: Challenge your family members and friends to do this!
Visualizing Your Family Tree
Use your creativity to create something that depicts your family tree. Let your creative mind take control: paint, draw, write poetry, whatever you are inspired to do. Then take a picture of your art and share it with your friends, family, on social media, or upload it to FamilySearch as a Memory.
How long would you last?
Watch this IKEA Commercial. How long would you have lasted at the table? In order to know more, read stories and facts on FamilySearch, ask family members questions about themselves and ancestors.
You can ask questions in person, on the phone or on text messages!
Music through the Decades
Look up popular music when your dad, mom and grandparents were your age or a teenager! Ask them what their favorite songs were. Look up the dance moves that go with these songs, or ask them to show you. Can you do them?
Share with family and friends your favorite song! Make sure you tell them which ancestor would have listened to it! Challenge your relatives and friends to an ancestor dance off! Have them share their favorite oldie and the dance moves that go with it. Research the popular
music that was around when your dad, mom, and grandparents were your age or
a teenagers! Ask them what their favorite songs were. Look up the dance moves
that go with these songs, or ask your family to show you.
Listen to your favorite song with your family and friends! Share with them which ancestor would have listened to it.
Optional: Challenge your relatives and friends to an ancestor dance-off! Have them share their favorite song and the dance moves that go with it.
Create a Gathering Spot
Watch this video about family gathering spots (watch from 29:35 to 34:45). Now create your own family gathering spot. Invite your family members (through a group chat, social media, etc.) to join you at your gathering spot
Tip: Already created a gathering spot? Then meet there with your family to ask questions, share pictures or stories of your ancestors, or even just to make connections.
Cooking up the past
Find and cook a family recipe. (Don’t feel like you have any family recipes? Ask yourself: What does/did your family have for dinner often? That’s a family recipe!)
Share your experience and a photo of the meal you made with your friends and family or on social media.
FamilySearch Option: Upload your experience and your photo of the meal as a Memory.
Where do you get those good looks!?*
Have you ever been told you look like a parent or a grandparent? Prove it by checking out Compare-a-Face (create a free account). Which ancestor do you look the most like?
Have your family compare their faces too! Share your ancestor’s photo on social media and see what your friends think! Challenge your friends to see who they look like, too!
Find a photo of an ancestor and put it in a place where you will see it often. You could set it as your phone or computer’s home screen. You could print it out, frame it and hang it in your room. You could put it in your car or locker.
FamilySearch Option: If you don’t have a picture of an ancestor, check out the photo-fan-view on FamilySearch. You may discover a picture you’ve never seen before. (and you can download pictures from FamilySearch to print) Click here to see the different fan chart views.
Make a Personal Timeline
Start your timeline by listing a few important events that happened in your life. Find some important world or country events to add to your list, as well as some events that happened in your family during your lifetime. Then let your creativity flow! This can be done digitally or physically. Use pictures and/or words or video. Extend your timeline to include your parents.
Visit BYU Family History Technology Labs, in the upper right hand side are four games you can play that will include your family history! Have some fun and play a game. (RecordQuest doesn’t require a FamilySearch log in.)
Deciphering Ancient Records
One way to help old documents become searchable is through indexing. This is when you read the words written on an old document and type it into a form that is searchable. Ancestry and FamilySearch both have programs where you can index! Reverse Indexing is another option where you teach the computer to read handwriting.
Digitize Family Heirlooms
Do you have an item that came from an ancestor? Do you have an item that reminds you of a family member? Grab that item and take a picture of it. Now, write down its story. Who did it belong to? Why does it remind you of that family member? How old is it? What does it do? Why is it important?
It’s a great idea to upload the photo and the write-up to FamilySearch memories! You can do it straight from your phone!
There are a lot of movies about family connections that can bring your family closer! Watch one of these movies (or others you think of) and think about your own family connections:
Coco, Mulan, Moana, The Book of Life, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, Frozen (2), etc.
You can even check out these genealogical shows: Relative Race, Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, etc.
You could also watch some family videos from when you were a kid.
Colorize Photos with MyHeritage
MyHeritage has a free (up to 10 pictures) and easy to use program that can turn your black and white photos into photos bursting with color! You can check it out here https://www.myheritage.com/incolor
Don’t forget to share your newly colored photos with friends and family!
Log into your favorite genealogy site and use their record hinting system to attach a new record to an ancestor. If you have time, do another, and another…. Did you learn anything new about your family? Share your experience with a family member.
Create a Time Capsule
Create a time capsule that you open in the future to show what your life is like today. Pick the container you will use to hold your stuff (a nice box, a 2-liter bottle, a can with a lid). Now add stuff that shows what your life is like now. You could include: pictures (yourself or things around you), news articles, a phone that doesn’t work, movie tickets, etc. You could include a letter to yourself, lists of favorites, lists of your goals and dreams, etc. Next, seal up your capsule and pick a date for it to be opened! Label your capsule and find a good place to put it!
You could include your family or friends in on this activity and open it in the future together!
Document Your Experience
You did it! You just spent the last 21 days connecting with family and friends! You connected with the past, present and the future. Congratulations!
Now click here to go take your post-experiment survey and final weekly experiment check-in to document how you have grown. Even if you didn’t complete all 21 days, you still committed to making connections, so please still fill out the survey. We value your input. Thank you!
Easy images to share and invite others to join you: