Friday, June 17, 2016

Family History Friday - Reunions and Picnics

Summer is almost here and I bet you've started getting invitations to family reunions and picnics.  I hope you attend the ones you get invited to because if not you are missing out on meeting some people who may have the next piece of information you have been searching for to move you ahead in your genealogy research.
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You better be prepared to gather information, so at least bring a pen and paper, or a fully charged smartphone with a note taking app.  Even better would be to bring 3 or 4 questions that you need answered to move forward in your research.  For example where was great grandpa Smith born?  Does anyone know great great aunt Hilda's children's names?  If you have your family tree saved on your laptop or tablet, set up and ask everyone to come over during the reunion and tell you whatever details they can remember for their immediate family.

I have a simple name only generational descendant chart I created in Excel for the Bobier Family Reunion.  I tape the pages onto a folding table each year and ask everyone to look it over and add missing people.  A couple years ago we added an entire branch of the tree because one of the descendants who hadn't attended in years was there and wrote out everything she knew.  We now have 8 generations showing.

Take a handful of old photos.  I suggest taking copies NOT the originals because there's a lot of food and beverages at these things and sure to be a spill.  Ask family to identify anyone you can't.  You'd be surprised how many people you will get names for or at least good guesses.

Gather as many people's contact information as possible.  Emails, Facebook, and phone numbers are great to keep in contact between reunions and exchange old pictures and research.  Remember to have fun and enjoy the food!
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Did you know you could hold your family reunion or picnic here at Backus-Page House Museum?  We have a beautiful location with heritage buildings, gardens and grounds.  There's lots of room for kids or kids at heart to play, plus walking trails and museum tours.  Call today 519-762-3072 to schedule your special occasion.                            Angela Bobier, Cultural Manager

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