In the photo above, you can see me on the left. My mother, Irwina Gorf Wart, is in the middle. My father, Quigley Quagmire Wart is on the right. The little guy in the front is my baby brother Quigley Quagmire Wart, Jr. Don't we make a handsome family?
Family is important to me. I bet you're family is important to you, too. How much about your family's history do you know? Do you know who your grandparents are? Do you know where they were born? How about your great-grandparents? The study of your family's history is called genealogy. What exactly is genealogy? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as the history of a particular family showing how the different members of the family are related to one another. Members of your family from long ago are called ancestors. Genealogy is plotted on what is called a family tree. It starts with you and your brothers and sisters, if you have them, at the top and then works down to the most distant ancester that you can find. All the people who are born and live at the same time is called a generation. You, your siblings (brothers and sisters), and your friends all belong to one generation. Your parents belong to another generation. Your grandparents belong to yet another generation and so on, all the way back to the beginning of your family. Generally, genealogy traces the history of the father's side of the family or the paternal side; you, your dad, his parents (your paternal grandparents), his grandparents (your paternal great-grandparents), etc. But, you can also trace the history of your mother's family, the maternal side; you, your mother, her parents (your maternal grandparents), her great-grandparents (your maternal great-grandpardents) and so on...just like your father's side of the family. It's a lot of fun learning about your ancesters. You never know what you'll find. Perhaps your grandfather was a policeman. Or your great-grandfather was a soldier in a war that happened long ago. You might even find that you are distantly related to someone famous! You'll never know if you don't start looking. The first thing to do is to talk to your parents. They probably can tell you a lot about their parents and grand-parents. These relatives are still alive, talk to them as well. Ask them about their parents and grandparents. Find out where they were born, where they lived, and what kind of work they did to earn a living. keep track of all your information. You will need it when it comes to drawing up your family tree. I traced the history of both my mother and my father's families. Below, you'll see files you can look at and download that show all my relatives and ancester, at least as far back as I've gone. The Wart family tree is my father's side. The Gorf family tree is for my mother's family. If you want to know more about genealogy, follow this link to a genealogy site just for kids! Ask an adult to help you with the activities. I know you'll have as much fun as I did, learning about your family's history.