Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Solve Those Brick Walls With The Youth

Four of our Young Missionaries At Church Headquarters
Monday Kathleen and I joined about a dozen older missionaries to help the young missionaries do their family history research. It was a holiday and the places they usually serve were closed. This gave them as full time missionaries a time to do their own research. We were there to assist them, teach them.

Help them on their research, what a joke statement. These guys are awesome. Now I know that everyone can learn more, there is no end to learning or brick walls in genealogy, always a new task to conquer no matter who we are or what age we are.

I did in fact get to teach one of them how to function in FamilySearch Family Tree, but he learned in 20 minutes what it took me 4 hours to teach a missionary my age.

These guys learn fast, these guys remember everything. The young set remember remember remember. They remember websites, they remember process, they remember everything we old folks struggle to remember.

When someone tells you these 70 young men serving here are the heart and soul of our mission you need to know that that is a fact. They come to serve and they are important.

Now to the title of this article and how I see it. I know the youth are into games. This is for we parents and grandparents to ponder. If we wanted the spirit of family history and genealogy to roll forth we need to get the kids going. I sensed when I watched these men zipping from website to website from screen to screen that they saw this as a game and more. It had the same action as a game. Some of them had 20 screens open at one time. I've never seen that done by an older person. You could see all 20 at once and they would fly between them in speed so fast I was spinning. Genealogy for old folks, not here I say.

One of them asked if I wanted to see something cool? Sure I said. He logged me into a website to show me 16 pages of famous people I was related too. He was wowed, look at those people he said. Now that's another article if I can read my notes on how to do that.

Look at those people was an important statement. They were dead. But to him, they were alive. Genealogy is action. Let's get our children and grandchildren going. They won't need much help, just a start.

I think I know a good suggestion on how to start them. I'll give you two ideas. 1- If you can come to Salt Lake City, go to the main Family History Library and ask to play the genealogy games, have your kids do that. Sixteen of these young missionaries created a bunch of games that are so popular entire youth groups have heard about them and are making appointments to experience them.
2- Get them the experience of searching for an ancestor on FamilySearch. You will be likely to find that ancestor on a census or find a death certificate. Then have them read what you find. Their relatives will come alive to them. Then paint them the picture of the purposes Family Tree. If you don't have that vision, read the article found in the sidebar, "Family Tree Will Change Genealogy Research Forever." They will grasp the concept. Then place that document in their Source Box. Go connect the ancestor to his or her document and things will never be the same for them. It might not be the same for you and genealogy either. These steps are simple. The instructions for you or them are on this blog.

I really see the vision of how all kinds of brick walls can be broken with the youth spending game time doing genealogy.

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