Reunions and research, perfect together

This week the Archaeologist attends a gathering of her husband’s tribe. With five family groups plus one matriarch represented, it qualifies as a reunion, if not one of those massive roundups of descendants that I hope to attend one day. (Or organize, if I get crazy enough.)

Reunions, large or small, are where the family genealogists get a lot of work done.

Of course the point is to spend rewarding time with family, and I wouldn’t promote a lot of family harmony if I spent the entire reunion with a tape recorder and a magnifying glass. But these are occasions where nosing around about family business is part of the fun, and genealogy is definitely on the program of festivities.

Some of the basic housekeeping tasks I try to accomplish include:

• Getting identities and background information for old photos;

• Going over recent research finds with relatives to see if they shake loose any additional memories;

• Showing off family group sheets to younger relatives who ask about them. It’s great to take these opportunities with little kids who are genuinely curious. Five minutes or so is probably what most younger children can sit still for, but who knows? Those five minutes might uncover a budding genealogist down the road.

It’s nice to think about a summer filled with families sharing memories – and information. If you have family reunions, what do you try to accomplish for your research while you’re there?


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