history by doing what you love.
Make something new that documents, creates, or contributes to your family history.
Our mission is to encourage youth to use their personal interests and talents to connect with their family and heritage.
A team of young filmmakers, teachers, and family historians has come together to provide tools for the next generation to make family history. What does it mean to make family history? Well, we think it’s two-fold:
Make something of yourself that enhances or contributes to your family legacy.
Actively participating in making family history helps a youth to connect with their living and deceased family members, develop personal and familial identity, and can result in an important continuation of culture.
We hope the activites and ideas in this website will spark questions, create dialogue, and strengthen relationships between generations.
- The Make Family History Team
WHY MAKE FAMILY HISTORY?
It Helps Create Resilient Children
It Helps Develop
Research is showing that kids who know their family history tend to be more resilient when facing life’s challenges. They know that they, like their family before, can bounce back from hard times and they understand that they belong to something greater than themselves.
It Connects Family
A youth’s involvement in making family history can help strengthen their sense of personal and familial identity; they will find stories they can relate to, people they can aspire to, and a sense of belonging within a familial community.
This approach to family history encourages the youth to spend time connecting with their living family members. There are elders and forgotten family members that need our love and attention, by expressing interest in their life stories they are expressing our interest and value in them.
The act of making something (such as a painting, movie, letter, or photo collage) can help youth to express, discover, and heal from their family trials. Every family has their challenges but by learning from the past, celebrating the good, and showing genuine love and interest in one another hearts can be healed.
It Continues Culture
Whether it’s learning a family recipe, video recording a family tradition, or discovering their family photos, this approach to family history allows the youth to connect with their families through engaging means. With a wide range of approaches to doing family history, teens and young adults will be able to use their various talents and interests to connect with their family history.
Keeping family traditions, learning family stories, and carrying on the family namesake often results in an important continuation of culture. This can create a sense of identity in a youth and deep satisfaction in their elders knowing that their traditions and culture will live on.
It Brings the Past
A Nigerian proverb warns, “Every time an old man dies a library is set ablaze.” There are stories that need to be told, memories that need to be recorded, and traditions that need to be taught; making family history encourages all of these things.
Tangible objects like heirlooms, pictures, and food will help create a sense of reality to a youth's family history. Stories and people turn into a physical reality when the youth can touch, feel, and explore tangible aspects of their family's past.
It's a Stepping Stone
It Develops Storytellers
Making new family history is a stepping stone to geneology research. By capturing the stories of those who are still living the youth will also discover many stories of those who have passed. The creation of family history is the spark that will ignite the desire in many youth to want to know more about their ancestors.
There are numerous ways families keep their stories alive. This approach to family history encourages youth to explore and identify their favorite ways to tell their story.