top of page

Happy Holiday Opportunities

table set with flowers & crystal for Passover Seder

Did you know that the best free source for your family research is your family? As we gather together for the annual rituals celebrating renewal and fresh starts (Passover, Easter, and Ramadan) we are met with the perfect opportunity at family gatherings to ask our parents and grandparents about their lives and their histories.

Some thirty years ago when all we had was chat groups and libraries to do research, I mailed out questionnaires to my parents and aunts as we lived in different cities. They were all delighted to answer and now that they are all gone, I have the additional treasure of their handwriting relating their memories.

Here are some questions to get you thinking about your own curiosities this weekend. Maybe you'd like to set up a formal interview to be recorded on audio or video with your phone, which you can now upload to Ancestry's new StoryMaker studio feature.

  • Who were your grandparents?

  • Where and when were they born?

  • Did your grandparents have any siblings? What do you know about them?

  • What do you know about their parents?

  • Did your parents or grandparents have a religious affiliation?

  • How did they meet?

  • Where did your parents (or grandparents) go to school?

  • Did they serve in the military?

  • If they were not born in the US, do you know when and how they got here?

  • What were their hobbies or interests?

  • Where did they work?

  • Did they live in other cities?

  • Are there any funny stories you remember about any of them?

This would also be a great time to look through those photo albums to identify who the people are and label them. You might take pictures of some of your favorites now, or scan them if that is a possibility.

children wearing Easter bunny ears by eggs

Gathering this information will point you directly to sources to do further research - military records, yearbooks, phone directories, marriage records, etc. You could prepare a great Mother's Day or Father's Day gift of a

book of memories, including family photos (which can be colorized at Ancestry or MyHeritage), and information about their heritage they did not know! Or you could build the memory book forward including pictures, birthdates, etc. of their grandchildren. I would be very happy to help you in this pursuit. Send me an email for a free consultation!

Ramadan Fanous

This week I found this quote from Rose Kennedy and thought it appropriate for focusing on what seems most important later in life, "Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments." Don't just seize the day, seize the moments!

Blessings on you and your families in this season of rejuvenation and new hope. Chag Pesach Sameach! Happy Easter! Ramadan Mubarak! Eid Mubarak! Peace!

Yours truly,

Leslie Ryan

No compensation is received for any links or references. No copyright infringement is intended.


bottom of page