This is a series on finding your niche in doing family history.
One of my favorite hidden gems I’ve found in doing family history research is a little site called AncestorGuru.com. If you’re looking for a kid-friendly, visual way to introduce your family to their ancestors (or if you need to brush up yourself), this is a great source.
When you log in, Ancestor Guru pulls pictures and vital dates and places for four generations of your family tree from FamilySearch. You might have some missing pictures or dates, especially when it comes to your living ancestors, and that’s not a big deal. However, these games are more fun when you’ve got four generations complete with photos, dates, and places, so it’s a good incentive to get some pictures uploaded to your family tree. If you aren’t sure how to add pictures to FamilySearch, see Family History for the Shutterbug.
The first game I want to show you is Memory. This is your basic memory matching game, but it uses the pictures from your family tree. This game is perfect for younger kids (no reading required) and it’s a little different every time you play it.
The next game is Fast Photo. This game is easiest on a touch-screen device like an iPad or tablet, but it works fine with a mouse too. When you start the game, photos from your family tree float around the screen along with some non-relatives. Be quick to select great grandma, but avoid Darth Vader and George Washington.
Another game is Scrambled Tree. See how quickly you can unscramble your tree. Easy and medium are good for kids, and hard can be a challenge even for adults. You can play this on your own, or you could make this a game for the whole family. Pull up the game on multiple devices and see who is fastest.
The last game I want to show you is Life’s Journey. This game has a retro video game feel to it. Take note of the selected ancestor’s important dates and places, then you’re ready to go. Bump your balloon into the correct clouds and gather as many coins as possible. Watch out for the birds and wrong clouds on medium and hard because they’ll pop your balloon.
A nice feature of Ancestor Guru is that you can change the root person, which is who the games are centered around. You are the default, but if you click in the top right corner you can select your child’s name and it will load ancestors from your spouse’s side of the family, too. If your spouse’s ancestry isn’t showing up, see Family History for the Finisher and I’ll show you how to get that fixed.