Volume 6 Issue 3
October 1999



A Cub Scout’s Introduction To Genealogy

Circle 10 Council

A small bit of each one of your ancestors has gone into making up the special person that you are.  There are ways to discover who you are and the path that brought your family to where you are today.  Family heritage or your family history is like a road map of your family from its start to today.  Did your family come to America from Mexico, Germany, Spain, China, India, or any other country outside of the United States?  This is the start of your family in the United States.  Your family can help you find out about your family background.  A good place to start is with your parents.  Ask them to tell you about your family.  Ask them to help you write your own life story in pictures and words.  It is easier to learn who our relatives are if we have pictures to have and hold and use to help us learn relationships to one other.  Photos can be photocopied so that the originals are kept intact.  Label these pictures on the back with the name of the relative and their relationship to you.
Family heritage can be a giant puzzle – like putting together a whole picture of your ancestors, your history, and your family. Ask your parents to remember information about your family as far back as they can. Also ask about the national origin of your family.


Family Memory Book

Circle 10 Council

You can begin a family memory book with your own life story. Some of the things to include in your story could be:
Family background
Parents' birthdates
Parents’ wedding date
Grandparents' birthdates and wedding dates
Your birth
Your life before school
Where you go to school
Extra activities after school
Your favorite things
Your brothers and sisters
Here is a family questionnaire that you could put in your family memory book (have the boys and their family complete this questionnaire):
My family loves to:
My favorite family holiday is:
We celebrate it by . . .
When something wonderful happens in our family, we usually:
Our family shows how much we love each other by:
Our family is special because . . .

Another great thing to add to your family memory book is a picture of your family members with a paragraph saying what you admire most about each one of your family members.  Finally, to help you get started on your family memory book, draw a family tree or use the one on this page. Start with what you know, what your parents know, what your parents’ family knows, and what your relatives know.

Your family memory book can keep growing and growing as you find out more information about your family history. Here are some questions you can ask your family and relatives to learn more about them:


1. How did you celebrate your birthday?
2. What kind of things did the whole family do together?
3. Did you have an older brother or sister take care of you?
4. What is the favorite thing you remember about your mother when you were younger?
5. What is the favorite thing you remember about your father when you were younger?
6. Do you remember your grandparents? What were they like? Did you see them often?


1. How did you celebrate special holidays?
2. What did you dress up as for Halloween?
3. What did you have for Thanksgiving dinner? Did you have Thanksgiving dinner at home or at someone else’s house? Who was there?
4. Did you celebrate New Year’s Eve? How?
5. What special goodies did you have at special times of the year?
6. Did you celebrate the Fourth of July? Did you watch firework displays?

Favorite things:


1. Did you have any pets? What kind of pets were they?  What color?
2. What was your favorite toy?
3. What was your favorite food? What foods did you not like?
4. Did you have a favorite place to go to be alone?
5. Did you have a place where you and your friends met?
6. What was your first car like?


1. Did you live in a city or in the country?
2. What was your house like? (How many rooms, floors, etc.)
3. Did you have your own bedroom?
4. What chores did you have to do at home?
5. Did you have a TV, radio, or record player?


1. What was your school building like? How many people were in a class?
2. What was your favorite subject? What did you like least about school?
3. Did you ever get in trouble in school?
4. Did you have a favorite teacher?
5. Did you go to a town library? What were your favorite books?
6. What games did you play at recess? What was the name of your best friend?


Coat Of Arms
Circle 10 Council

Some families have crests or family designs that have been passed down from ancestors. These designs were an important way to show the family line. They also made everyday life more colorful. If your family does have a coat of arms, you can recreate it out of poster board. If your family does not have a coat of arms, you can design your own with the help of your family. You can use the basic shapes on the following page, enlarged to desired size. Start designing your coat of arms with simple lines and two colors, one dark and one light. Use red, blue, black, green, or purple. You can use gold and silver or yellow and white also. Only bright colors are used. Once your basic design is decided, you can add simple things if you like, such as lions, birds, fish, eagles, etc. Cloth banners can be used with your coat of arms to hang on the wall of your room.  Make you design first with pencil and paper. Cut out your shape using poster board or felt. Glue on small pieces to create your basic design and then continue with small cutouts of the additional designs. The size of the coat of arms or the banner is up to you. After the coat of arms or the banner is finished, mount it on a dowel rod for hanging. 


Recipe Book
Circle 10 Council


Ask your family to help you put together a recipe book of your favorite foods. As you visit your other family members, ask them to share their favorite recipes or ones that you have eaten at their homes and really enjoyed. Remember to include with each recipe the name of the relative that gave it to you and how they are related. Also include the date that you received the recipe.  This will be a treasured cookbook in the years to come. 


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