Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Physical Description

Our family reunions are always fun because we make an effort to include some family history mixed in with the visiting, eating, swimming, hiking, and hanging out. I have mentioned the types of activities before, but at our most recent family reunion we also included several short games, a 20 questions quiz, and a team scavenger hunt. It's all done to have fun, learn something about our ancestors, encourage the generations to work together, and award prizes (we are quite competitive and we love prizes!).

We also take lots of pictures and share family pictures during our reunions (and at every gathering we have). One of the reasons is because seeing our ancestors in photographs or having them described to us by the elders (we usually have an open mic and recording system set up so we can share stories and remembrances) gives us a better sense of who they were. We are always amazed when we look at those photographs to see similarities across the generations. Oftentimes the younger children want to know who they look like or who they take after. Whether it is the hair coloring, the freckles or lack thereof, the height, the bone structure, the eye coloring, or any number of other features that make up a physical description - it is fascinating to go through old photographs to check on resemblance.

We can find physical descriptions from a number of sources - passport and citizenship applications, military registration and enlistment forms, family photographs, newspaper articles, medical records, and obituaries, just to name a few examples.

I like to personalize my entries (use given name) and
here the notes are included as part of the sentence (customize!)
Do you include physical description as an event/fact in your family history database? Now is the time to check out those photographs and ask your elders to describe people in your family file so you can learn more about your ancestors. 

Have a great weekend and I will see you back here on Monday for the letter Q!


Welcome - thanks for sharing - just so you know, all comments are moderated.