I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to get my kids interested in genealogy for years. They tolerate my obsession with the subject in the same way they do all my other eccentricities...they humor me. But I can tell their hearts just aren't in it, I see their eyes glaze over as I prattle on about great, great, great Grandma McGarr's fatal case of consumption, or the importance of land records. Which begs the age old question, are great genealogists born or made?
I say it's both. Some of us, like myself, have been interested in the past for as long as they can remember. Others come to it later in life as more free time becomes available and still others much later as their own mortality becomes a real concept. I've never been one to let things take their natural course, ha, not if I can do something to alter that course to fit my own desires. It may be too late to
though Lord knows I tried, but now I have grand-kids. To that end, my grandchildren all receive a copy of the award winning book, Black Potatoes, by Susan Bartoletti on their 11th birthday.
Yeah, it's kinda depressing, but it tells the story of the Irish famine in terms a kid can understand and it's not overly morbid. After all, this is a huge part of their family's history, the reason we all are here in the US of A. After that it's a short leap to begin telling them about the generation that came over from Ireland, about their trip, where they lived, what they did, what their children's lives were like. Another one that looks interesting is, The Great Ancestor Hunt, The Fun of Finding Out Who You Are, by Lila Perl.
There are other books out there too, for the still younger set. I did a quick search at Amazon and found these titles; Me And My Family Tree, by Joan Sweeney, and The Kid's Family Tree Book, by Caroline Leavitt, and many others. As always I advise checking the used books option.
So get moving peeps, there is a whole generation out there that needs our guidance!