3 Reasons Why Using a Family Tree Can Help Children in School

We have undertaken various school projects, to see how we can make family history more interesting for younger generations. Our projects have been embraced by children, who have enjoyed learning about the characters behind the names on their family tree.

Suzie Colver of obituarieshelp.org, is a keen advocate on encouraging children to learn about their family heritage and how it can benefit them, even if they aren’t interested in family history yet.

According to Suzie, aligning family history research with a child’s studies can benefit them in three different ways:

1. It Makes History Come to Life

If  your children are learning about World War I or the Vietnam War in school, it will be much easier to learn the facts if they can associate it with a real person. A great-grandparent or uncle may have served in one of those wars, which will make the information they are learning in school a lot more real.

Find out what era they are studying, and make an effort to find out how your family is connected. The further back you have to go, the more difficult, but it is possible to find family members from a century ago. Even if all you have is vague information such as your family originated in Ireland, it will make that country more memorable in world history.

2. It Teaches Children How to Research

Research is one task your kids will have throughout their school years. Many times, it will be on subjects they consider boring and irrelevant. Make research more interesting by having them help you find out about your ancestors. Teach them how to use the internet and other resources such as the microfiche film at the public library. Show them how to find information from the country records.

As they use these unique resources, it will make research more interesting. Instead of being a required project, it will be more like solving a mystery. As you add names to your family tree, they will feel a sense of pride in accomplishing a complicated task.

3. It Teaches Children How to Organise Information

It can be overwhelming to do a research project and then try to put it all together in a way that makes sense. It may be even more challenging if your child is a visual learner. A family tree is a great way to teach a child how to organise information in a way that makes sense and allows the facts to be relevant.

As your child fills in names and other information on the various people in your ancestry, they will learn how to develop associations. They will also understand how to format information so that it makes sense. Since there are so many different kinds of family trees, they can put as much or as little information as they want. With some, it may simply be a name on a tree. For others, they may include birth and death dates, marriage dates and a lot more.

A family tree project can provide an exciting way to help your child learn in school. It teaches them skills they will use throughout their lives, and it does it in a fun way.

Suzie Kolber created obituarieshelp.org to be the complete online resource for Suzie_Kolber_Obit“do it yourself” genealogy projects. The site offers the largest offering of family tree templates online. A not for profit website, it is dedicated to offering free resources for those that are trying to trace their family history.

Relevant articles

Taking Family History back to school

‘Name That Baby’ competition to teach children about family history

Timeline of British Prime Ministers

As the United Kingdom gears up for the general election on 8th June 2017, we have launched our timeline of British Prime Ministers.

From Sir Robert Walpole, who holds the record as the longest serving Prime Minister in British history, to the present incumbent, Theresa May, British politics has seen some interesting characters along the way.

Robert Peel, regarded as the father of modern British policing, established the Metropolitan Police Force for London based at Scotland Yard. The constables employed were nicknamed ‘bobbies’ (a term still used today) or ‘peelers’.

David Lloyd George was the highly energetic Prime Minister of the wartime coalition government during 1916-22. He was a major player at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 that reordered Europe after the defeat of the Central Powers.

Perhaps one of the most famous British Prime Ministers was Winston Churchill, who led Britain to victory during World War Two and was re-elected six years after the war ended.

220px-Margaret_ThatcherAnd of course we have to mention the first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who led the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. The longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th Century, the ‘Iron Lady’ was a controversial figure, but one of the most influential in British history.

Take a look at our timeline of British Prime Ministers at:

twile.com/timeline/britishprimeministers

To add British Prime Ministers to your family timeline…

  • Click the ‘In View’ button at the top of your timeline
  • Move the ‘British Prime Ministers’ slider on the right hand side to choose ‘Key’ or ‘All’ events
  • Click ‘Done’

You can view all of our world history timelines at twile.com/timelines

 

Timeline of French Presidents

As Emmanuel Macron prepares to assume the French Presidency on the 14th May, we have launched our new timeline of French Presidents.

If your family has French heritage, find out more about what was happening in the world of politics around them. What influenced their life choices and the direction that your ancestors took?

From Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, who was the first Head of State of France to LouisNapoleonBonapartehold the title of President,  to Albert Lebrun who was the last President of the Third Republic and Charles de Gaulle who was a dominant figure during the war years, our timeline gives an insight into the volatile nature of politics in France and will give some context to your family story.

Take a look at our timeline of French Presidents at:

twile.com/timeline/frenchpresidents

To add French presidents to your family timeline…

  • Click the ‘In View’ button at the top of your timeline
  • Move the ‘French Presidents’ slider on the right hand side to choose ‘Key’ or ‘All’ events
  • Click ‘Done’

Why not explore some of our other timelines including a timeline of British Prime Ministers and a timeline of American Presidents.

We are going to be adding more streams soon. If you have a suggestion, please contact us at help@twile.com 

 

Cover photo licensed by the French Government under Creative Commons

Timeline of Pitch@Palace

This week we’ve launched our Timeline of Pitch@Palace, the programme founded by The Duke of York to help tech startups get their business ideas in front of a global audience of influencers.

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Twile CEO Paul Brooks at St. James’s Palace for the final of Pitch@Palace 6.0

We were fortunate enough to take part in Pitch@Palace 6.0 last year, which was an incredible experience in many ways.  We attended the final at St James’s Palace, where we rubbed shoulders with many influential individuals (including The Queen herself!) and have since been introduced to many incredible organisations, such as ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions).

ALVA represents many of the UK’s visitor attractions and heritage sites, including the Museum of London, the National Trust, V&A Museum, Glasgow Museums, Historic Environment Scotland and many more.  We are working with these attractions to build timelines for them and for the historical topics they are experts in.

The support we’ve received from the Duke of York’s team has been fantastic – with regular alumni networking events and introductions to valuable contacts – so we’re happy we’ve been able to show our thanks in a small way by building a dedicated timeline for Pitch@Palace.

Want to learn more?

 

Celebrating St George’s Day with a new family history infographic

Proudly based in the North of England, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate St George’s day this weekend with a red and white version of our family history infographic.

If you have English ancestry, take a look at the statistics that make up your family tree, such as the average number of children per family, average age of marriage and the most common surnames.

If you already have a Twile account:

  • Start at your Twile family tree: www.twile.com/people 
  • Click the ‘View Infographic’ button
  • Select ‘English’ to see your red and white infographic

If you aren’t yet registered for Twile, it’s completely free of charge to create your English infographic.

Our infographics were designed to help you share your research in a fun and exciting way with your family and we have had some great feedback from our customers:

“Since I created my 2 images for free with Twile, some of my younger family members have expressed an interest to know more about genealogy, and a desire to create their own graphics.  Sometimes, the hardest part of doing genealogy is trying to get other family members interested and engaged!” Dixie La Pierre, US (cocktailsandswagger.com)

“Gotta love an infographic! A great way to get the people whose eyes normally glaze over, interested in family history” (@FamilyTreeUK via Twitter)

“The tree and timeline features will have even the most reluctant genealogist participating in family history in no time”, Amie Bowser Tennant, (The Genealogy Reporter)

You can also order a print of your personalised infographic to make a wonderful birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift. If you’re quick, you can take advantage of a 40% discount on printing until the end of April 2017!

You can now order a printed family history infographic!

Following feedback and requests we’ve had from customers, we’re really happy to be able to offer you a professionally printed version of our Family History infographic.

Previously only available as a digital version to share online, you can now order your infographic as a high resolution print, to add to the family album or show off in a frame over the mantelpiece.

We have many customers wanting to frame their infographic for themselves or as a gift to family members. Our aim has always been to make family history more interesting and engaging and we love the idea of infographics hanging in someone’s hall and sparking conversations with other family members and friends!

Special Launch Offer – 40% discount

You can order a printed infographic for £28 ($35), however to coincide with Who Do you Think You Are? Live, we are offering a huge 40% discount until the end of April 2017.

The infographics are available in two sizes and delivered FREE anywhere in the world. And since Twile is now totally free for everyone to use, these printed infographics give you a new way to support our project. (Thank you!)

Get your infographic at www.twile.com/numbers

Already have one?  Follow the same link in the email we sent you originally, or click the ‘View infographic’ button on your Twile family tree to order your printed copy.

Our top tips for Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2017

It’s the Who Do You Think You Are? Live exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC this week and we’re looking forward to what promises to be the biggest and best one yet!

At the show you’ll find over 120 genealogy experts on hand to help with your research and provide FREE access to their billions of records. You can find us on the Findmypast stand – look for our signature red t-shirts!

Whether you’re a seasoned family historian or taking your first steps to uncovering your family’s history, you’re sure to find all the expert advice, tips and guidance you need at the show. There can be a lot to take in though, so here are a few tips:

  • Plan ahead: If you have booked to attend some of the workshops, make sure you know where you need to be and when. Take a look at the Society of Genealogists Workshop Programme here.
  • Wear comfortable shoes! It is a big hall, accommodating a lot of exhibitors! You are going to do a lot of walking.
  • Think about what you want to discover: Our friend Tami at Conference Keeper gave this good advice last year in her guest blog. “Chances are good that you’ve got a genealogy question you’re looking to answer. Or maybe two. Or maybe twenty. Write them down. Be specific. When asking questions in a class, networking with others, or just meeting new people, be considerate of their time by being as succinct and direct as possible. Consider the bare minimum of information needed when asking a question – your family history is absolutely fascinating… to your family. Genealogists do appreciate others’ stories and are generally always eager to help answer questions, but most anyone starts to nod off when your question about locating your grandmother’s birth certificate starts five generations back”.
  • Take advantage of the show offers: There will be plenty!
  • Visit the local family history societies: They cover a lot of the exhibition area and many have travelled a long way to be there. They may just be able to help you break down a brick wall and in our experience we have found them to be amongst the most helpful people in the hall. Their passion is your passion… they love talking about genealogy, so make the most of them.

We’re looking forward to:

 

Celebrity Talk – Behind the Scenes of Danny Dyer’s Episode – Thursday, 10.15am

Making the Most of The British Newspaper Archive, with Aoife O’Connor, Findmypast – Thursday, 3.15pm

How to get your kids interested in Genealogy, with Erin Tilley – Friday 4.15pm

Celebrity Guest Sunetra Sarker – Saturday 10.15

Using Social Media in your Genealogical Research, with Kirsty Gray  – Saturday 12.15pm

If you’re at the event over the next few days, do come and say hello! If you’ve not already created one, we will show you how to turn your family tree into a fun infographic to share with the rest of your family and we can answer any questions that you have about Twile. See you there!

Related links:

Share your family history infographic and win a £100 Amazon gift card

Photo credit: Who Do You Think You Are? Live

Share your family history infographic and win a £100 Amazon gift card

We’re going to be at Who Do You Think You Are? Live at the NEC in Birmingham, UK again this week – to celebrate we’re offering you the chance to win a £100 Amazon gift card.

The exhibition runs from 6th-8th April and we will be joining Findmypast on their booth, where we will show you how to turn your family tree into one of our family history infographics!

Family History InfographicOur infographic gives you a visual snapshot of your research, with statistics like the average age of marriage, number of children per family and most common surnames – fun stuff which will appeal to non-genealogists! We hope this infographic will help you to share a little of your research with other people on your tree.

If you can’t wait until Who Do You Think You Are? Live, you can create your infographic here at  www.twile.com/numbers. It’s quick, easy and free!

Share your infographic and win a £100 Amazon gift card

Create your infographic at www.twile.com/numbers, share it and tag Twile during April to enter the prize draw.  You can tag Twile on Facebook (#Twile or @TwileTimeline) or Twitter (@TwileTweets).

We will be picking a winner on 30th April, so good luck!

If you are going to Who Do You Think You Are? Live, we look forward to seeing you there! Here are a few useful articles to help with the planning…

16 Things You Need to Know Before Attending Who Do You Think You Are? Live

Making the most of a genealogy conference

 

 

 

Some of our favourite inspirational genealogy mothers

This weekend, we celebrate Mother’s Day in the UK. We have met and come to know many inspirational genealogy mothers over the past few years who have a real passion for preserving memories and sharing their family stories with their children.

At Twile, our mission is to make family history more engaging and interesting for younger generations, so we love reading these mums’ articles and often use their advice with our own children.

Here are a few of our favourite family history mummy bloggers and some of their recent articles that stood out to us:

  • Hilarie Robison at Legacy Tale:Why you should hold an intentional family planning retreat“. As fellow entrepreneurs whose children have an awareness of the family ‘business’, this was such an interesting read. An interesting way to explore things that the whole family wish to accomplish together in the long term. We are delighted to be supporting Legacy Tale’s storytelling retreat in April.
  • Amie Bowser Tennant at The Genealogy Reporter: “Trying to Stump Big Grandma and other Family History Fun with Kids“. A great article about using every opportunity to tell children their family history in short little conversations. I remember fondly little snippets of the conversations I had with grandparents and often try to pass these memories on to my kids.
  • Melissa Finlay at The Finlay Family Blog: May I introduce to You…Melissa Finlay“. I loved this Geneabloggers interview with Melissa. She really is an inspirational lady and makes me feel positively lazy! As well as developing genealogy apps and maintaining her blog, she is also home-schooling her children – a real Wonder Woman.
  • Nicole Dyer at Family Locket: Nicole hosted the very first Family History for Children Blog Link Up this week. What a brilliant idea! We are looking forward to joining the link up in April – “Family History Research for Busy Parents”.
  • Jana Greenhalgh at The Genealogy Kids: “Little ones love stories and pictures“. Definitely true! Our daughter especially enjoys looking at the wedding pictures of her grandparents and great-grandparents on our Twile timeline.
  • Jana Last at Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog: “Favourite Family Recipes – Grandpa C’s Peanut Clusters.” Definitely worth trying as they are so simple, although the core ingredients are not so easy to find in the UK and we had to improvise! I have a hand-written cook book that belonged to my grandmother – it was collated by children in the neighbourhood and each of the mothers who had provided recipes were referred to with a title (e.g. Mrs Johnson’s Lemon Cake). Engaging in family food traditions is really a way to pass on little slices of the family story.
  • Allison Kimball at AllisonKimball.com: Remembering“. I love the idea of children within a family picking up a photogaph of someone – an ancestor – that they want to know better.

To all the inspirational mothers, whether you’re in the UK or not: Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Changing the time on Britain’s most prestigious clocks

This weekend sees the beginning of British Summer Time (BST), which was first established by the Summer Time Act of 1916 and we move forward to GMT +1. As every British household gets set to change the multitude of clocks around the house, we spare a thought for those tasked with winding forward some of the most prestigious clocks around Britain.

 Big Ben

The world’s most famous clock is the responsibility of the Clockmakers at the Palace of Westminster  – who have 2000 clocks to change throughout the Place and parliamentary buildings! Changing the time on Big Ben is not a simple process. It involves careful precision and split-second timing from the Clockmakers.

Take a look at the process here and watch this fascinating video…

Royal Liver Building Liverpool 

The clocks at the top of the Royal Liver building, Great George, are the largest clock faces in Britain. There are four of them positioned on the 295 feet high clock tower overlooking the River Mersey – with huge dials of 25 feet in diameter and 14-foot long minute hands! They are the world’s 16th largest clockfaces and were put in motion on 22nd June 1911, the precise moment that King George was crowned!

Britains Oldest Clock

The oldest still fully-functioning clock in Britain is the clock on the north transept of Wells Cathedral in Somerset. An astronomical clock, it dates back to between 1386 and 1392.

The Eastgate Tower Clock 

Situated in the Roman walled city of Chester and built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, this impressive clock is built into the walkway along Chester Walls, above the city’s Eastgate entrance.  It is said to be the most photographed clock in Britain, after Big Ben.

Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, University of Birmingham 

Otherwise know as “Old Joe”, this is the tallest freestanding clock tower in the World at 100 metres! Built to commemorate Joseph Chamberlain, the first Chancellor of the University, it was completed in 1908.

More famous clocks from around the World…

Philadelphia City Hall in Philadelphia, US held the title of the tallest building in the world from 1901 to 1908 and has four clocks which are 8 meters in diameter.

Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the tallest clock tower and largest clock face in the World!

The Prague Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic attracts many tourists, who watch the famous moving figures of the beautiful clock. I watched this myself in a snowy January many years ago and it is lovely to see. Hard to believe that the clock was first installed in the year 1410!

Rathaus-Glockenspiel, Munich, Germany is a famous tourist attraction, built in 1908. It has 48 Bells and 32 life-sized figures who re-enact two stories from the 16th Century.

The Savious Tower, Moscow, Russia in Red Square was designed in 1491 and installed in 1625 and is part of the Kremlin walls.

Back to everyone in the UK… remember to put your clocks forward and enjoy the extra hours of sunshine!