The last few years, I’ve had a couple of ongoing personal projects that I have really enjoyed. 1) Scanning all old family photos, and 2) Researching my family tree. (There is a third thing, but it’s something my fiancé does, not me, and that is digitize old family movie film reels. So, he’s been digitizing both his family’s and my family’s films).
Several years ago, I set up an account at Geni and added in all the family information that I knew and then e-mailed all the relatives inviting them to join the account. More than I expected, a lot of relatives filled in the details of things like anniversaries and birthdates, and even some more critical information I didn’t have, like some great great grandparents. However, since creating the account, things have kind of stagnated. My ultimate dream is to have some sort of big family genealogy website where, when you click on a person’s name on the tree, you can see things like photos of them, videos that they’re in, their birth announcement, obituary, their birth certificate, etc.
If you’ve never done genealogy research, it is really, really complicated, even with all the internet resources at our disposal these days. But, the more key biographical data you have about your relatives, the easier it becomes. So, for instance, I may know the birthdate of my great great grandmother, but if I don’t know the county she was born in, then I can’t request her birth certificate (and therefore can’t easily find her parents names). So, although more relatives than I expected filled in some information on the Geni tree, I’m hoping to eventually add more information.
And I’m hoping to collect this information at our wedding! I figure, they’re at the wedding, they’re a captive audience, so why not ask them to fill in some fun information, both for themselves, as well as for other relatives they know!
The idea is this:
Have two family trees printed on posters for our wedding. One for my side, one for my fiancé’s. There will be copies of genealogy questionnaires available for people to enter information that they know for each entry on the tree (like themselves, their immediate relatives, and perhaps even if they know more info about their ancestors). The questionnaire will consist of key biographical data, but also fun things like, “what were this person’s hobbies?” or “what was a really memorable quality about this person.” I think that can get some really interesting dialogue going among the guests at the wedding.
I’m still hammering out the details of how we’ll go about collecting the data, but I’ll be sure to let you know how it comes along. I’ll also let people know about the project ahead of time, that way they won’t come completely unprepared!
Has anyone done something similar? I would love to hear how you did it and if you got good information!