Genealogy means a recorded history of one’s ancestors. How far back in time can you go describing your families genealogy? Are there special books or papers that tell about your family history? How much of the history is recorded and how much is oral? Describe to your partners any relatives with special personality traits or accomplishments or interesting stories or legends surrounding them.
Tell a story that your relative, grandparent or great-grandparent told to you. It could be a story from their own childhood or a story about the times in which they lived. Give detail so that your partners can feel like they were there.
What was it like for you to visit grandma or grandpa’s house? Were you comfortable there or uncomfortable? Did your grandparents relate well to children or not? Describe the type of house it was, the city it was in. What did you do when you visited your grandparents? What kind of hobbies did they have? What kind of work did they do? How was their life different from life in your own home?
Who are you closest to in your family? Who are you closest to in your extended family (including cousins, grandparents and other relatives)? Who do you most admire and want to be like in your family? Why?
Are there any “black sheep” in your family? What is their history and place in the family? Do you feel an obligation to take care of your relatives even if you don’t like them? How does your culture view this issue?
Looking back at your family tree – particularly at the grandparent level and beyond – did your family tend to come from a certain geographical area that gave them an identity? For example, my great-grandfather came from Poland. He had a Polish name “Kopankewicz” which was shortened to “Kopan”. Tell about the places that are meaningful for your family, or where your family has roots. If your family were immigrants, could you return to their original country and find any relatives?
In the Bible, we see two letters that the teacher Paul wrote to a close student and friend, Timothy. In the second letter he speaks about Timothy’s family history and how it has affected Timothy:
“I remember your honest and true faith. It was alive first in your grandmother Lois, and in your mother Eunice. And I am certain that it is alive in you also. Paul tells Timothy to continue in his faith because “you have known the Bible ever since you were a little child.” 2 Timothy, 1, 3