Branching Out: Genealogy for 4th-8th Grade Students

Branching Out: Genealogy For 4th-8th Grade Students: Lessons 1-30 is not only not your standard genealogy primer, but is also unique in its audience. Like all the volumes in this series, this book services a small age group in the same way textbooks are written for particular grades or ages. The book is both an excellent starter for family history, as well as a well-organized textbook. Instead of chapters, the book has lesson. Each lesson is laid out is such a way that not only can individuals use it for their own course of study, but a society, club, or school could adopt it as a class coursebook. No quizzes or exams will be found in this book; only, the encouragement children need to participate in genealogy.

According to Author Jennifer Holik, the book offers “thirty fun and educational lessons, children will learn the foundations of genealogy and how to begin research on a level that they can understand and enjoy.” Each lesson in the textbook is broken into sections, offering the following to students:

  • A Goal—a lesson objective
  • New Vocabulary words. For example, the chapter on census records introduces the terms census, enumeration, and enumeration district, with definitions
  • Reading Assignments—books and articles the student can find and read for more information. Many of the suggested readings are online
  • A Lesson
  • Assignment—a practical application of the knowledge gained from reading the chapter, a chance to apply the lesson to the student’s own family history
  • Things to Consider, Making it Personal, and Additional Resources—are some of the other headers found sporadically throughout the lessons

Branching Out was published in 2012, and is thus relevant to today’s research. The book, also, does not stand alone but, is actually a series of genealogy text books written for different age groups. This primer is for high school age students. In the coming days, I will also review:

The lessons in each guide are carefully geared for a particular age group. Students at all levels will enjoy an inspiring introduction to the world of genealogical research.


Table of Contents



Items Needed

  • Required Books
  • Additional Resources

Lesson 1: What is Genealogy and Why Should I Care?

Lesson 2: Where Do I Start? What Do I Need?

Optional Projects

Lesson 3: Genealogy Databases

Lesson 4: The Family Group Sheet

Review Lessons 1 to 4

Lesson 5: Interviewing

Lesson 6: Write a Story

Lesson 7: Evaluate the Information

Lesson 8: Home Sources

Lesson 9: Hidden Sources

Lesson 10: Primary Sources and Citations

Lesson 11: Secondary Sources

Lesson 12: Evidence, Fact and Proof

Lesson 13: Vital Records

Lesson 14: Census Records

Lesson 15: Start a Diary

Review: Lessons 13 to 15

Lesson 16: Health and the Mysteries of Death

Lesson 17: Occupations

Lesson 18: Probate Records

Lesson 19: Land Records and Maps

Lesson 20: Military Records

Lesson21: Religious and Cemetery Records

Lesson 22: Immigration

Lesson 23: Naturalization Records

Lesson 24: Newspapers

Lesson 25: Research Plans and Logs

Example Research Plan

Example Research Log

Lesson 26: Timelines

Lesson 27: Examine it Once, Twice, and Again

Lesson 28: Travel

Lesson 29: Organizing Paper and Digital Files

Lesson 30: Putting it all Together


Answer Key

About the Author

Books Available from Generations


Order Branching Out: Genealogy For 4th-8th Grade Students: Lessons 1-30, and any others from the series by clicking the title, from Family Roots Publishing, $29.35.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.