Zap The Grandma Gap

Zap the Grandma Gap: Connecting with Your  Family by Connecting Them to Their Family History takes an old idea and breathes new life into sharing family history. I don’t know many genealogists who haven’t complained about how difficult it is to get the next generation interested and involved in their family history. Some offer up stories of selective success, while others offer creative ideas that always seem to go untested. Janet Hovorka has a better idea. In this new and lively book, Janet offers some of the most creative and inspiring ideas for getting children and grandchildren actively involved in their family history. However, the ideas in this book go beyond a few simple strategies by suggesting more than a few ways to make family history an integral part of the family members’ daily lives.

Hovorka uses a metaphorical superhero grandmother who has all the necessary tools and gadgets to cleverly, and enjoyably, make her family’s history a part of their lives. Ideas range across the board; including, using charts as every present wall art, learning about grandma through her favorite recipes, and having children get involved by using the latest technology gadgets to perform searches. These are just some of the basic ideas. The list of ideas goes on and on. Many of these ideas could be implemented with little effort. In many ways, its the constant reminder, the constant effort to share that will win family members over in the end.

The author believes so deeply in the value of family history she feels it is “one of the most important tools you can use to empower your children and help them become well adjusted adults.” Who am I to argue? I don’t think there is a genealogists out there who would disagree. While no family tree is without its scoundrels, neither is there a tree without heroes. “Super Grandma” is here to show everyone the way. Many of the ideas include activities that will help “bridge the generation gap.”

Taking these ideas anyone can turn the “snoring and boring to exciting and inviting.” Take both ideas and encouragement from these tried and tested ideas and make them part of your routine. You may not get a household full of genealogists from trying these ideas, but your family will surely find a greater connection and appreciation for the past and an improved outlook for the future.

Janet Hovorka owns Family ChartMaster, a genealogy chart printing company. She writes “The Chart Chick” blog and has written many other genealogical publications. She is the current President of the Utah Genealogical Association and teaches genealogy and library science at Salt Lake Community College.





Genius Grandma Knows How Important Her History Is To Connect Herself To Her Posterity And Connect Them To A Healthy Future.

  • Understanding and Emotional Healing:
    • Family Issues
  • Realizing Potential:
    • Inspiring Stories – Dealing With Challenges
  • Spiritual Serendipity:
    • Serendipity Stories
  • Envelop Them in Love:
    • Strong Relationships – Common Interests
  • A Broad Perspective:
    • Start With the Child

Gorgeous Grandma Infuses Her Surroundings With Her Family History To Instill Her Family With Their Past And Prepare Them For Later Curiosity.

  • Visuals/Pictures:
    • Displays – Timelines – Similarities
  • Heirlooms:
    • Guess the Heirloom – Heirloom Catalog – Family History in A Trunk – Make A New Heirloom
  • Charts:
    • Art Piece – Working Chart – Sugar Cookie Chart – Maps – Timelines – Diorama – Collage
  • Gardens:
    • Favorite Flowers – Plant Markers – Vegetables – Herbs – Heirloom Plants

Geek Grandma Knows That The Easiest Way To Plug In To Her Family Is Out On The Net.

  • Curious Surfing:
    • Compiled Databases – Find a Grave – Popular Websites – Children’s Websites
  • Indexing and Digitizing:
    • Scan Pictures and Documents – Digitize Journals or Family Documents – Indexing – Society Projects – Bribery
  • Family Websites:
    • Private Gathering Places – Family Resources Website – Genealogy Software Helps – Photo Sharing Sites
  • Social Networking:
    • Family Facebook Group – Twitter Feeds – Blogs – Email Newsletter – YouTube
  • Surnames:
    • Name Studies – Meanings – Heraldry – Family Organizations

Gifted Grandma Uses Her Creations to Teach Her Family About Their Past

  • Books and Scrapbooks:
    • Short Children’s Books – Kids Illustrate Your Book – What Happened When – Collections of Letters -Give Children Copies – Archival Scrapbooks
  • Games:
    • Workbooks – Paper Dolls – Puzzles From Pictures or Pedigree Charts – Bingo, Matching Cards, Memory and Go Fish – Other Games
  • Calendars:
    • Current Family Pictures – Pictures at A Certain Age – Ancestor Pictures – Anniversaries
  • Time Capsule:
    • Individual Time Capsules – Favorites – Special Events – Cedar Chests
  • Recording Their Lives:
    • Keep It Short – Reflective Letters – Statements of Faith or Belief – Journal or Diary – Parent’s or Grandparent’s Journal
  • Gifts:
    • Meaningful Moments – Recipes – Heirlooms – Digitizing – Collections, Projects, Crafts – Family History Gifts

Groovy Grandma Uses the History around Her Family’s Past to Make Their Progenitors Come Alive

  • Talents:
    • Hit Them Where They Live – Learn Something New That Is Old – Heirloom Re-Creation – Performances
  • Skills:
    • Providing Food – Creating a Home – Typical Men’s Work – Do Some Research
  • Music:
    • Try Their Genre – Music They Knew – Dancing
  • Food:
    • Record Your Recipes – Share Preparation – Involve All Parts of the Family – Dishes
  • Traditions:
    • Religious or Ethnic Holidays – Holiday Traditions – Family History Decorations – Antique or Historical Decorations – Superstitions and Sayings
  • History in General:
    • Living History – Books about History – Heritage Festivals and Founder’s Days – Culture Night – Museums, Historical Sites – Movies, TV – Language or Culture Classes

Gutsy Grandma Pulls Her Posterity Close by Carefully Creating Today’s History Together.

  • Connect With Living Relatives:
    • Family Reunions – Letters – Harsh Personalities – Visits – One Child to Visit – Family Organizations
  • Interviews:
    • Video – Transcripts – Family Reporter – Tough Topics – Send A Few Questions at A Time – Interview Locations – Photo and Heirloom Show And Tell – What Was Life Like At Their Age
  • Record Current History:
    • Yearly Summary, Monthly Summary – One Manager or Round Robin – Collection of Tweets, Facebook or Blog Posts
  • Travel:
    • Prepare Family Members for the Trip – Other Resources – Send Them for Research – Cemeteries – One-On-One-Trips – Who Do You Think You Are Tour
  • Events:
    • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Scavenger Hunt – Ancestor’s Birthday – Family Show
  • Support Other Learning Opportunities:
    • School Reports – Scouts – Create Projects about Family History

Glorious Grandma Works to Organize Her Family’s Story So That She Doesn’t Leave Brick Walls for the Next Generation

  • Scope:
    • Leaving A Brick Wall Of Too Much Information – Weeding The Collection – What Resources Will They Have? – Scan and Condense – Process Into Something Usable
  • Sources:
    • Primary And Secondary Information – Originals and Derivative Sources – Only What You’ve Seen – Direct, Indirect and Negative
  • Citations:
    • Complete Citations – No Abbreviations – Genealogy Standards – Citations Don’t Have To Be Perfect
  • Analysis:
    • Unsuccessful Searches – Preserve Evidence You Know Is Wrong – Record What You Know About the Source – Differing Interpretations
  • List and Instructions:
    • What Still Needs to Be Done – Color Coded Chart – Organization Hints – Shortcomings
  • Archival Storage:
    • Use Archival Materials – Remove Anything Destructive – Don’t Touch Too Much – Set Aside A Work Area – Preserve the Order – Reversals – Donations
  • Archiving Photographic Materials:
    • Types of Antiques – Strengthen the Base – Common vs. Precious – Antique Scrapbooks – Protection from Acidic Materials – Protect Negatives
  • Archiving Document Materials:
    • Common vs. Precious – Encapsulation – Keep Reversible – Copying
  • Archiving Digital Materials:
    • Migration Plan – Naming, Tagging and Filing – Refreshing and Backing Up – Replication in Different Formats – Data Recovery – Digital Will
  • Plan for dissemination:
    • Library Of Alexandria Rule – Spread Your History Now

Go Do It
What’s Next?
About the Author


Family Roots Publishing is offering a temporary discount on Zap the Grandma Gap. Get a copy for only $19.95, nearly 17% off the cover price; good through February 8, 2013.

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