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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tell your family story on Pinterest

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I’ve always been interested in my family history. Over the years I’ve done lots of research, had long talks with my grandfather, and visited Ellis Island to track down a photo of the ship my great grandfather took from then-Yugoslavia to America.

To keep track of the stories, images, recipes, and other information related to my family history, I recently created a board to track a bit of my father’s family tree, including his grandfather’s pilgrimage to the United States.

If you’re interested in doing something similar, here are some tips to get you started.

Pin locations

If you know the region where your family roots got their start, try searching for it on Pinterest and then pin your favorites. You can start by searching general locations (for me it’s Croatia), and then narrow down to specific regions. Of course you can always pin from other sites that may have great details on where your family is from, using the Pin It button.

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And who knows - maybe these pins will come in handy one day if you plan a trip back to the place where your family got their start!

Collect family recipes

Do you have a favorite recipe that your family typically cooks or bakes on holidays?

You can search for specific recipes or ingredients, or for more general terms like Croatian pastries. Pin any that might come in handy at your family’s next special occasion.

If you need help getting started, try searching for recipes from the location where your family hails, or by your cultural heritage, such as German Heritage Recipes, My Filipino Heritage, Turkish Cuisine, and Appalachian Heritage Recipes. If you need more inspiration, check out this great Family Recipe Friday board by GeneaBloggers.

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Use pin descriptions to share stories

Use the description space to share what you know about a specific location, tell a bit of a story surrounding a particular photo, or what you may have heard of an old family recipe. If your family members traveled to the United States through Ellis Island, for example, you can search the Ellis Island website for details on their arrival, which you can use to add detail to your pins.

Pin news clippings

Many local libraries and newspapers have archives of their content online. If you’re lucky enough to come across articles that mention family members, save them to the board.

Invite the family to pin with you!

You can invite family members to pin with you on a group board, or, you can mention them in descriptions to start conversations about a specific pin. This can be especially timely if you’re planning a reunion or just want to get others involved.

For more inspiration, check out the Pinterest boards of Ancestry.com, Accessible Archives, and Genea Bloggers, and ideas for family history projects.

I hope these ideas help you and your family members connect to your roots!

Malorie Lucich, Communications Manager, Currently obsessed with pinning to pin now, read later