The Ancestor Game
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“The Ancestor Game,” Liahona, Mar. 2000, 44–45

The Ancestor Game

Several years ago I wanted to plan a family home evening focused on family history. Our children, then ages 9 through 13, were only vaguely aware of some of their ancestors, so I came up with a game that helped us all become better acquainted with our ancestors.

I prepared a six-generation pedigree chart on a large piece of paper, filling in only the children’s names and leaving the other spaces blank. (I made a key to the whole chart so I would know how it should look when completed.)

For each blank space on the chart, I made a separate card containing the ancestor’s full name and listing some information about that person. For example, one card read, “Ira Walter Gardner. I was born in 1849 in Sweetwater, Wyoming, while my parents were crossing the plains.”

As I passed out the cards, I explained the rules. Using the information on the cards, each person would deduce where on the chart his or her cards would go. At each turn they could ask me yes or no questions about their ancestor. As long as they got yes answers, they could continue to ask. If they put their card in the wrong space or got a no answer, their turn was over. The children caught on quickly, and soon the chart was complete.

We all enjoyed the game, and the children began to develop a greater appreciation for their forebears.