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Where Did We Come From? Family Roots

This Thanksgiving, many families will travel to celebrate and give thanks for their many blessings. For some families, these journeys are shorter than the journey a relative or ancestor took in the past. Many of us have ancestors who have traveled from one place to another to find a new life and new opportunities.

Our relatives have stories about where they came from, what life was like where they started, and what they experienced as they learned to fit into a new community.  What do you know about your family’s history?  Who can tell you stories of what happened before you born?  What would it be like to start out new, in a strange place that will become home?  This Thanksgiving ask your relatives about their journeys and past lives.  The list of books below has some great reading for the Thanksgiving holiday. It invites you to learn how to uncover your own family’s unique story and imagine some of the other journeys young immigrants have made.

Grandfather’s Journey (grades K-3) A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather’s journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.

Seven Brave Women (grades 1-4) Take a journey through time as a young girl recounts the exploits of her female ancestors, seven brave women who left their imprints on the past and on her.

One Green Apple (grades 2-4)  Farah smiles and nods, but she can’t speak the language of her new schoolmates. Could a class field trip to an apple orchard help her feel more at home in her new land?

If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island (grades 2-5) Describes, in question and answer format, the great migration of immigrants to New York’s Ellis Island, from the 1880s to 1914, with quotes from children and adults who passed through the station.

Immigrant Kids (grades 3-6) Chronicles the life of immigrant children at home, school, work, and play during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

The Great Ancestor Hunt (grades 4-7) This lively and readable guide will offer you many practical tips and examples of how to do genealogical research online and “in the field.”

Climbing Your Family Tree (grades 5-9)  Learn how to track down family documents, take down oral histories and use online resources to create an entertaining and authoritative history of your own family.

Toning The Sweep (grades 8-11) A rebellious African American teen learns painful but redeeming stories about her family’s history when she and her mother travel to tend her ill grandmother.

First Crossing: Stories of Teen Immigrants (grades 9-12) Short stories of teen immigrants from around the world reveal what it is like to face prejudice, language barriers, and homesickness along with common teenage feelings and needs.

Finding Your Family History Online (grades 9-12) With a few clicks of the mouse, you can be on your way to discovering your ancestors with these detailed instructions.

One Comment

  1. Elizabeth Gress

    Hi Thomas. Hope the drive home went smoothly and that you were able to regroup and prepare for school today. We enjoyed our visit with you and Emma very much. The attached or forwarded email, if you click read more, lists a variety of books about genealogy/history that I thought you might be interested in. More soon. Love e

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