Give the Gift of Fun

Tis the season to give gifts, but what if you have someone who just doesn't need another gift under their tree? What if funds are tight and you need a creative gift idea? What if you could share your passion for research with your grandchildren in a fun way?

Well, my kiddos have fallen in love with the FamilySearch certified website Ancestor Guru. You can use this kid approved site as a fun gift for your family.

Memory is one of four games that Ancestor Guru pulls from the information you have on (you'll have to grant access for Ancestor Guru to access your FamilySearch account. If you don't have a free FamilySearch account, you really need to get one today!) The kids are learning to recognize the faces from the past and the names that go along with them. I like doing the same thing. I would like to learn the names of my husband's line, and this would be a fun way to practice.

Remember, the photos can only be pulled from what is available on FamilySearch. So, upload some photos to the on-line tree of your ancestors. Then write a note and stick it in the envelope that the present involves logging on and having some family history fun.

Another great game is a scrambled family tree. In this screen shot, my father is at the bottom of the tree. My job is to correctly arrange his ancestors on the tree. Notice that some ancestors only have a black silhouette. It could mean that you didn't upload photos for such an ancestor and you need to change that. In my case, I don't have any photos of the ones without images. Some photos have photographs of their handwriting, or a document that includes their name. I could use a substitute profile image, rather than a physical likeness, if I so chose. There are three levels, and a timer to see just how fast you can be at unscrambling your tree.

This last game is what my kids term "The Angry Birds" one. Your task is to move the red balloon up and down to touch the clouds that have the right facts for an ancestor , in this case "Robert Paul Geiszler, Sr". Meanwhile, you can collect the gold coins to increase your score but you have to avoid the bird popping your balloon. Yes this is a date and place fact based game, but it can be fun, and it's motivating to capture the facts so we can play this game.

When showing this game to my mother-in-law, and my kiddos, they thought it was a fun way to celebrate and love on their ancestors just a bit.

This Christmas, if you have spent time adding facts and photos to, you can use the free games at AncestorGuru to give the gift of family history fun.

Let me know your favorite AncestorGuru game (and your scores if you're so open and bold).


  1. Devon,

    I want to let you know that your post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!


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