Holding Heroes Dear to Your Heart

Welcome to the first post of “Your Roots Are Showing!”

This blog (my second in less than a year) will focus on subjects and ideas that can be used to interest younger people in genealogy and make it more of a family project.  Genealogy has had the stigma of being a seniors’ hobby, only because those of senior years have more time to devote to it; I am hoping this blog can help break that … along with your help!

It’s a bit late for Remembrance Day/ Veterans Day, but this is a project I believe would be perfect no matter when you choose to do it.

How many of your family members have served (or are serving) in uniform?   Army, Navy, Air Force, RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), or more locally in the law enforcement and/or firefighting departments?

Make a list of them all, and then sort the list from the most recent to the oldest – for example, the most recent in my list would be me and the oldest would be a dozen relatives from ten generations ago who served in the American Revolution, with a couple handfuls of relatives from WWI, WWII and some UN Peacekeeping tours.

The next step, if you still have the help/time, talk to relatives (better still talk to your heroes! If they are still around), look through family albums for pictures of them in uniform.  Find out where they went (England, Italy, France, Iwo Jima, etc).  If they didn’t make it home, where were they buried?

With the information I was able to collect, I have made a photo memoriam — the pairing a military grave photo with a colour copy of the national memorial page, corresponding to my hero — so four, I have  four of them done.

They are quite impressive and stir up a lot of interest from visitors.

If you try this, let me know how things turn out!


  1. This is an excellent idea, one I wish I had thought of while those in the generation before me were still around for me to ask questions. Thanks for this post and your hope to help us get the younger generation involved.

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