People have an interest in where they came from and family histories have been central to the human condition since, well, forever. In these modern times, interest in the study of ancestry and genealogy is growing. In our world with millions of strangers it’s comforting to find family and have filial connections. As more and more historical records are made available online, searching for one’s family history becomes easier. There are also tools to assist like family tree makers. The two major online players in this pursuit are Ancestry and MyHeritage. These sites grow because they have users that are actively adding content and and with a growing archive of family information more people join. The larger, Ancestry.com, is said by Wikipedia to have 16-billion historical records by June 2014. As a measure of popularity, first understand that there are over one billion active websites now online. As of this writing, Alexa ranks Ancestry.com as the 930th most popular. Ancestry and MyHeritage have very different business models. Ancestry offers users a free trial period and then charges monthly fees depending on services used. MyHeritage works with a freemium structure, with free access for a basic package and then charge users for more robust features.
The availability of these online sites, historical records and search tools make the research easier, and more people are learning about their family history. This growing interest is connecting people online as they build discover their family tree. This expanding circle of family results in a desire to meet. A family reunion is an opportunity to meet some of these newly discovered family members, exchange information, stories, historical records and photos.
Picking a Date & Location – A reunion can take a lot of planning and the further in advance you start your planning the better off you will be. The larger the event the more time you will need to plan and the larger the volunteer team you will need. Some suggest a year to plan and prepare, but a small reunion can be pulled together more quickly if you are organized, have a strong plan and strong team. Choose two or three possible dates and or locations and survey your family to see which of the options is the most popular. If you have specific venues, checking on their availability might determine your options. When checking with family on possible dates it is also a good idea to ask them what they would like to see in terms of activities and ask for volunteers.
Assembling your team – No one person can plan and execute a reunion on their own. You will need a team. Start with a chair or team lead. As you assemble your team, assign tasks based on team member ability and interest. General tasks are finances, lodging, food, activities/entertainment and communication.
If you have been thinking about your family reunion, contact us for pricing and availability. Also check out this page on our website with tips and links to suppliers in our area to get you started.