Sunday, March 27, 2011

Urdu word of the month - Post 9

Remember the 'Urdu word of the week' theme? Well, I'm re-introducing it into my regular posts as I feel it's a valuable educational posting that will boost overall readers grasp of Urdu. There will be a slight change though as I will be posting monthly rather than weekly as I previously did. So, it will be posted every 4th Sunday of each month. This is because I felt it was too much work to keep up and on hindsight it's too much to ask for everyone to learn a new word every week!

Here's to sweet beginnings..

to lodge; to abide; to dwell; to be colonised or inhabited
اس نے آپنا گھر بسا لیا ہے
'us ne apna ghar basa liya hai'
he/she has settled into his/her house

Please feel free to provide any feedback for this theme. You can even introduce your own Urdu words or even make up sentences with the above word and blog about them on your own blog. Remember to post your links.

Or email me if you're shy: pakistani_g[at]

The next Urdu post will be on the 24th April, hopefully.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Family history for the little ones

What age did you start researching your family history? I was a teenager when I started and haven't looked back since. I can't remember doing any sort of family history at school but I now wish I had. I could have caught the genealogy bug earlier, and started asking questions earlier but that's something we hear a lot from genealogists. Perhaps it's because we feel the more time we have the better results. So, how do you get the youngsters involved in something that's not Facebooky/musicy/sporty/Twitterish?

0-5 years old
I know what you're thinking, but it's never too early to start the journey of a lifetime. How about telling stories about grandma as a child, or about grandad's journey to a different country, or visiting aunts and uncles that share a family link.

5-10 years old
This is the start of school for most children and they enter a world of learning. Try using the following site for some ideas to make genealogy fun: Family Tree Kids.

10-15 years old
Here come the teen years and the attitude. Introducing technology here is important as they can incorporate history with modern tools. Softwares, mobile applications, forums, and social networks are great for enticing teenagers. Also, trying to make history seem relevant to them so they are not seen to be given lectures.

15-20 years old (yes, this IS young to a 40 year old genealogist)
I'm not so sure about this category. However, I would like to point out the Who Do You Think You Are? TV documentary that is very popular viewing. Let's face it, visuals do really help with enticing young people.

Ofcourse it helps to have a genealogist role model in the family. Someone who can offer advice and guidance to a newbie and hopefully somone who has made a start already so you don't have to start from scratch!

Lastly, I'll use the example of the recent census in the UK. I've heard many people say they don't even know what the census is and they ranged from 16-30 odd year olds. I was glad to explain what it was all about but also was slightly worried that somewhere down the line they had not been told about the census or perhaps they just didn't remember.

Let's do our best to get more people involved in family history!

P.S. UK readers: Remember to fill in your census forms and return them. (I have :P)

Friday, March 11, 2011

One year on (9)

An unnamed soldier
was killed in Bajaur Agency
on 11th March 2010

Burial: Unknown

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

UK Census Time

Where were you when the censuses were taken?

Here in the UK, we have had a census taken every 10 years since 1801 (not that I've been around since then!) which has taken a snapshot of our lives for others to see. So, I thought it would be a good idea to take a peek at what our future descendants will see..

1991 - I was 6 years old, living with my parents and 2 brothers. Although my sister did join us that year, I wonder if it was after the census was taken? I'm pretty sure my Dad would have filled in the forms. We'll find out in 2063!

2001 - I was 16 years old, a high school student, living with my parents, my 2 brothers and my younger sister. I think I remember helping my Dad fill out the forms at the time. We'll find out in 2073!

That's only 2 censuses that I've lived through and another one is to come. As we all know from the TV adverts that are popping on all channels, the 2011 census is set to take place on 27 March 2011. This year there's even an option of completing the form online and I understand the form is available in more languages which is costing us lots of money. Even though most people seem to be thinking of how costly it all is and it's value, I'm really excited about it (which shows the genealogist in me!).

Do you consider the census to be a valuable tool? Does the information from the censuses give you much of a family history? Or do we need personal accounts of people's lives to really understand our ancestors? Ofcourse, the census data will provide us with dates and names but do we need to record our lives in other ways?

What do you think? Post a comment or email me at pakistani_g[at]