Monday, November 28, 2011

Family Trading Cards: Displaying Your Genealogy

Get your Family Trading Cards.  Learn cool facts. See what your ancestors looked like.  Fun for the whole family. Collect them all!

I thought to myself, what would be better to teach my kids about their family history than to turn it into a game.

Kids love playing card games and I love talking about genealogy.  I created a game called BlackSheep.  The game consists of a deck of cards that represents six generations of direct line ancestors and their siblings.  Each card has a photo (if I had one), the family surname in large letters, birth and death info and a mini family tree.

I designed scoring hands that would help everyone understand relationships.  You would get 8 points if you played a son, father and grandfather or 16 points for a daughter, mother, grandmother and g-grandmother - those are called a Patriarchy or Matriarchy.  You could get 7 points for a child and both parents or 25 points for a child, both parents and all 4 grandparents - those hands are the Little Tree and Big Tree.  By now you get the picture.

I'd like to say that they loved playing the game.  I think I got a little too complex with the rules and the hands.  We did enjoy laying out all the cards on the table and arranging them into family units.  We talked about this uncle or that grandmother and all the places that our relatives came from.

So the game (for now) was a bust.  Sitting down with your kids and talking about family history - priceless.


  1. Michael, I found your post while searching for ways to make a family tree-type card game, and I really like your idea for scoring different family groups. I think it will help me as I try to come up with a fun way to play. I agree, sitting down with your kids and talking about family history is priceless!

  2. Sorry to post again, I just realized you may be interested in my family memories game.

  3. This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses.


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