Monday, March 18, 2013

Zap The Grandma Gap Workbook Press Release

I won't do this very often, but I'm really excited about this new workbook.  So this article is cross posted from my new Zap The Grandma Gap blog.  I hope you are reading about all the fun activities we have going on over there.  So much to write about on both blogs.  :)

Most parents and grandparents would do anything and everything to raise the youth in their family to be successful adults.  There are play groups and preschool lessons, music and dance, sports, tutoring and youth groups, the right schools, the right nutrition, etc.etc.  However, many people miss one of the most basic and foundational things that can set a child up for success in life—teaching their child about their family’s history. 

So we’ve created another unique resource that looks at family history in an engaging and youthful way so that anyone can easily engage the youth in their family with their history.  In conjunction with my corresponding lectures at the RootsTech conference this week, we have released the new  Zap the Grandma Gap Power Up Workbook: The Particulars About How To Connect With Your Family by Connecting Them To Their Family History, a hands-on book with step by step instructions, procedures, templates and resources that will help teach the next generation to love their heritage.  In the fill-in-the-blank book you will find:
•    Brainstorming activities to spark ideas
•    Suggestions for travel
•    Checklists and invitations for parties
•    Outlines for children’s books and activity books
•    Templates for games
•    Designs for recipe cards and ornaments
•    Surveys of the best websites
•    Ideas for incentives
•    Lists of interview questions
•    And instructions and templates for many other activities
This book discusses many ways to combine a family’s specific heritage with the specific interests of their youth.

The workbook is a companion to the book Zap the Grandma Gap: Connect With Your Family by Connecting Them To Their Family History.  This new book has already inspired families throughout the world about the importance of family history in connecting today’s families.  In it parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles can learn:
•    How to prepare for further curiosity by infusing their surroundings with their history.
•    Why plugging into the net is the easiest way to plug their family into their past
•    How to utilize your talents to teach their family about their history
•    Why discovering the surrounding history together makes their progenitors come alive.
•    How to pull their posterity close by carefully creating and recording today’s history.
•    Why it is important to simplify their family’s story their family can appreciate the past.

I come from a family that practices the principles found in this book.  As a librarian, I helped people at the BYU library with their family history research but was completely uninterested in my own. I inherited a large amount of genealogy from my mother and grandmother, both wonderful genealogists who lived family history in a way that was attractive and inviting.  Eventually I woke up to the soul satisfaction of learning about my family’s past.  Most recently I have found great joy in encouraging my  teenage children's genealogical interests. The pre-release of the workbook was well received this last month while I was speaking at the Who Do You Think You Are Conference in London, and the North Florida Genealogy Conference.  I gave several lectures about engaging the next generation with their family history.  Among other topics, I will be speaking this weekend at the RootsTech conference on “The Cool Parts of Genealogy: Engaging My Teenagers Case Study.”  Please come say Hi at the Family ChartMasters booth if you are planning on attending. 

Zap the Grandma Gap Power Up Workbook: The Particulars About How To Connect With Your Family by Connecting Them To Their Family History
by Janet Hovorka is available now at, at bookstores and by calling 801-872-4278.  A 24 page excerpt of the workbook and a 28 page excerpt of the book are available for free on the website along with downloads of other supporting materials.  Sign up on the homepage for a free 52 week e-newsletter with even more ideas on how to engage the next generation with their family history.

About the Author:  Janet Hovorka received a B.A. in Ancient Near Eastern History and a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from BYU.  She and her husband Kim Hovorka own Family ChartMasters ( —official, award winning printers for most of the genealogy software and database companies.  She is currently serving as President of the Utah Genealogical Association and teaches courses in library skills and genealogy at Salt Lake Community College.  Janet writes the The Chart Chick blog (, has written for numerous genealogy publications, and has presented 100s of lectures all over the world to help people learn more about their past. 

Media kit available upon request. 
Zap the Grandma Gap : Connect With Your Family by Connecting Them To Their Family History by Janet Hovorka.  Published by Family ChartMasters: Cedar Hills, Utah, 2013. Paperback, $23.95 194pp.  ISBN 978-0-9888548-0-2.
Zap the Grandma Gap Power Up Workbook: The Particulars About How To Connect With Your Family by Connecting Them To Their Family History by Janet Hovorka.  Published by Family ChartMasters: Cedar Hills, Utah, 2013. Paperback, $23.95 103pp.  ISBN 978-0-9888548-1-9.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Heirloom Registry Scavenger Hunt

I recently registered an item using The Heirloom Registry™, which is a new product from Houstory®. The online registry allows users to preserve and share the stories behind family heirlooms and precious belongings. You can see the Heirloom Registry sticker on the bottom of my teacup in this picture. 

This piece of Royal Doulton china is indeed precious to me.  This teacup was part of a set owned by my great-great-grandmother Ethel Amelia Williams Schwendiman  She was born on the 15 February 1880 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  She had a set of Royal Doulton that was separated upon her passing and each of her grand-daughters got a piece.  When I married, my mother passed this teacup down to me and I keep it in my china cabinet along with the rose painting by my great-aunt Bernice Houser.

I don't remember Grandma Schwendiman but as  you can see I did meet her when I was a little girl.  In this photo my mother is holding me and my grandmother Eila Dana is with us as well.  Missing is my great-grandmother Viola Thomas.  These are the women of my matriarchal line, my mother, her mother, her mother (missing from the picture), and her mother.  I don't remember Grandma Schwendiman but millions of little pieces of my family come from her--from her faith and work ethic to her recipes and traditions.  Just like I talk about in my new book Zap The Grandma Gap, whether or not I recognize all the little pieces of me that come from Grandma Schwendiman, they are there.  She is part of the nature and the nurture that has created who I am.  And the little piece of her that I have in this teacup is precious to me. 

This blog post is also to participate in the Heirloom Registry scavenger hunt.  As part of the hunt, hunters will need to find the “clue” hidden in the Heirloom Registry record listed below. 

*  If you’d like to start the scavenger hunt now, I suggest you first go to The Houstory Hearth blog’s special Scavenger Hunt Page. There you’ll find information about the hunt, the prizes – and most importantly the list of the other three blogs you’ll need to visit today. 

* If you already know what you’re doing, here’s the Heirloom Registry ID Code you need to obtain my secret word: FPGW-820-726-1535-2011

* If this is your final stop for Hunt No. 3, be sure to submit your entry form with your secret words before Sunday, March 10, 2013 at midnight PST. Good luck – and happy hunting!