Family Ties Online Curriculum

Discover why everyone’s history matters

Through primary resources and downloadable activities, learn how to explore and document your family history. Meant for use in the classroom or by individual students and families, these activities can be done separately or as part of a larger project to create a family album.

Family Ties Sections

Click through the five themes below to see Family Ties activities

all_about_me_l2All About Me

Where do I come from? This is the question behind much family history. From records of basic biographical information to collections of personal items and documents, learn how people can and have told the stories of themselves and their ancestors. Learn more.

family_stories_l2Family Stories

Every family has its favorite stories. Read some of our favorites, captured in documents and interviews, and learn how to interview your own family members. Learn more.

Castle Tucker, Wiscasset, ME. Parlor.House and Home

Historic New England’s properties range from grand, fashionable mansions to modest farmhouses. Each house tells stories about the people who have lived there. Primary resources in this section include photos, maps, and floor plans of some of our houses. Activities give students the opportunity to learn more about and document their own homes. Learn more.

Informal group portrait of the Codman House domestics with the family dog, Rover: Ellen, Nelly, Mary, Reine, and Watson.

Informal group portrait of the Codman House domestics with the family dog, Rover: Ellen, Nelly, Mary, Reine, and Watson.


Old portraits have a special power. Candid photographs capture a moment in time. Posed photographs and paintings tell us something about how the subjects saw themselves and wanted to be seen by others. Learn how to analyze an old portrait and how to create your own family and self-portraits. Learn more.

family_treasures_l2Family Treasures

Historic New England’s collections contain countless family treasures. Whether a rare piece of eighteenth-century furniture or a well-worn teddy bear, these objects were saved by generations of people because of the special meaning that they held. Discover the stories behind some of our family treasures and learn ways to record your own. Learn more.

More to Explore

Visit Historic New England properties.

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Become a member and tour for free.

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Search Historic New England's school and youth programs.

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