To Me or Not To Me Genealogy Game
A Family Legacy Appreciation Game


Purpose:  To become acquainted with four generations of our ancestors and gain appreciation for their contributions to our life.

Materials:  Four 8 x 11 game boards containing three generations. These are placed in a horizontal row, creating spaces for 16 great, great grandparents, 8 great grandparents, and 4 grandparents. Two of these grandparents will give birth to the father of ME, and two the mother of ME. Two small cards are placed appropriately below the game boards to represent my father and my mother. Another card is appropriately placed below father and mother to represent ME. The letters in parentheses represent that personís relationship to ME. For example: (M-M-F) means my motherís motherís father.

Thirty-six number cards are included. Cards 1 Ė 31 represent individuals as per the numbers on the game boards and Me(#1), My Father (#2), and My Mother (#3). Five Cards have DANGER written on them.

You will need 31 pennies or other markers.


This game can be played solitaire, as a team, or in competition.

Your pedigree chart or other family records should be available for reference.

Shuffle the cards and place face down in a pile. On each turn, take the top card and place it face up to the side of the deck. If it is the number of one of the 16 great-great grandparents, player places the card in a used pile and a penny is placed on that ancestorís box on the playing board. The ancestorís name and any interesting information could be discussed.

If the card is not one of the 16 great-great grandparents, player places the number card face up on the table to be used later. Player may not place the child of a set of great, great grandparents on the game board until both great, great grandparents have been placed. This is true for each generation. On a turn, a player can use one of the face-up cards if it can be correctly placed or may turn over a  new card. This continues until a danger card turns up. When this happens, the player or team must identify name of the last ancestor placed without looking at any reference material. If player cannot, two dice are rolled. If the sum is even, the ancestor lives. If the sum is odd, that means the ancestor placed last died without having children. That of course means ME will not be. Even if the player is able to give the name of the last ancestor placed, one more terrible thing might happen. If the very next card is a DANGER card, then the game is over. The game is won if the Me card is achieved.

The game could be played in competition by having one player take his or her fatherís line of ancestors and the other player taking his or her motherís line of ancestors. In this case, players take turns turning over cards. If a card is drawn that cannot be placed on that playerís line of ancestors (the father or motherís line), the card is placed face up and any player can use it on his or her turn. Any DANGER card that comes up relates to that playerís game line only. Any player completing his or her game board or boards wins.

Preparation Games 

There are many games that could be played using the cards and/or game boards. One would be to take out the danger cards and then shuffle the remaining cards. As you turn up each card, try to identify the ancestor by name. This could be solitaire, and you try to see how many you can identify before missing one. Next time, try to go further. As a competition game, players take turns identifying the ancestor until one player is unable to do so or makes a mistake. That player is out of the game and the remaining players continue until only one player remains.

Another preparation game would be to write each ancestorís name on a separate, small card. Player can then try to place the cards correctly on game boards.

Heritage Activities

1. Place each of these ancestors on calendar to celebrate birthdays.

2. Place ancestor names on World or United States map to show birthplaces or where they lived during their lifetimes.

3. Start a personal history or collection of stories for each ancestor.

4. Discuss a different ancestor each family night.

5. Using the web or disk, print news headlines for each ancestorís birthday.

6. Set up a VIP place where you can place a picture or artifact of an ancestor of the week or month.

7. Try to identify new ancestors as you trace your lineage. Celebrate each new ancestor found.

8. Make sure you are keeping a journal or a collection of stories about yourself. Remember, you may be an ancestor that your descendants will want to know about.

9. Help your parents and grandparents write their personal histories and stories.

Number Cards  
To Me or Not To Me Game Boards  

Copyright 2002 Brent R. Evans, 1660 Calado Court, Campbell, Ca 95008                  email: