Family Hobbies Across Generations

Common Hobbies over family generations

It’s magic when family hobbies span generations – it gives you a sense of belonging.

In this article I’ll share a mini project idea that you can use with the Family Knowledge Process to present and honour family interests for generations to come. A majority of families can find interests spanning decades because it’s been embedded into the fabric of family stories. It might be a sport, academic pursuit, music, collecting or just an interest followed by family members and you.

Family photography evolution

Photographic hobbies across the generations

Now if I take Grampa, Dad and me – we shared a common interest in photography. This was a hobby we knew we shared between us but it wasn’t until I started using the Family Knowledge Process (and scanning Grampa’s slides ) that I picked up one more shared interest in the field of photography.

For three generations we have all been cloud gazers. There is even an official term for cloud gazing – it’s called Aeromancy.  There is a short article in Uncyclopedia that makes this proud statement:

“Cloud gazing has played an important part in human history, having various regional branches including Indian or Chinese aeromancy, and European aeromancy. Cloud gazing has in fact been instrumental in shaping the course of human history.”


It seems that we three have been captivated by sunsets, cloud formations, and sunrises. We haven’t tried to predict the future or follow any life path by gazing at the clouds but we have all been drawn to photograph the sky at different points in our life. In Grampa’s family album he displays a cloud formation that he thinks looks like a map of Britain. This photo was taken in 1938; a year before World War II. During the war, Grampa would look back on this photo with hope for the war to end and for peace to be restored.

Sky Gazing

Britain In A Cloud – 1938


Also the scanned images from Grampa’s 1950s time capsule revealed beautiful colour slides of  his cloud gazing interest.  And as I rescued digital images off my dad’s laptop I found a collection of photos connected to his interest in the sky. This interest had peaked towards the end of his life after selling the family home to follow his love of flying. As a member of the UFO’s (Unidentified Flying Octogenarians) he was always gazing towards the sky looking at the conditions to see when he could wiggle his wings like Biggles.


Mini Family Group Project

Step 1 and 2:

Identify (remember do a quick inventory) and classify your family hobbies shared across your family generations.

Events>>HOBST>>Photography>>Sky Gazing

The critical step in the process is being able to place a label on hobbies and find a consistent place for these items digitally. Once you have classified and filed them in the folder/sub-folder on your portable hard drive you can start thinking about enriching them for family presentations.

Step 3 and 4:

Think about any journal entries that you could make for each family member that may have happened related to their hobbies and interests. This could be entering the photos into a photo competition, or maybe getting a photograph published or even selling a piece of creative work.

Gather your family keepsakes and create a digitized representation of these keepsakes. Then once you’ve scanned them, file them consistently using step 4 of the knowledge process. This picture below illustrates the consistent classification of Sky Gazing interests over three generations stored on our portable hard drive.


Breadcrumbs using Family Knowledge Process

An example of a the Family Knowledge Process across three generations of hobbies and interests.

Final Step: Enrichment and Presentation.

To honour my family sky gazing in photography (spanning over ninety years) I was inspired to create a collage for each of us with a selection of the skies we had taken. Using a simple collage software (I used Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008) it was a snap to select the images from each folder and create a tribute to each family member. I’ve posted a small sample in the photo gallery as an example.


As for me, I’ve already re-ignited my photo hobby and find myself looking to the clouds once more for inspiration.

Using the Family Knowledge Process I’ve created a sub-folder “Photography” under the HOBST folder. If you’ve followed the Family Knowledge Process you’re probably questioning … isn’t that folder for documents (pdf’s) and not photos?

Yes as a general rule it is, however since this is a hobby it’s related to creative photos – rather than family photos.  And since we three share the same interest in sky gazing I’ve created a sub-folder under each person’s photography interest of clouds and the sky. The benefit of doing this is you can compare the photos from each family member consistently using the same classification scheme. Also it separates the family photos in the decades/years folder where the date and family event meaning is of first importance.


A photo posted by R.L. Black (@soulassets) on

To read more about the Family Knowledge Process and start to KEEP your family knowing preview Digital Dreaming at:

Digital Dreaming – Your Step-by-Step Guide

If you liked this article you may like to read :

Your Family Group and Journal Event Infographic

About Soul Assets

Soul Assets exists for a soul purpose, to educate families with survival skills to KEEP family knowledge in the Information Age. Soul Assets is the place for families to share skills of the Family Knowledge Process. Imagine, fifty years from now, people inheriting keepsakes that are welcomed by the next family because they were treasured as Soul Assets.