Six Generations: A Card Game for the Future From the Past

We’ve all seen and played various games that we can relate to real life such as Life, Monopoly, Clue, Chutes and Ladders, etc. But, have you ever come across a genealogy game?

I found one! Six Generations: Immigration from Europe to America™.

The game, Six Generations: Immigration from Europe to America™ represents six generations of a family who came from Europe to the United States in the first half of the 19th century from 16 different countries.

The latest generation is a brother and sister living in the United States c. 2005. As the cards are played, the five generations of Emily and Jacob will appear.

Object of the Game

The winner of the game is the first person to get rid of all their cards. The game may also be played until only one player is left, or played in several rounds with a total of scores to decide the winner.

The Rules

  1. Shuffle the deck and deal each player six cards, one at a time. Place the remaining cards on the table face down.
  2. The player to the left of the dealer starts by playing any card from Generation #6 face up. If a player doesn’t have the correct card to play, they must draw from the deck until they do.
  3. The next player may place another card from Generation #6 to the same row, or match one from the country of one already placed.
  4. Once a Generation pair has been established, any card from Generation #6 may be placed on the pair and the set of three set face up in a new row to the side.
  5. The players may build on these sets as their turn comes, either placing one card or drawing from the deck if necessary until one may be placed.
  6. Each set is built up with one male and one female from each of the six generations.
  7. The player who gets rid of all of their cards first is the winner.

Playing the Game

I hosted a small dinner party with six people total in attendance and after dinner, we all sat down to play this game. Because of this project, I gave them a simple questionnaire asking them about their ancestry.

Here is the breakdown of the group;

Gender: 2 females, 4 males

Ethnicities: German, Austrian, Swiss, French, Italian, Dutch and British.

Ages: 30-59

Only one of us has conducted thorough genealogy research and two of us have taken a DNA test from Ancestry.com.

The results from our game

Rounds played: 3

Time per round: 5 minutes to play and we chatted about it for the next half hour.

While the rules seemed simple enough and we knew the objective, the game took us a few minutes to figure out what exactly we needed to do each turn.

As each one of us took our turn, we saw the generations grow and saw the heritages mix as time went on.

Overall Thoughts

  1. It was an interesting visual representation of the melting pot that is the United States. Our ancestors immigrated to the United States from Europe to work, to go to school and have families. Their spouses were often immigrants or children of immigrants.
  2. We agreed that six generations of our families seem like a long time ago and a lot has changed from their lives to ours.
  3. Looking at the clothing represented on the cards, it’s interesting to see what our ancestors may have worn compared to what we wear today.
  4. The names! As you may see in your family tree, there are names that hold up through the generations but there’s some that you just don’t hear people named anymore. Common names seen in the deck were Anna, Elizabeth, Emma, Laura, John, and Sean. Not so common names we don’t see anymore are Florence, Minnie, Harold, Gunnar and Vasily.
  5. Knowing the geography of Europe, it would take a lot of traveling for people of different countries to meet and start families together. Immigration to America made it easier for a person to meet and to marry someone from outside of their original heritage.
  6. One person in the group wanted to map out his six generations very strategically. He did it within the rules of the game but I reminded him that we cannot just place our ancestors as we want. Our ancestors were who they were and they were from where they were from. Just let the cards fall.

It was an interesting game that definitely started some conversations and thoughts on the group’s family history.

If you find this game at a bookstore or here online, pick up a deck and play with your family or friends. It was an entertaining and educational thought-provoking experience.