Scrapbooking For Genealogists: 3 Creative Ways To Preserve Your Family’s History
by Chris Simeral
Whether you've spent several days, several years, or some time in between in trying to uncover your family's history, you’re no doubt looking for some creative ideas for preserving whatever it is that you’ve found. After all, computer printouts of a bunch of names are nice to have, but you won’t exactly be proud to pass that around at the next family reunion, would you? And think about this: wouldn’t it be wonderful if one of your ancestors had considered generations to come? You can do what you wish someone had done for you – you can preserve the past for the future.
Themed scrapbooks help cover up the gaps
One of the easiest ways to preserve your discoveries is with a scrapbook. You can compile a complete family history, or you can create a themed scrapbook. A themed presentation is a particularly good idea if you’ve perhaps had a lot of success in finding information about a particular aspect of your ancestors’ lives, but have a lot of holes in the complete picture.
If that’s the case, consider themes such as these:
Early ancestors: This kind of scrapbook might include:
A map of the location where the earliest ancestors you've traced lived.
Copies of deeds, wills, and estate documents
And, if you've managed to locate their graves, photos of the cemetery.
Migration: Simply record how your ancestors migrated. Include:
Passenger lists of the ships (check The Ships List at http://www.theshipslist.com/).
Passports and naturalization papers.
Family occupations: How did your ancestors earn their living? Did they farm? Were they doctors or lawyers? Actors? This kind of scrapbook could include:
Copies or transcriptions from journals.
Copies of memberships in societies.
Prizes and awards won.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. You’re limited only by your imagination.
Chris Simeral is the creator of the 7 Day Family Tree Genealogy Research Toolkit. To learn how to stop researching your genealogy the hard way, or to access the free genealogy mini-course, visit http://www.7dayfamilytree.com.
article re-published 5 August 2006