A family tree scrapbook can be a true family treasure for future generations. Begin creating one for your family today.
Tips for Tracing Your Genealogy
If you're like many people interested in creating a family tree scrapbook, you're probably starting out with some family photos, and a sketchy family tree with some of the leaves (names) missing. Don't worry! If you don't have everything together from the start, researching is half the fun.
Here are some tips to help you fill in the blanks:
- Gather all your photos, family documents and heirlooms into one area, and make it your "scrapbook central". This will help you get organized, and allow you to work on one particular area while you are tracking down info for another.
- Ask your relatives to contribute their own images, memorabilia and stories.
- Scour the backs of photos for names, dates and other useful info.
- Pay a visit to your local city hall to research and make copies of items such as marriage licenses, birth certificates, immigration records, etc.
- Consider joining an online genealogy service.
- Consider alternative spellings of the family name. Sometimes names have been shortened or otherwise altered through the years.
- Interview your relatives, especially the older ones who may have plenty of colorful family stories you haven't heard before. You never know where your best page ideas are going to come from.
- Document everything, whether you think you'll use it or not. You may need the information at a later date.
- Begin filling in a practice family tree as you gather information.
Once you've gathered sufficient info to get started, you can begin to organize your treasures by specific page ideas.These might include:
- Family pet pages
- Family business
- Family traditions
- Family holidays
- Public service records
- From homeland to new land
Remember that suggestion to interview your relatives? Use that info to add journals to your memory pages. Aunt Edna may be good for a few photo captions, and Cousin Bob might have a hilarious story to go along with that odd photo of your grandfather. It's these kinds of personal tidbits that really bring a family scrapbook to life.
Family Tree Scrapbook Supplies
The next best fun to researching your family tree is shopping or scrounging for supplies to create fabulous pages with.
- The Pioneer Memories album comes with a free scrapbook preservation guide. Its cover is leatherette and it has an expanding spine allowing you some extra room for all of your pages. It comes with ten sheet protectors, and ten white 12x12 pages.
- The American Crafts D-ring faux leather album also makes a fine family scrapbook. The cover features a window you can use to display your family name or crest, and the album comes in an assortment of different colors.
If you like either of these scrapbook album designs, you'll love the many coordinating supplies.
Here's a great assortment of coordinating scrapbooking paper to inspire your designs:
The best embellishments are your personal family heirlooms. Consider using:
- Service medals, badges and patches
- Birth announcements,
- A piece of family costume jewelry
- Some lace from a family wedding gown
- A lock of hair
Additional embellishments might include:
Protecting Your Treasures
Although today's scrapbook supplies are manufactured with archival safety in mind, remember that many older documents probably contain acids and other chemicals that can damage your pages over time.You can address this problem in several ways:
- You might decide to make copies of images and documents on acid and lignen free paper, and file the originals for safekeeping.
- You could protect page items with clear archival quality sleeves.
- You might choose to use a product like Archival Mist on your documents to absorb any acids present. The manufacturer claims this product won't affect ink, adhesives and colors.