10:00 AM – March 15, 2015 by Paul Murphy
When you put time and effort into doing something like researching your family tree and collecting important documents, you want a way to show it off. Most people turn to scrapbooking. By putting those important pieces of history into a scrapbook you are giving all of those who are interested in flipping through and seeing your research a safe way to do it. All of you hard work will be protected from being ruined or lost.
Stating a scrapbook of your family tree is not unlike starting a scrapbook on anything else. Pick a book that is going to be sturdy and large enough to contain the amount of information that you plan to put into it. You are able to add pages to some types of scrapbooks. This is a nice feature with a family tree scrapbook because your ancestors can add to the book you start. Plus, if you ever find any other information that dates back further then the information you have previously collected, with easily removable pages, you can add the information to your scrapbook. Just like with photo albums or other scrapbooks, you need to start with the pictures or documents that come first and therefore are the oldest.
Before you start you need to figure out the layout of the pages. Organize the documents, pictures, mementos, awards, and anything else you are planning to include in your scrapbook. The first page can be the oldest documents you have that contain the information of the oldest generation. If you are going to start with your great grandparents, create a layout that contains any pictures, birth or death certificates, military records, etc. Make sure that you label each piece of information. You will need to include full names, dates, and places they may have lived. What is nice about researching your family tree is getting a chance to talk to some of your relatives and finding out interesting facts or stories about your ancestors. You can find out a lot of information by just word of mouth. Even though there are no documents as evidence it doesn’t mean that you can’t put these memories into your scrapbook. Write or print out the story of what you have heard to add to you layout.
The orders of the pages after this are up to you and depend on the family you were researching. If you start with your great grandparents on your mother’s side, you might want to continue with that side of the family; their children and so on down to your mother. You can then start your father’s side with the documents that go back the furthest. On the other hand, you might want to create a layout that is chronologically accurate and contains both families at once.
There are a few important tips you should follow when creating a family tree scrapbook. Devote each page of the scrapbook to either a couple or to each person. Make sure that the names and dates are clearly visible. Above all, take time and patience to complete this project. It is a keepsake that will last for generations.