Creating a family tree involves a good bit of time, effort and study. As you research the basic chart of ancestors, you will undoubtedly collect a treasure trove of documents, photographs, letters, and maybe even some diary or journal entries from your ancestors. A good way to preserve and display these records is through scrapbooking. By assembling all of the items in a scrapbook, people can easily read it. It also keeps your research safe and protects it from being ruined or lost.
Here are three things to keep in mind as you create a family history scrapbook.
Choosing The Book
The book should be sturdy and large enough to hold the information that you have collected. Pages with plastic sleeves are a must for preservation of the documents, and the sleeves should be archival quality to keep the contents from turning brown with aging.
It is also a good idea to choose a book that can be added to as more information becomes available. You never know when you will find more interesting tidbits to add, or your children and grandchildren may want to add to it as time goes on. This also enables you to move pages around if you decide to arrange them in a different order.
Layout of Pages
Before you even begin to add the contents to the book, take some time to plan the layout of the pages. Organize all of the photos, letters, documents, certificates, and other things that you plan to include in the scrapbook. Lay everything out on a table and decide on the best way to present them in the book.
You could organize by individuals. Each scrapbook page should be devoted to one person. For each page layout, there may be photos of that ancestor, letters they have written, military records, or birth and death certificates. Each piece of information should be labeled.
It is also a good idea to include the ancestor’s full name, dates of birth, marriage, and death. If you know any tidbits about the person that you have researched or heard from family stories, these are interesting to include also.
Order of Pages
You have thought about the layout of each page. Now, decide the order in which the pages should be organized. Much of this depends on how extensive the family history scrapbook is. For example, are you including only one side of your family or both? Usually, you will want to start with the oldest generation that you have researched. If you are going to have both sides of the family in the scrapbook, you might want to have different sections. Or, you could have a chronological layout with both families, although this might be a little more confusing.
Take the time to accurately record all information that you have, and display it beautifully. Then you will have an heirloom that may be treasured for generations.
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