Monday, July 27, 2009

What I'm Currently Working On

Another fun, family-friendly family history idea from the Ensign.

Kelly Toth, “Our Family Picture Book,” Ensign, July 2009, p. 67

Scrapbooks shouldn’t just sit on a shelf collecting dust. You can use them to stay connected with extended family or learn about your ancestors.

Since the albums are going to be handled a lot, I recommend using a convenient size, such as 6 inches by 8 inches. They should have clear, archival page protectors that are easy to insert and remove as needed. I begin with a table of contents, followed by a pedigree chart that starts with my parents and goes back two generations. Next is a page that explains the meanings and origins of our family names. Then I designate a page for each paternal and maternal great-grandparent, ending with current family members, and I update the pages when new photos are available. I also tuck in a few blank pages for future spouses and children, knowing that I can always insert more as needed.

Each person’s page contains a photo, vital statistics, favorite scripture, and favorite dessert. Before each married child’s picture, I place a pedigree chart of the child’s immediate family. I also share the meanings of maiden names or husbands’ last names.

I enjoy scrapbooking and preserving our family’s heritage. It’s a great way for my children to remember family members who live far away. Though this project may seem daunting at first, you can do it a page or two at a time. Then use it and share it, but don’t shelve it.

I recently finished my first set of pages for my great-grandfather, Maurice Warfield Smith. Finding old pictures and using the autobiography my grandfather wrote have been fun, and have fleshed out details about Maurice that I didn't know before.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Keeping Your Family's History

Here's a fun idea from the Ensign magazine, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Don't you wish your deceased family members had kept some sort of journal? I know I do.

Connie Pope, “Family Stories,” Ensign, Apr. 2009, p. 71

When our children were at home, we made history every week — our own family’s history. It was a tradition my parents started when I was young. We simply set aside 10 minutes together to write on an assigned topic. When finished, we shared what we had written down. Some of the entries included telling about a Fourth of July (or a Christmas, Halloween, or Easter) we remembered, describing a grandparent, telling about an accident or illness, or recalling a vacation or fun birthday tradition.

When we were done, each of us had a binder to store our growing collection of journal entries. We enjoyed sharing each other’s experiences in this way and are grateful that we preserved special memories.