I have to admit it – I’m not one of the world’s most craft-savvy people. But as klutzy as I am, I do have an interest in scrapbooking. And, like most people who are new to the hobby, I get hung-up with the “where do I begin” syndrome.
In the past, I’ve concentrated on creating scrapbook pages on a specific ancestor, including vital statistics, photos, obituaries, and other interesting information.
Recently, I’ve recently been thinking about theme albums (I know, this is old hat for you scrappers!), and how to best use them to preserve my family history AND prompt me to learn even more about my family tree.
For example, most of us probably have several ancestors who were farmers. In making a farmer-themed album, you’d include the usual photos, pedigree, and any vital statistics. But, more than that, wouldn’t it be interesting to research farming throughout the decades?
For instance, what farm implements would your 1790 ancestor use, and how did it differ from the ones on the 1850 farm? What crops would have been planted, how many cows would they have had (if any), what type of clothes did they wear? Clearly, the possibilities are endless.
Or, how about a military themed album—one that includes all of your ancestors who were in any branch of the military? Like the farmer album, the military one could show uniforms, weaponry, campaigns, first-person narratives, pay rates, battles, and regimental histories.
Researching the specifics of your military ancestors’ service will give you a wonderful opportunity to learn more about their everyday life ,and the conditions under which they lived.
Finally, if your family has lived in the same area for several generations, how about a geographically-based theme album. Items to include would be old and new postcards, descriptions from a local or county history book, census statistics, newspaper clippings, or old maps. You can put it all together with an ancestry family tree maker to make everything more organized.
I’ve always been more interested in the everyday life of my ancestors—those meaty, gritty true stories—than I have in collecting just names and dates. And, working on a theme album is an excellent way to preserve memories, and learn more about my family tree.
Would love your feedback, thoughts, suggestions