Research to identify your ancestors

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Genealogy/Family History Project Ideas...#2

(Note...see the very beginning of this blog for important steps on how to get started on your genealogy).

----- Make a "Scrapbook of Memories" -----

Come on...fess up! We are all pack rats when it comes to saving memorable "stuff". We go to a play, come home and stuff the program book and our ticket in a drawer. Right? Or we go on vacation somewhere extra fun and we save little brochures, scenic postcards and trinkets from the trip. Yes? Of course, we have to keep all our fun reminders of school years long ago, don't we?.....all those awards certificates, buttons, badges, flyers, strings, ribbons, material samples from sewing class, notes that our friends passed to us, athletic awards and letters.....right? You name it and we have it in a box or drawer....somewhere! Or.....maybe they are loose and strung out all over the house in various drawers and closets. Whatever.

Don't get me wrong. These memorable items are a very good thing. They represent our life...the things we were involved in...were a part of....and enjoyed. In a sense they kind of tell a story of our life, all by themselves.

But have you thought or even cared about what is going to happen to all your tangible "memories" when you should leave this life? If they are just laying around taking up space...chances are whoever goes through your effects will find a new home for them in the trash can, because they will have no real meaning for that person. But, if they were important enough for you to keep all these years, then they are important enough to weave into a type of story that you can leave for your family.

Here are some suggestions of how you can accomplish this project:

a) Go around your home and gather up every last shred of your tangible memories and put them into a box.

b) When you have collected everything, obtain some large 3 inch--3-ring (the D-ring kind) binders, acid free card stock (colored if you want), acid free sheet protectors, and 3x5 index cards.

c) Take an item from the box and on a 3x5 index card (or whatever you would like to use) put the name of the item and the year you obtained it. Also on the card, write some tidbits of information about the item and what is has meant to you. Attach the card to the item and mount the item onto a sheet of cardstock. Then slip the cardstock into a sheet protector and into your binder. For small items.. you can mount the item on the cardstock and write your information on the cardstock, next to the item. Each sheet in your "Scrapbook of Memories" binder should be kept numerically by year so it tells a chronological story of you. Yes, your scrapbook will be bulky.....but oh, so wonderful!! You may end up with many binders (be sure to number each binder) but all those treasures will be in one spot...telling your story.

d) For items that are way too big for the binder, label them with the cards the same way as above and fashion some kind of a fancy "heirloom" storage box. Make some kind of a label for the outside of the box with your name on it, the items inside, and what the items represent.

Have fun and enjoy this project.....your family will, because you made it with love for them as a legacy of you.