Research to identify your ancestors

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Genealogy/Family History Project Ideas...#3

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

----- Prepare an Ancestor Photo Album -----

If you are like me, you have lots and lots of photos in envelopes and boxes. Now for this project, I not only consider my grandparents and great-grandparents as "ancestors", but I contemplate ahead and consider my parents and my siblings, also (hold-on)........for one reason. In not too many years from now, my children will be looking at photos of my parents (their grandparents) and my siblings (their aunts and uncles). They will show and hand down these photos to their children, making my parents their great-grandparents, my siblings their great aunts and uncles. Get the picture?

For Christmas of 2006, I made each of my children an ancestor photo album. I used a large, 3 inch, 3-ring binder (D-ring). Every sheet in the binder was put into an acid free sheet protector. The sheets within the sheet protectors were all back to back. The following steps are how I put my binders together. Perhaps these steps may inspire you to make your albums differently. Be creative and have fun with it, like I surely did.

1) The title of the binder was "Photo Album of the Ancestors of (my full name including maiden and married). I also made a binder spine insert of the same title.

2) Next, I made an index sheet listing all the different family sections in the binder. The first section was "The Photos in This Album Tell a Story...." The second section was "(my name)'s Parents"...third section was "(my name)'s Siblings"....fourth section was "(my name)'s Nieces and Nephews"....fifth section was "(my name)'s Grandparents".....and the last section was "(my name)'s Aunts, Uncles, Cousins"

3) In the first section called "The Photos in This Album Tell a Story...", I wrote a little story about each of the other family sections. For instance, the second section is my I told a little bit about my parents and my feelings about some things that might have happened. Next, I wrote a little bit about the next section which was about each of my siblings and my feelings. I did this for each of the remaining sections. All these stories were kept in the first section and I added a fancy border around these pages.

4) Between each of the family sections, I made a title sheet of that section and added a little bit of clip art to fancy it up.

5) After each title sheet, I placed a family group sheet that pertained to that particular family section. For instance, my parents section had a partial group sheet that showed just the two of them as husband and wife. At the top of the group sheet I made a title that said "(my name)'s Parents" My siblings section had a partial group sheet showing just us children with a title above it "(my name)'s Siblings". For the section on Grandparents, I put "(my name)'s Grandparents" and also added "Her Mother's Parents", or "Her Father's Parents", to distinguish which side of the family the photos were from. I also did this for the "Aunts, Uncles, Cousins" section....I added "Her Mother's Side", or "Her Fathers Side".

6) Then I began sorting and choosing the photos that I wanted to put into the albums, according to each section. I scanned the photos into my computer then grouped them to fit an 8x10 size sheet. Some photos I cropped out people, some I enlarged, some I made smaller. Under each photo I put the persons name and the date the photo was taken. Some of my family sections had 6-8 sheets of grouped photos. This will depend on how many photos you have to begin with, how many people you have in each family section, and how large you want to make the photos within each sheet. I just printed the grouped photo sheets out on regular printer paper and made the number of copies to match the number of binders I was putting together. I was pleased with the way the photos looked with just being printed on regular paper. You can use photo paper if that is what you choose to do. I kept all the original photos in my copy of the album.

Have great fun doing this project. I had the most wonderful feelings as I was putting my albums together...many different wonderful thoughts as I reminisced. My children love their ancestor photo album and I am so very glad that I did this project for them. It is something that can be passed on to their children and their children's children.