Family Tree Scrapbook

family tree You are trying to tackle the daunting task of creating a family tree scrapbook page. This scrapbook page is different then all the other pages you have created.

Just gathering the information is a time consuming task. But in the end, you will have a treasured piece of your history that everyone in your family will enjoy.

Unless you are a whiz with your genealogy, you will have a bit of research to do to complete this page. And if you are making a tree for your child, then you will need help from your spouse or in-laws to make the tree complete.

Before you get started,
there are three things you need to decide...

  • How many generations back do you want to go?

    • Time - The time you want to dedicate to researching your genealogy will help you determine how many generations to include on your family tree.

      You can spend a lot of time researching your genealogy. People spend hours and hours tracing their heritage back as far as possible. You can turn it into a huge project that takes years to complete.

      You need to decide how much time you want to spend on researching your genealogy. First, jot down the information you already know. Then, figure out who in your family is the best person to call to help you fill in the gaps.

      After a few phone calls you should be able to figure out how difficult it will be to obtain the information you need.

      If you easily obtained the data going back to your great-great-grandparents (for example), you can stop there if you do not want to spend any more time on the research. Then, you can focus on transferring the data to your scrapbook page.

      You may want to go further back than that, but you don't have the time to dedicate to the research right now. That's ok. Just create your family tree going back to the generation you want. Fill in all the information that you can. Update it as you uncover more of your history. Hopefully, one day it will be complete.

    • Immediate Family - I have seen family tree examples that only include mommy, daddy and their children. To me, that is not really a family tree. You could at least include the grandparents, right?

      Maybe they are estranged from their relatives or do not know who they are. Or, maybe they like the look of a family tree scrapbook page, but they do not want to take the time to research their heritage. The pages still look cute.

      I guess the purpose of those scrapbook pages is not to inform people of their genealogy, but it is a cute and creative way to make another page about your immediate family.

      When only including the immediate family, the layout is reversed. Instead of the youngest generation being at the base of the tree, the parents are on the trunk. Then, the branches are where the children are listed.

  • What do you want your tree to look like?
    • Traditional Family Tree - The traditional family heritage tree has a big oak tree that takes up the entire page. The youngest generation starts at the trunk. The trunk branches off in two directions. One side represents the father's family. The other side represents the mother's family. The tree continues to branch out until you reach the number of generations you want to include.
    • Chart Family Tree - This is a way to record your lineage without using a tree. You could use a tree to enhance the page, but it is not necessary. All of the data is recorded using a flow chart. This method is easy to follow. You also have more freedom for decorating the page.

  • What information will you include on the tree?

    The information people include on their family tree varies greatly. You can just include the name to keep it simple. Or, you can add as much data as you like or that will fit. Here are a few suggestions...

    • Name - Include as much of the name as possible. You could also include nicknames. Include the woman's maiden name.
    • Date of Birth - If you know it, include it. Or, include as much of it as you can. Put a question mark for the part of the birth date that you do not know.
    • Date of Death - List what year or the date that your relative died.
    • Siblings - Some trees list the siblings. For example, under your grandfather's name, include his siblings.
    • Pictures - Pictures make a great addition to your family tree. Don't crop the originals. Make a copy. You can use your scanner or take it to a copy center. You may need to shrink the photo to get it to the right size for your design. It's ok if you don't have a photo for everyone on your tree.
    • Other Information - You can include any interesting facts about your relatives. Such as, what they did for a living, how they immigrated to the country, what were their hobbies, what were their favorite sayings, etc...

    Scrapbooking Ideas

    Sample Titles
    • Ties That Bind
    • Family Roots
    • (Family Name) Genealogy
    • Legacy of Love
    • Our Heritage
    • Our Family Tree
    • Our Ancestors
    • Tree of Life
    • Family Heritage

    Layout Ideas

    • Picture of a Tree - Take a picture of a big, beautiful tree. Use that picture as the background for your page. This is easy to do if you are a digital scrapbooker. For traditional scrappers, you will need to print an enlargement of the photo. Choose a size that will fill up or nearly fill up your scrapbook page.

      If you use a 12 by 12 album, then choose an enlargement of 11 by 14. You will have to trim some of it off. So, when you take the picture you want some extra space in the sky or ground that you can cut off after it is developed.

      For digital scrappers, resize the photo to fit your page. Then, lighten the opacity of the tree to make a faded background.

      Once you have the tree for your background, decide how you want to arrange the data.

    • Journaling Boxes - Create a journaling box for each ancestor. You can make a all of the women have the same shape box and the men have a different shape box. Married couples could have the same color boxes. You could use the same colored boxes for each generation. So, all of the third generations ancestors would have the same colored boxes.


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