Family Heritage Books

Discussion in 'Chatty Pad' started by QuiltyMom, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. QuiltyMom

    QuiltyMom I'll never run out of things to do!

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    Hey, y'all! I'm trying to figure out how to lay out a family heritage book. I'm talking about photos that at times go back 3, sometimes 4 generations. The reason I'd like to figure this out ahead of time is it will help me get this done in a (hopefully) fast and orderly fashion without too many "Oh, I could do that!" moments that could get me waaaay off track. My mind is bouncing all over the place (but when is it not???) so I thought I'd open the topic up for discussion and hear and/or see all about what you may have done, what you'd like to do, or just your biased humble opinions (because those are they best ideas anyway, right?).

    Here's the scenario.
    • Lots of photos of some people, very few of others
    • Lots of written memories and data on most of the people, some we don't have much
    • Lots of tidbits and pieces of information on those peoples extended family (nieces, cousins, aunts & uncles...)
    • One person who's doing it all by herself with cheerleading support from her sisters, and who wants to include EVERYTHING I can find, which would be too many details. Obviously I need to learn to cull info because this book will need to be carried without the aid of a forklift.
    Has anyone ever attempted something like this? If so, what have you done (and I'd love to see examples). And what size did you print the project? I do love to scrap 12x12!

    I thought it would be fun to:
    • insert photos and/or scanned memorabilia into the text where appropriate
    • have the same "type" of photo for each person if I have it (i.e., baby, graduation, marriage, family group
    • make a collage of favorite photos that I like but won't fit in otherwise, which would be great for those people I have lots of photos
    • include a family tree/chart
    • have one book for each branch of the family (mom & dad)
    • have a design layout theme for a pulled-together look that would be easy to put together
    Thankfully I have relatives in both the USA and Sweden (where my family comes from) who have been collecting family info, so I can gather some info from them, if needed.

    I'm excited to hear your ideas. Thanks!
     
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  2. Tree City

    Tree City Get a stepladder, I'm busy

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    Were you thinking of doing one page per person? Because I'd think setting up the pages using a template (whether it's one from the store or just a simple "photos here, text here" thing you make yourself, it should speed up the process--not just the scrapping itself but also culling info or finding holes in your research.

    Of course, using a template would help with those things no matter how you set up the book, so IDK why I asked who you're planning to "highlight" on each page lol!
     
  3. mcurtt

    mcurtt give me all the paleo brownies

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    When I began digi scrapbooking in 2006, my ONLY goal was to deal with vintage photos and create something to share. The way I approached it was by family grouping, my maternal grandparents, my paternal grandparents. I didn't do an actual hardcover book, but I did print out every page multiple times and gifted my brothers and one special cousin with a binder full of my maternal grandparents layouts. I think I stopped in the 1940's, so all photos were taken during or before then. I included photos from when they were in Poland, the Ellis Island documentation, graduations, weddings, babies, military & war layouts, work history, a family tree. One uncle was in the Civilian Conservation Corp and I managed to find enough photos there for a double spread. I did lots of scanning, including military medals, naturalization papers, postcards. I have to admit that I had lots more photos on my maternal grandparents side, I ended up with around 120 layouts and I've added to it over the years.

    For my paternal grandparents, the photos were minimal, but even so, I ended up with about 75 pages. Again I printed these out for my brothers & gifted them with a binder each. I e-mailed my 10 first cousins with each layout as I did it. One of my cousins joined in on the adventure & began sharing layouts she created digitally. :-) Afterwards, my DH and I attended a wedding for that side of the family, I brought my "book" and my 85+ year old aunt (at the time) lovingly looked at each page, tearing up as she went thru them. So the first thing that I did when I got home was to begin printing out another set & made a book for her, sent it to her via the postal service. She lived to be 96, so she had a few years to enjoy the pages. I remember her calling me when she received her book, she was so thrilled.

    For DH's grandparents, I began a similar approach, worked on his paternal grandparents side of the family (where I had literally hundreds of photos, including his great-grandparents). When his grandmother passed away, she willed us her scrapbooks and her photo albums, probably because she knew we had an interest in genealogy. Again, I printed out a set for us, for my mother-in-law, for 2 of my sister-in-laws, all in a 3 ring binder. Photos were dating back to the 1870's, in Malmo, Sweden. I even went with a few photoless pages. One of the relatives was a jeweler who came to Chicago before the Great Chicago Fire. He began working with a jeweler, then started his own business which was destroyed during the fire. Then he started up again (new location), and I was able to tell the story with snippets from city directories and digi elements that were appropriate. On another page, I knew of where DH's grandparents first lived when they got married, so I pulled a photo from Google maps & created a page from it.

    For DH's maternal grandparents, I'm sorry to say that I've not done much with them, other than maybe five layouts or so. Photos there were sparse... But I did create a small 8x8 Shutterfly book (years ago) and gave a copy of this to my mother-in-law. With that one, I only used photos and text to tell the story. If you are interested, I can share the link with you to this book... And I could possibly load up some of the other layouts to Dropbox to share with you. Just let me know.

    For all of these books, I went with chronological order as best as I could. My mom's pics before she married were included in the maternal grandparents side of the family. My dad's pics pre-wedding were in the paternal side of the family. Their wedding shots were included in both. And when the kids were born, the few layouts that I did back then (like I said were pre-1950's) ended up in my dad's side of the family grouping. Obviously my style has changed over the years, but I wouldn't re-do them. They were (and still are) a labor of love.

    Good luck with your project. :-)
     
  4. QuiltyMom

    QuiltyMom I'll never run out of things to do!

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    I'll be doing one book per parent and their history. Some people I'd only have enough for one page. Others, many pages. That's the thing. My sister was the one who was suggesting editing through and choose only a few because we only need to see who they were, their kids, etc. I agree, but then there's things like this. One of the page of memories about my grandfather said he taught Sunday School at church for years, and I have a photo of one of one of the classes. Do I put that in? I also made a book about his trip to Sweden for his 70th birthday (which my sister took and now I need to travel to Colorado to scan the photos - I don't trust shipping them since packages get lost).

    I think about the true scope of the project and my mind is blown. I want to remember everything, the last detail, but no one else really does care. I also have about 15 other albums for my kids that I haven't completed yet, so I need to keep it all in perspective. Does this make sense? This is why I posted this thread. I have a difficult time focusing when it's something this big, and since I have a horrible habit of scrapping something THEN figure out something new and have to re-do everything again. I need to learn to be less of a perfectionist!!!

    And I'm think of using templates, but then you never know if they'll work when the photos and such are all selected (I have a difficult time changing things around...). I was thinking that some of the Family Letter templates that designers have made could work as well - lots of text and room for photos.

    This is amazing information. Thank you so much!!! I'd love to see the album you did. Sometimes things like that will be a springboard for me to know what to do.

    And I love the story about your Aunt seeing the album. It made me tear up! This is exactly why I want to make these albums, so my kids will understand and have something to look back on. My DH thinks we have too many albums, and I don't think I have enough!!
     
  5. mcurtt

    mcurtt give me all the paleo brownies

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    @QuiltyMom When I began my project, I was thinking small. A page or two per person. But when I got into the project, my initial thoughts went out the window. While I like genealogy, I'm not avid about it, and those notes and sources can be rather boring. But to take photos and create stories, incorporate the dates and facts, blow up those itty-bitty pictures so that you can see some detail (even if they aren't the best quality), it puts an entirely different spin on our ancestors and what they were like. I have a page of my mom holding a snake (my mom was a city girl), paired with a photo of her mother holding a rooster. I found postcards from someone called "Frank" who wrote to my mother during WWII. (My dad's name was Joe.) When digging thru pics, I found a colorized 5x7 of Frank (unlabeled), found photos of him (labeled) with my Uncle Richie (my mom's brother), both in the military. I suspect that is how they met, thru Uncle Richie. It can be overwhelming, but I didn't want those stories to be buried. I may have had to surmise a bit because there was no one left to ask, but I think I was pretty accurate. The formal photos that were available are great, don't get me wrong, but I prefer the candid shots (if available) that gives a bit more insight into their personality. And speaking of postcards, I happened on one of the Aragon Ballroom (in Chicago). I knew my parents liked to go dancing, and that was a popular place to go. I didn't think much of it, turned it over, saw some penciled signatures. I looked a bit closer, and one of the signature was of Lawrence Welk. The other signature (her name escapes me) was of his first champagne lady! And the fact that these were in pencil (pens were scarce during the 1940's, just makes it more precious. You can be sure I did a page on that!

    Go with your initial plans, work on what concepts you already have in your mind. But I'll bet, that once you get into this, you'll continue to add the stories. Coupled with a bit of research, you can go far. After my initial thoughts were down in layout form, I actually started lists for each individual and what I wanted to share. So I went thru and checked them off as I completed each one.

    I'm so excited for you. I'll PM you the link to the Shutterfly preview of DH's maternal grandparents. That is the small book I did with photos & text only, no layouts. And this week, I'll get together some of the older vintage layouts to share via Dropbox. Just give me a bit of time. If you wanted to browse thru my gallery here, you'll see quite a bit of vintage thrown into the mix. :-) Even though I'm "done", I still gravitate toward my precious vintage photos.
     
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  6. HavaDrPepper

    HavaDrPepper Space. The final frontier

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    What I did for a different type of project was to pick 4 templates to use. Now, I was using the same background, a few paper accents and no embellishments for all layouts. It was also an all photo project with very few stories or journaling to add to each page. So I chose templates with different number of photos or photo configurations. I filled in the background and paper accents then saved the templates with new names in a folder I was using specifically for this project. Then when I started each new page, I chose a template that would fit the next photos in the sequence. Keeping it very simple made it go very fast. I also have 1 template that has a large area for journaling since there were several events that there were no photos available.

    FWIW, my project was for all my class reunions over the years. Nobody took photos for the 5th, 10th or 20th... at least that I had access to. We've been overloaded with photos for the last 4 reunions and I'm sure the 45th next year will be the same way!
     
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  7. bestcee

    bestcee In love with places I've never been to

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    My friend did this for her family.
    She went with 8.5 x 11 because she found a place that would print for a decent price at that size. It was about 9 years ago, and square printing was harder. Plus, using the letter size made it easy to translate to A4(?) The standard European size. So her family was able to print overseas much easier.

    She started with a family tree layout. She then had a section with each family unit. She opened each section with a page divider that had that part of the family tree on it. Kinda like a magnified tree section.
    In each section she included stories and photos. She added whatever photos she had, so some have a lot, some a little. She stuck to 4-5 layouts: lots of text, lots of photos, a good mix, and a bare minimum of info.
    It took time, but it's an amazing family treasure.
     
  8. bestcee

    bestcee In love with places I've never been to

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    The closest I've come is making my husband's grandmother a book for her birthday. I started with a family tree. Then, I did a 2 page layout of each child and included their family photos on it. Some candid, some formal. There's not a lot of journaling because that wasn't the point. Then I added photos of grandma with Santa, which is a family tradition, and photos at the cabin. It turned out cute.
     
  9. cookingmylife

    cookingmylife Pizza would be my last meal, except ...

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    All of this advice is just wonderful especially the details you gave on what you did Marilyn @mcurtt ! To @QuiltyMom my only word of advice is Don't Redo! Go with good and let go of perfect because Monday's perfect will not seem good enough on Thursday when a new idea or layout you've seen etc etc comes along.

    I haven't stuck to it but I really like the idea of 52 relatives in 52 weeks. I forget whose email I get with those suggestions but I do plan to get a few more done each month with a challenge here and elsewhere.
     
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  10. mcurtt

    mcurtt give me all the paleo brownies

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    @cookingmylife I had totally forgot about that, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Amy Johnson Crow! Yes, 52 different prompts, one for each week of the year, all centered around genealogy. Thanks for reminding me. I had considered playing along with her prompts, but never did. I'd love to see what you have done with them.
     
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  11. GwenCreative

    GwenCreative Member

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    Your message makes me think of the one I posted a few days ago on my facebook:

    "Yesterday, I finally shared with my family, a project that is close to my heart and that I also wanted to share with you.I count, try to do, a heritage book, in digital scrapbooking. , on the family side of my mom, with old photos and genealogical research ... So, I read a lot of articles and I would like to improve, in my digital tools.
    Of course, it will take time, but at least it will not sleep in boxes, without interest and our children, will know who their ancestors were."

    So, I looked for helpers, to know how to do, what to choose ... So I recommend this gold mine, with many articles: http://scrapaneers.com/heritage-article-confession/

    Sorry for my English.
     
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