Custom printed family tree from My Tree and Me online shop.
Have you ever scrapped your family tree? This is something that has been on my “to do” list for years, but I (Katie) seem to keep putting it off. It isn’t something that I can just whip up in an hour, it takes some research and input from others. In my case, it will probably only be a matter of a few emails to my parents. They have been great about researching and documenting the names of several generations back. My in-laws have also done some of the same, but not nearly to the same extent. I know I will run into roadblocks there. I guess that is one of the reasons I keep putting this project off. I’m sure many of our readers have similar issues. Truthfully, there are very few people who can accurately list multiple generations in their own family tree.
You will never get your family tree done if you don’t start it in the first place. I decided to go ahead and create a layout that I can continually add to as I find out more information. I’m keeping the layered file in a folder on my desktop so I can add to it as I find more details.
Layout by Katie Fei Fei’s stuff the gift, Katie Pertiet Family genealogy brush
The best place to start is with yourself. Whether you are doing a family tree for you, or for one of your children, start with the current generation and work backwards. After all, you know you!
Next, can you list your parent’s full names, dates of birth (and death if applicable). Do you know where they were born, the dates of the marriage(s)? Can you list all of their children’s full names? There might not be a space for that on a scrapbooked family tree, but it is good to know if you want to pursue any other genealogy-related activities.Repeat those same steps for each generation. It will probably increase in difficulty the farther back you go.
Not every family tree has nice and neat branches. Second marriages, step-families, and other situations might change the look of your tree. It’s up to you how you want to handle that. The main purpose of a family tree is to track your direct lineage, so you will want to focus on including those who produced you. However, it’s perfectly acceptable to add your own notes and explain the many branches that make up your own tree.
As always, we’ve done lots of searching on the internet and in digi-land to help you make this project easier. We have tons of resources to share with you!
SOME GREAT RESOURCES FOR PUTTING TOGETHER YOUR OWN FAMILY TREE:
- Call or email family members to find out what information they have. Some of the work might have already been done for you.
- Search your own scrapbooks, family Bibles, and documents.
- Family Search
- National Archives (U.S.)
- Ancestry.com (free trial period, but this site is a paid membership site – our link is NOT an affiliate link)
- World Vital Records (free trial period, but this site is a paid membership site – our link is NOT an affiliate link)
Martha Stewart has a free downloadable template on her site for this creative family tree fan chart.
I love the modern take on the family tree concept from this cool shop!
I’ve heard so many great things about the tv show “Who Do You Think You Are?” so I finally started watching it online. Wow! What a cool show! Totally inspires you to find out more about your own background.
DIGITAL SCRAPBOOK RESOURCES: (all images are linked)
I’m feeling so inspired to scrap my family tree. I hope you are too!