If you’re considering making a family history book, you’ll want to create an heirloom your entire family can enjoy. But how can you share your love of genealogy with family members, young and old, who may not share your enthusiasm? Here are 5 ways to entice family members to open that family history book!
Include All Family Members in the Book
Remember when you went to school and got your yearbook? If you’re like most of us, you’d first find your picture. Next, you might skim the other photographs and articles for a glimpse of yourself. A family history book will be received in much the same way. Consequently, be sure to include as many people as possible. Whether in photos, stories, or family trees, these records don’t just have to be about deceased ancestors. Include living relatives as well!
Once you’ve included your living relatives, make sure it’s easy for them to find themselves! Adding a table of contents or index to your book can make perusing history less overwhelming. This is especially true for those less experienced with the long lists of dates and family names. Though this may entice them to skip straight to “interesting” sections, it at least familiarizes your family with aspects of their history.
Tell a Story
Once family members know that they are in the book, and can easily jump sections, help them stay interested. Provide a variety of stories. Share tales of famous ancestors, successful cousins, or funny anecdotes from living relatives. Even include outlaw ancestors or those who had difficult pasts. Doing so will help bring your histories to life. It also provides opportunities for family members to learn from the trials of their ancestors and increase personal resilience.
Not only should you include pictures of your deceased relatives, but your living ones as well! Include a wide variety, and try not to favor any one individual or family. Even include side by side comparisons of ancestors with living relatives to show how family traits are passed down through the generations. Have fun, and don’t limit yourself to only census records and pictures of headstones.
Involve Family in Creating Your Book
Need a hand finding those great photographs and stories? Ask your family members! Interview those who remember stories of relatives who have passed, and include modern histories. By involving your family in the creation process, you can help them feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in the final book. This can encourage them to invest in a copy of their own to be passed down to their descendants. As a bonus, collaborating on a family history book can help you become closer to living relatives.
Ready to Get Started?
Begin your family history book today by visiting MyCanvas.com. Explore our free, online templates, and decorate with hundreds of embellishments. Even download your Ancestry family history directly into a book or poster to help you get started.