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Why scrapbook your heritage? Why not just use the genealogy software?

When you are doing the actual research, you have the 'trail' on your mind. Finding a document with some hard-sought information on it is the most exciting thing you can think of at the time! You know where the piece fits. But how can you recreate that excitement for your descendants, especially those who haven't been involved in the excavation of material?

I have surname folders with loads of data contained within. Great resource, but not so captivating to look at. Same with published document books - plenty of names, dates, photocopied documents and even photocopied photos - but again, sorta black and white and not so much a coffee table book. It's a reference book - and a brilliant one, but not very pretty or attention getting. Even the books the genealogy software will create are not what I'd want as my finished book - grammar and other errors are easy because of the 'fill-in' nature of the program, and where you have holes in your research, the pages will be partly blank.

A scrapbook is SO much prettier, fuller, and attention grabbing! It presents your information in any order you choose to display it, with photos, art, and your creativity. This kind of book evokes FEELING in those perusing it. In full color, with all the data you have gathered and presented in any artsy way you decide, THIS will be the go-to family book, the one that tells the stories as well as the facts, the one with all the photos grouped as you like, the one your children and grandchildren will always see in their minds when they think of their heritage.

Scrapbooking digitally means you can make as many copies as you like to share or put the pages online for others to print out or save to their computers.

Here are some other reasons you would want to scrapbook your heritage digitally (or printed into a book from digital layouts)

1. To take apart an old paper scrapbook and put it back together digitally with information from the backs of the photos.

Create individual pages, or family pages from the pictures. Be able to share the photos/pages once digitized.

2. To tell stories with pictures. (i.e. a 'how they met' album - of grandparents).


3. As an attractive color companion book to the printed matter you've collected.


4. To easily be able to duplicate people in separate family albums - where that person is in two family lines it's so easy to copy the ancestor page into the second book.

5. To show off at family reunions - or use single pages as family prizes or as part of the hand-out package. For example - try the What's in a Name? challenge - the featured surname on a decorative page is easy to accomplish - we'll show you how! It doesn't have to be square - make it 8 x 10 or any other standard size you like so the recipients can frame it. Do another page with the family matriarch/patriarch photo on it if you have one. This makes another terrific prize or gift for family reunions! It can even be shared digitally so you are not incurring printing costs. Each family can print their own as many as they like.

6. To preserve TODAY's generation for tomorrow's! Heritage scrapbooking can be YOU and all you hold dear today. That way future generations won't be left with all the same questions you have now about the past! They'll know your favorite book, or what your kids like to eat, who taught Dad how to ride a bike, anything you wish to preserve!

- the process of recording the photos and stories in one place for future generations - is a perfect companion to genalogy and heritage! Try a page and see how you like it! This month we are featuring Family History Month Challenges all month long - explore the forum; you're sure to find some that suit the information you have gathered, or would like to preserve for the future!

Elizabeth Weaver



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