A family history scrapbook does not have to be all about your ancestors. If you are over 50, it might be time to start thinking about making an album all about YOUR life. This does not mean that you are old, it just means that you are at a stage where you can possibly start to think about taking on a project such as this.
First, you have enough photos, memorabilia, and “stuff” to put into it. Start by sorting through the things that you’ve collected over your lifetime thus far, and weed out what you do and don’t want to include in the album. You are telling a story, so you don’t have to include every single thing you have saved. If you are wondering what to include, and what not to include, think about what story you are trying to tell. The story of your life. So, not every photo is necessary. Include pictures and memorabilia that have a story to tell. Make sure to include a photo from each stage in your life.
Telling your life story through scrapbooking can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. First, start with your birth story. Dedicate a page or two to writing down what you know about your birth, including dates, and facts when possible, and pick a few of your favorite baby pictures. Include anything like hospital baby bracelets, and birth certificates as well.
Next, look at your early childhood years from age 2-10. Pick a few of your favorite photos from that time period. Write down some of your favorite childhood memories. Make sure to include photos that have special meaning, like a favorite toy you loved to play with, or the first time you rode your bike without training wheels, etc.
The next time period to include is the pre-teen years. For simplicity’s sake, make the time period from 10 until you started high school. Follow the same guidelines as the previous phase mentioned above. High school will most likely need it’s own category and set of pages as we tend to keep more memorabilia from that time in our lives.
Then, move on to college, and when you got married. These two can be combined, or kept separately depending on how much information you have in each category. Include the story of how you decided on a major, what you loved about college, and any activities you were involved in. Also include the story of how you met and fell in love. Writing it down first, and organize your thoughts before you begin journaling in your album.
Last, move on to starting a family until the present. Include family photos of you and your children from various stages in your life. Remember that this album is about you, not about your children. There are separate albums for that. So, make sure to journal about how you felt during certain times of your life, not what your children were doing. The important thing to remember during scrapbooking this phase of the scrapbook is that your posterity wants to know about you. That is what this album is for.
It is never too early to start scrapbooking your own life in a heritage album. However, it is a time consuming task, so waiting until you have the time to sit and reflect is best. I don’t think I could ever start one for myself now since my children are so young, and I concentrate a lot of my scrapbooking time on their albums. But, once you are a little older, it might be time to start thinking about starting your own heritage album to document your life.
Meredith Ethington is the author of this blog. To learn more about Meredith, and her history with Scrapbooking and Genealogy, go here.< Return To Scrapbooking