Heritage Scrapbooking: Why create a family history scrapbook?

"Mom, I need to know what life was like when grandma was younger."

"Doe we have any family members who fought in the Civil War?"

"Why do I have red hair and no one else in the family does?"

"Hey Devon, I know you're really into genealogy, but a database isn't that exciting to me."

Family group sheets, pedigree charts, wills, and land records are exciting for genealogist. To the average person, not so much. Whether prompted by a school reports or general curiosity, people generally want to know about their ancestors. As genealogists, we have an obligation to share our research with our family so that the people we discover become real and their memories are preserved.

But let's face it, we live in a highly visual society that wants the simple facts and a few cool stories as quickly as possible. A giant anthology of all the Geiszlers that lived in Columbus, Ohio is not going to interested many people other than, well me. The best way to present family history to this type of audience, if you will, is through a Heritage Scrapbook.

A colorful scrapbook is the perfect tool to share
genealogy with your family.
Utilizing the principles of good scrapbooking, family history can come alive. What are those principles?

a) Use photos and colored paper to set a tone for the story about to be conveyed.
b) Use brief facts and stories
c) Organize these items in a eye pleasing way.
d) Add a few extras to make the pages attractive

I have created a family history albums featuring my mother and my father separately. When my children hold these books in their hands, they learn some great things about the life of their grandparents. With nearly everyone in their grandfather's album deceased, they can learn about people they will never met in this life. And because the albums are colorful and eye catching, they want to read the books again and again, just as they would their favorite picture book from the library.

For my mother, having her life encapsulated in a scrapbook is a treasure. She enjoys showing it off to everyone who visits her home. Every friend of mine who has seen her album, dreams of having something of their own for their family.

Whether you’re a scrapbooker who is now tackling older photos and family history or whether you are a genealogist trying to share your finds with your family, a heritage scrapbook is certainly worth creating.


  1. Hi Devon, Nice article. Would you share a little about what format you used or how you created your book? The cover is very pretty. Jen

    1. Thanks Jen for the compliment. In response, I will work on an answer to this and hopefully have it posted by Nov. 7th.


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