9 Tips to Making a Heritage Album Someone Actually Wants to Read

Seeing my children opening a scrapbook about their ancestors is a true blessing. As I grew up, my ancestors were people in fading black and white photos on the main wall of our home. Their facts were on pedigree charts or family trees. They were about as real to me as Calvin Coolidge. They were important to my family but there were few exciting ways to read about or understand the individuals. Great Grandma Long could not compete with Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty.

If that’s the case in your world, then you’ll want to consider creating a scrapbook about your family history. The goal of your efforts is to make your ancestors real to your relatives. I’ll bet made of your family members have a more captivating story than Snow White and her Dwarves.
As you create your scrapbooks, keep a few things in mind:
  1. Use copies of your photos and documents in a traditional (paper) album. Scan or photograph items for digital scrapbooks.
  2. Have a focus for your album:  The Life of Grandma Irene or People Named Dague
  3. Keep your project small in scope. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
  4. Include mini family trees on a page so people can see relationships
  5. Include a timeline layout
  6. Less is More. Keep your focus on the photos and the stories rather than the cool embellishments
  7. Include documentation in your layouts (such as wedding certificates and birth announcements)
  8. Keep one color scheme throughout your album so the pages feed into each other
  9. Keep stories and facts brief. Use books and blogs to share more in-depth stories.
Now others will suggest there is no right way to make a heritage album. I disagree to some extent. While each heritage album will be different, I believe a family history album should flow nicely. A heritage album should tell a story rather than jump around to random events and stories. Cinderella is a great book to read again and again because each page flows into the one after it. A family scrapbook should be no different
Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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