Heritage Scrapbooking: Keep The Story Brief

I have enjoyed sharing with you various pages from the heritage albums about my mother and father. If you’ve missed any of them, be sure to check out the posts in the Heritage Scrapbooking thread.
This week I wanted to focus a bit on the journaling block. When creating a family history album, you want to keep your writing short and focused. Knowing the focus of your album helps you determine what needs to be shared in each project. So let’s focus on the decisions I had about Lura Maude Smith’s scrapbook page.
Lura Maude Smith is my mother’s grandmother. For a focused scrapbook about the life of Penny Brown, I should mention the grandmother she never met. My focused album will be brief so that it gets finished, so Lura will only receive one-page layout to tell who she is.
heritage scrapbooking ideas
How to keep your journaling brief in a family history scrapbook
The key things to share about Lura are who she is in terms of lineage, vital information, and any brief anecdotes that make her a little more real. Here is the journaling from this page:
Lura Maud Smith was born on 9 Feb 1884 in Bay City, Michigan. She was the daughter of Andrew Nelson Smith (of Central College, Ohio) and Emma Ward (of Bay City, Michigan). They were married in Tuscola, Michigan.
At age nine, Lura was left an only child after her mother and her baby brother died in 1893. Andrew married Mary Etta Webb but she eventually was placed in an asylum.
It is believed that Lura was not able to have children. Lura and Harry adopted two daughters, Marguerite in 1916 and Louise in 1920.
Lura was a devoted wife and mother. She also wore glasses. Her daughter Louise admits to cheating at card games by reading her mother’s cards in those glasses.
Louise described her mother as a genteel lady who was very nice looking. Lura was a homemaker and her relatives were fond of her cooking.
Lura died on 7 May 1934 at the age of 50 in Columbus, Ohio.
As you can see, I shared some information about the death of Lura’s mother and the fate of her step-mother. I shared the belief in Lura’s barrenness and the adoption of two girls. I didn’t need to include the daughter’s full names and birth dates as they are included on a facing page about Lura’s husband Harry. And since this page comes after Louise’s page, the logical conclusion of the album’s reader is that the Louise spoken of is the one on the previous page. (This is another reason I like bound albums. The story can be told using fewer words because of the arrangement of scrapbook pages).
I do have spelling errors on the page, but in an updated version of this scrapbook, I shall fix those mistakes.
There are more photos and more stories that I could share about Lura. Since I know the purpose of her story in this scrapbook, I was easily able to focus in on the most important information. I hope my sharing this process will help you know what to include in your scrapbook pages.
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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