Heritage Scrapbooking: Remember the Farm

Now that I have focal person heritage scrapbooks created for mom and dad, I am starting to work on other stories that are worth scrapbooking. I’m a big believer in printing bound albums for family history projects. The page below will be placed in a book about my Zumstein Family Heritage. I know this scrapbook will be enjoyed by my children, but hopefully, other Zumstein relatives will enjoy my work as well.

Heritage Scrapbook Layout
A cabin to cry about, by Devon Lee
credit: paper and embellishments by Coreen Silke, Spa Holiday

My father’s mother (Helen Zumstein Geiszler) is a descendant of Paul and Phebe Zumstein who emigrated from Bavaria to Canada. I love the story that is told about Phebe’s reaction to the log cabin that was being built by her sons who arrived earlier.

Here is the journaling:

Paul and Phebe Zumstein were eager to leave Bavaria to avoid any more war and government upheavel. Four of their sons emigrated to the New World in 1851. Nicholas (abt 27), Peter (abt 25), and Paul (abt 15) moved to Ontario, Canada, settling on the Elcho road near Wellandport. Henry (abt 18) went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and there found work.

The Zumstein Cabin was built on a farm in Lot 6, Concession 2, Gainsborough Township purchased by Nicholas from a Tannatt H. Thomson. The land was still covered with woods.

With these arrangements established, Paul and Phebe sold their property in Bavaria and moved to Canada.  The story is told that when Phebe saw the log house which was being built, she had a moment of anxiety. The doors and windows were to be cut in after all the logs were laid, but she didn’t understand. When she asked how they were to get into this new house, she was told that one must climb over the walls with a ladder. She sat down and cried.

The cabin was replaced by a frame house built by Paul’s son Heinrich and later by a brick house. The cabin no longer stands but the story of Phebe’s reaction to her new home has been shared throughout the Zumstein generations.

I LOVE how Phebe sat down and cried! Imagine your immigrant ancestor coming to a new world. Her sons left before her. She is in great anxiety about leaving her homeland, despite how fearful it was. She’s in a new world and surely wants to quickly set up a house for her family which consists of adult sons and an 11-year-old daughter. And her sons, who must have been great kidders, tell her she must hoist herself into this new cabin over a ladder. Knowing my husband and his brothers’ relentless teasing of their darling mother, I can fully envision Phebe and her emotional distress.

I encourage you to create an initial family history scrapbook about one specific person in your family. My book, Create a Family History Scrapbook Digitally in 12 Simple Steps, can help you get started. For a story page about your feature person, you can scrapbook the ancestral home. Be sure to include the story about the home whenever possible.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *