Using Incomplete Family Trees in Heritage Scrapbooks

The beauty of heritage scrapbooking is the inclusion of family trees with photos. But what if your family tree is incomplete with both photos and names?

heritage scrapbooking ideas
Family Tree Scrapbook Page

What do I say? Come on. If you’ve read my posts before, I say, including the incomplete tree. It’s your family. It’s what you know. Scrapbook the most accurate information you have at this time. Because you never know when you’re going to get new information.

creating a heritage album
Don’t Let the Fear of Change Stop You From Making Something

If you’ll notice, Lewis Brown is the handsome man with the Army uniform on the bottom of the tree beside his beautiful wife Louise (yes, I’m biased). This tree was included in the scrapbook featuring Penny Brown, their daughter.

In the album featuring Lewis Brown, the left half of this tree will stay and Louise’s right have will not be shown.

scrapbooking layouts family tree
Photo Pedigree Chart
Page Kit: Americana by No Reimer Reason

Notice that Lewis’s tree has more holes. There are blocks where no name is known at this time. It’s interesting that the maternal lines have names but the Townsend and Brown men do not have parents in the great-grandparent generation. Notice how I do not have photos of William Townsend or Mary Clabaugh. Given what I’ve learned about William and Mary Townsend, it’s not likely they had photos taken given how poor they were.

I attempted to add embellishments to this page but I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t distracting. So, I think sometimes, all you need on a page is photos and the background paper. Don’t be afraid to not have embellishments.

Hopefully, you’ll see that incomplete trees are still worthy of inclusion in your scrapbook. Someday I hope to know the parents of Samuel Curtis Brown and William James Townsend. Until then, Lewis’ scrapbook should have the most complete family tree that I have at this time.

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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