Documenting your family for future generations is something that has become much easier in recent times. Whilst trying to research your family tree and dig up old family photos might have been a difficult task 50+ years ago, social media has created an ever-present record of our lives. If you want to collate a more meaningful record of your family, as something to pass down the generations without the need for the internet, then consider these ideas and tips to help you get started:

Gathering Information

Whilst it might be a difficult task for some, tracing back some of your family tree is a good way to start creating your family record. Just noting down who you know is as good a start as any, and your other family members might be able to share a little more information. You could also include pictures of different family members and try to jot down any information that you have on them. Did they have a notable career? Where did they call their home? Whilst you might not be able to trace back very far, writing down whatever you do know will be helpful to future generations if they want to continue your efforts. 

Asking family members for any old photographs can make your family record much more exciting, as its much nicer to see a face alongside a name. You should take care when handling valuable old photographs though. It’s a good idea to make copies of the photos to use so that you can return the originals, which will probably be quite valuable and important to them.

Collating and Organizing

Once you’ve gathered as much information, names and dates, and photographs as you can, you will need to start organizing it. Drawing out a family tree is a nice way to see how your family was made, and to follow back generations. It also means that future generations can take copies to continue on, as the family tree grows even bigger. If you have lots of photographs, creating a photo book could be a great way to record all of your research. It also means that you have a nice keepsake to hold onto, and if you want to, you could make multiple copies to give to younger members of the family. 

A photo book is a lovely way of creating a visual, chronologically ordered book to flip through and explore your family’s history. It could also make a great gift for someone!

Exploring Stories

If you really want to delve deeper into your family history, you should try using historical records to help your search, the census records could provide you with great information to update your family history. Building up information and details about the people from your past can create lots of exciting stories and there are resources that offer subscription services if you find yourself wanting to get thoroughly invested in discovering your past. Research is not always an easy task and you should try to use the people close to you as your first source of research. If possible, gather as much information from the oldest members of your family to give you names or locations to start your exploration with. It is also possible that older family members have already made attempts to uncover the family tree themselves.  

Displaying Your Research

After going through all the effort of researching and collating information, you should definitely do something with the fruits of your hard work. There are lots of creative ways you can put your family history on display, with the simple family tree structure itself being open to lots of stylized replications. The tree structure is a great place to start if you want to display your research as an artistic but informative image and would look lovely framed on a wall. There are some lovely creative inspirations out there if you need ideas, so definitely open up your artistic side for this one. But you shouldn’t worry about going too overboard on creativity if that isn’t your thing. A simple and neat, a well-informed family tree can look lovely and minimal in a simple frame when hung on the wall. 

If you really manage to end up with bountiful treasures collected from your research, then perhaps something along the lines of a scrapbook or framed collage may be more suitable. For your lovely collection of old family photos, creating a photo book as mentioned earlier may be a great solution to collate your images from the past. It is easily done and there are sites such as which compare different photo book creating sites, and could even offer you a photo book voucher code. Different photo book sites offer different deals and customizations when it comes to creating your photo book, so it is a good idea to compare them before starting your order.

Whether your family tree is small or large, recording any piece of your family history is a fun way to learn more about your past and to create something for the future. Family history is exciting and anything you create can be passed on to your future generations, so that they may continue to record your family’s history.

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About the Author

Rosana Beechum

Contributing Blogger