Heritage Memory Books
One of my favorite memories is of my Grandma Downs telling me about how Grandpa Downs proposed marriage to her and how it almost didn’t happen. In the early 1930’s, they met in a hiking club. She was in the kitchen peeling potatoes to make dinner when he came to the back door to “ask her something”. Impatiently and curtly, she asked him what he wanted because she was busy. He almost didn’t ask her. Luckily, he wasn’t dissuaded, asked her anyway; she accepted. After the wedding, they honeymooned in Yosemite National Park. I treasure the wedding photos and the postcard my Grandpa Downs wrote to his new Father-in-law from their Honeymoon.
Why Create Heritage Memory Books?
Most people love stories, especially family stories. To preserve them, I write them down, add photos to them made and make copies for my siblings because I don’t want these important stories to end with me. My heritage book helps me feel grateful for the experiences and hardships of my relatives immigrating to America “in steerage” around the turn of the 20th century. This type of album is a great way to teach younger generations about traditions, family history and to appreciate how life has changed. It is also wonderful way to honor and appreciate our older generations.
Steps to Create A Heritage Memory Book
1. Collect photos and stories.
First, look for photos. Sometimes older family members have them. Write information on the back like the date, location and names of people in the photos. Second, interview older relatives about how and when people met and married. Write down your family’s important stories. Next, create a private Facebook group and invite family members to share photos and stories there. (I did this on my father’s side of the family and so many photos were posted that I had never seen and stories were posted that I had never heard.) Use online genealogy websites or library resources, to find out more information if you don’t have access to family.
2. Decide on a scrapbook, photo book or a combo of the two.
A scrapbook is good if you just want one copy. A photo book is good if you need multiple copies. Personally, I chose a hybrid: a scrapbook cover and pages, with 12×12 digital page prints. The benefits are: page prints are easily duplicatable, pages can be rearranged, and pages can be added as your family’s story continues.
3. Ask for help.
I have decades of experience researching, organizing and creating Heritage Books for my family and my client’s families. I LOVE the challenge of creating Heritage Memory Books! Whether you want to do-it-yourself or have it done-for-you, Creative Memories released a Family Memories Kit this month to help you get started…for tips and tricks, I’ve posted the booklet on my Facebook business page: Facebook.com/Eileensevents.