“My Name is Jane:” Heritage Scrapbook Celebrates Family Tradition

This mini heritage scrapbook celebrates a family name–Jane–which has been passed down through several generations. Author Sunny Morton shares a beautiful keepsake that she has treasured, and that you can make too.

My daughter’s middle name is Jane.

And so is mine.

So is my mother’s, and her mother’s.

In fact, we can document several generations with this name. We are “the Janes,” and we are very proud of that.

So I was thrilled when my aunt Judie (mother of a Jane) made this little mini-scrapbook for my mother. It’s an accordion scrapbook style, with several little fold-out pages that it make it fun to explore. 

It’s mostly filled with pictures, but Judie did write a delightful poem that can be appears at the beginning of the book. 

The poem begins: “Grandma named my momma Jane. It passed through my grandma’s side. Every generation had one. A sign of women’s pride.”

I treasure this mini-scrapbook and the thoughts and feeling of the woman in my family who gave it to me. It’s personal nature reminds me of the close personal bond we share. Isn’t t sweet how a simple thoughtful gift can do so much to remind those we love of the value we place on our relationship with them.

I hope you’re already thinking about who in your family would appreciate a little book like this from you!

This kind of scrapbook is easily adapted and simplified–or made even more elaborate. What a perfect little keepsake it is! 

Thanks to the power of YouTube, you can following along with the video tutorial shown below and whip one up yourself.

This would also be a perfect craft to do with the children in your family. Or perhaps you have a family reunion coming up on your calendar. By pulling together the materials ahead of time and designating a special table, your extended family could have enjoy making memories together as they capture memories from days gone by. 

OK, so let’s not spend any more time talking about it. Click the watch the video below and let’s get started making our own mini scrapbook:

More Inspiration

Did you love this as I much as I did?

You can get even more creative inspiration by checking out our Pinterest boards:

One of my favorite ideas can be found at the Family History Craft Projects. It’s how to turn old broken watches into family heirloom bracelets. What a wonderful idea! I have several of those laying around in my drawers at home. Lisa Louise Cooke made one using watches she received from her grandmother and shared a photo of it in the newsletter. 

And the Genealogy Gems newsletter is indeed a great place to get more ideas.  Click here to sign up for our free email newsletter where Lisa regularly share inspiring ideas like these.

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How to Reconstruct Your Early Childhood Memories and Stories

Most of us don’t recall our early years well. How can we tell our life’s story if we don’t remember the first chapter?

I’ve learned to use whatever scraps the past gives me. That’s what I did in a scrapbook I put together a few years ago that reconstructs my early childhood. I realized when looking through this album that I actually cobbled together the past from four different sources, only one of which was my own memory:

my childhood my parents memories1. The family slide collection. I grew up in the 1970s, when slide photography was all the rage (at least with my dad). Several years ago, I scanned all the slides. My digital copies of the slides became the main narrative for the album.

2. My parents’ memories, captured in an oral history interview. One day, I got both my parents on the phone at the same time. I asked them to look through their CD of the family slides as I looked through my copy. As we looked at each picture–even the not-so-great ones–I asked what memories surfaced. Different things came to mind for each of them, which was fantastic. They captioned the photos for me, filling in the stories behind the pictures.

my childhood my baby book3. My baby book. My parents already had my 11-month old brother by the time I came along. So Mom didn’t have a lot of time to write much down. But there are a few gems in my baby book: my mom’s memories and memorabilia from when I was born. These filled in more gaps in my childhood story.

my childhood my memories4. My own vague childhood memories. All these pictures and memories jogged loose fragments of my own memories. They are still fragmented; some don’t make much sense or tell a whole story. But taken together with everything else, they help reconstruct my childhood enough that I have a much better sense of it now.

The family historian in me made sure I identified the source of each story in the album. My parents’ memories are tagged as such, as are excerpts from my baby book. I typed up my own memories and put them in my own voice.

Who is living who knows something about your childhood? Parents? Step-parents? Grandparents? Aunts or uncles? Friends of the family? What family artifacts or albums may be in the attic, basement or on a shelf? Ask them to help give you back your own past!


Family History for Kids Starts WITH the Kids

Family History Genealogy Made Easy PodcastOur free Family History Made Easy podcast offers great episodes on topics related to this post: Lisa covers finding family history at homeinterviewing skills, and how to contact long-lost relatives (episodes 13 and 14).

Genealogy Gems Premium members can listen to Premium podcast episode 116, which has an interview with Laura Hedgecock, author of Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life(Click here to learn more about Premium membership.)



Genealogy meets Scrapbooking: Heritage Scrapbooking

Lisa on Scrapbooking podcastAs the host of the Genealogy Gems podcast, Lisa Louise Cooke spends a lot of time on the asking end of the microphone. Recently the tables were turned! Lisa was invited to appear on the The Paperclipping Roundtable, a scrapbooking podcast.

Family history and scrapbooking are sister pursuits. Genealogy is more research-driven. Scrapbooking is a visual art. But they are both rooted in the preservation of stories.

In the podcast, Lisa and other guests chat about the new dimensions each pursuit brings to the other. Lisa has been creating scrapbooks since her children were young, and a fellow guest on this roundtable-style podcast is a scrapbooker who later discovered family history. Both have likely tried different styles of what you might call heritage scrapbooking.

Genealogy “seemed so overwhelming” at first, said the scrapbooker. “But once you start, it’s really a lot of fun.” From the point of view of a genealogist, the same might be said for scrapbooking!

Click the link above to hear Lisa on the free podcast. If you’re a “scrapbooking genealogist” (or a genealogy-loving scrapbooker) who would love to hear more inspiring tips about combining the two, contact us to let us know!

Family History: Genealogy Made Easy PodcastAre you new to genealogy or ready to learn how to do it “right” from the start? Check out our free podcast, Family History Made Easy. In this  series Lisa takes you through the process of tracing your family history step-by-step.

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