Putting the Leaves on Your Family Tree - Part Four
You should have a great start on your genealogy by now. Here are a few tips on things you may need in your adventures in finding your family tree.
Many of you may have been spending a lot of time on the internet researching. Some of you may have taken the next step already and have been going to your local genealogy library or history center. More of you may have decided to really get into it and have been finding lost documents and photographing old family homesteads. Well, good for you.
Some of the other things that you can do to add to your family history are to copy maps from the time frame that you are researching and add them to your book. Did your family travel the Oregon Trail? Add a map. Maps can be found online or in your local library. You can also research what it was like living in your county at the time your relatives first lived there. What about a short history of your hometown. These are things that future generations might just love to read about. Do you know where your grandparents are buried? Why not make a trip to the cemetery and take a picture of their tombstone. Remember to bring some fresh flowers. For older tombstones, you can do a rubbing. You will need a large piece of paper and some tape to hold it on the tombstone and a crayon. Tape the paper to the tombstone and gently rub the crayon. It is just like when we were in school and did this with leaves, the markings from the tombstones will be there on your paper. Many tombstones had inscriptions, not just the names and dates. These would be beautiful to add to your book.
Finding documents for your family history can lead you to many fun places. Have a member of the family that was an inventor? Try finding the patents to his inventions. The United States Patent office has a database that you can search by name or invention or dates. Have an artist in the family? Take some pictures of their works of art. While you are at it, ask him/her to make a drawing for the cover of your three ring binder and make sure he/she signs it. Make a list of an author's works and if they are still alive, get them to sign a copy for you. Collect the works of unpublished writers or the music of musicians. They will become family heirlooms. Got great cooks in your family? Take a picture of the cook in the kitchen making her/his favorite dish and write down the recipe. Quilter or Crocheter? Get their favorite pattern and a picture of them with their project. If you have a lot of them, get each to make a square and put it together for a family quilt or afghan. Got an athlete in the family? Research their records at the morgue of your local newspaper. If you have traced your history far enough back, you might be able to find historic homes that your ancestors lived in and get pictures of these too. To do these things, you will be spending a lot of time in your local library and out and about. Here is a list that I am sure you will find very helpful in your travels.
When visiting archives, libraries, and town halls
Many of the items above will also be useful in cemeteries, with the following additions:
About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 7 grandsons. She is a published author and poetress. Born in California, she now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and many pets. Her hobbies include crocheting, reading, arts and crafts and bargain hunting.
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