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keeping memories alive
create new ones while preserving the old

By Deborah K. Millemaci
(return to genealogy)

Researching your family history can be fun, but once you have compiled your information, what is next? A few ideas you might wish to explore are Journaling, Scrapbooking, and a Memory Quilt.

Many people keep journals today to record their feelings and impressions on a variety of topics. Journals can also be used for recording and remembering the past. Recounting childhood memories might be a good place to start. Stories told to you by other family members can also be included in your journal. When writing about family memories there are no limits to your possibilities. Old photographs may have an interesting story to tell...what better place to explore them than through journaling.

There are a few tips that have helped many novice and experienced journalers and I will mention them here.

  • Journals can be either a spiral notebook or hardcover, lined or unlined. Use whatever you are most comfortable with.
  • Reserve a few pages in the front of your journal to create an �Index� where topics you write about are listed for easy reference.
  • Remember to also include the date/time for each journal entry and number your pages.
  • Write in your �Genealogy Journal� regularly, when your thoughts and recollections are fresh in your mind and encourage your children to keep a Family Journal.

Another project that your entire family can participate in is the art of �Scrapbooking�. It is much more now than just pasting photographs in a book. Various themes such as births, weddings, birthdays are only a few ideas you can use to create a family scrapbook. By being creative you can make your scrapbooks unique. Special borders, stickers, use of color, and information about your photos will enhance the theme of your scrapbook. If you keep a journal, consider using excerpts that may relate to the picture. Family photos tell a story and this is a great way to share their legacy with other family members. Scrapbook kits are available at most arts and craft stores.

Memory Quilt
While watching a televison show the other night about quilting, a lady was interviewed about a special quilt she had made called a �Memory Quilt.� She showed how photos were scanned and transferred onto fabric that would be used in making the quilt. I was amazed at the beauty of the finished quilt. I then realized that you can add much more to a Memory quilt than just photographs. Family sayings, important dates, family recipes, and your family�s genealogy can be included to make a beautiful family heirloom. There are companies who offer their services to make these quilts for you, and there are also quilting kits available if you would like to try to explore your creativity and make one yourself. This is also a great way to get the family together and get them involved in making more memories.

You will find more information Journaling, Scrapbooking, and Memory Quilts on the Internet. Many of the websites will list information about subscribing to newsletters and mailing lists where you can interact with people who share the same interest in preserving their family histories...creatively. ©Deborah K. Millemaci - 2002
No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author.


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