Lesson Plan - Get It!
If you've completed the first two lessons in this Genealogy series, you've already started making your family tree! (If not, please complete the Related Lessons found in the right-hand sidebar first.)
- Did you know you can take that family tree from the piece of paper it's on and display it in some really neat ways?
Learn some different options in this lesson and choose one of them for a project at the end.
Explore how other people have crafted creative displays for their family trees in 5 Ways to Display Your Family Tree Research on Twenty Fingers.
- Which one is your favorite?
In this third and final lesson of our Genealogy series, you'll learn a number of different ways to organize and present the information you've found while researching your family history.
But first, let's take a quick look at how to distinguish fact from fiction in your genealogical research. You definitely don't want to make a big, glaring mistake when you display your results!
- So, how do you make sure you've got your facts straight?
Here are some things you can try to verify your facts:
- Find the information in more than one record (such as a birth certificate and census data).
- Verify that your research is backed up by someone else's research. If someone else has researched your family (and it's very likely that someone has!), compare notes with them.
It may not seem like it now, but one of your biggest tasks in genealogy will be keeping track of and organizing all that information!
Here are some ideas to keep track of it all.
- Research Log: This book (notebook or binder) gives you a place to record where you've researched, and what you've found at each site.
- File Box: You'll acquire many documents, photos, and other items that you'll want to file somewhere neatly to keep them organized.
- Computer: You can keep your family interviews, stories, and questions for future research on your word processing program. You can also scan your photographs and documents and save them in digital format.
- Websites and Apps: There are many websites and apps that can help you organize your family's information. Always check if there are hidden costs, and get your parents' permission before you sign up for a website account or download any app.
Once you have it all organized, you're ready to create your presentation!
As you read about the many ways to present your research, think about which one would best fit your style and show off your family's unique history.
In the Go! section, you'll get to choose one of these projects and will be given more detailed instructions on how to create it!
Family Tree Wall Display
As you saw at the beginning of the lesson, one popular way to display your research is to create a wall display. It can be as simple or as detailed as you'd like.
To see more unique and interesting displays, check out Creative Family Trees to Buy or DIY by Valerie Ott for The Spruce!
Another way to display your family history is with a timeline. Instead of just names or names and pictures, the timeline puts everything in a historical perspective.
Look at this family timeline example from FamilyTree.com.
Take all those great family photos you've found, put them in chronological order, and bam! You have a family history slideshow just waiting to be made.
Watch the Photodex video, Family History Slideshow, to see an example:
If you write a script to go along with those old photos, you can make a great video instead of a slideshow.
Kelly Stam had her kids narrate her Family History Video:
Family History Book
Do you like to write? Why not take all that wonderful family history and put it into an actual book?
You can organize your stories, documents, and photos into a narrative that's all about your family. Or choose a few specific people or a certain time period to focus on.
You can make more books later if you enjoy the process and like the result!
There are companies online that will help you create these books (for a cost). Or you can make your own version on your home computer and print it out yourself!
For some inspiration, read through 5 Powerful Planning Tips for Writing Your Family History, by Prudence for Fuzzy Ink Stationery.
If you like arts and crafts, a scrapbook might be just the thing for you!
A scrapbooker takes photos, text, and memorabilia and combines them in a unique way with imagination and artistic flair.
Take a look at the captivating pages created by one amateur genealogist to highlight members of her family at Family History Scrapbook 2012 ~ Scrapbooking for My Family.
Almost every family has some treasured recipes that have been passed down through the generations. Why not put them all into a book that combines family history and photos with those precious food memories?
Check out this Recipe Book from My Mix of 6. It includes not only the recipes but photos and memories of the woman's grandma and her kitchen.
These are just a few ideas. The possibilities are endless!
For even more unique family history projects, explore the pages at Make History!
Then, move on to the Got It? section, where you'll get some practice in distinguishing fact from fiction and start narrowing down your project choice!