10 Tips for Genealogy Scrapbooking

Start With Existing Family Members
Talking with your family members can give you a lot of information to add to your book. They'll enjoy seeing the results too. Jupiterimages/Thinkstock

Figuring out how to portion the past into neat little pages can seem daunting, but doesn't have to be. "All it takes in the beginning to start family research is curiosity," explains avid genealogical scrapbooker Nancy Merrill.

Start by interviewing your parents and then talk to the oldest surviving family members. They can often get you on the right path to locating records and add dimension to the names and faces of ancestors gone before your time.

Technology can also facilitate a process that used to be fairly tedious. If your extended family is computer literate, consider setting up a Dropbox or other cloud-based storage area through which they can supply you with photos and scans of documents, or simply have them mail or bring favorites to the next family event. Family tree software programs can go a long way toward keeping details organized and easy to access.

It's also smart to leave your creation open to future inclusions by choosing a scrapbook with pages that can be added or reordered when new photos or tidbits become available. Bear in mind that you won't always be able to wrap people or pages up with a tidy little bow. My maternal grandparents were born in their respective rural Georgia homes in the early 1900s, leaving our family with nothing in the way of a registered birth certificate. This lack of formal documentation can be easily replaced with photos and personal accounts of their lives and interests.