In a previous post, I talked about preserving old photographs. Photographs are, of course, not the only things we can or should preserve when it comes to family history — and while an original of something is always better, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make copies of it. After all, we can’t show or give the original to everyone. That leads me into the topic of this post.
In the 1976 Ensign article entitled “Organization Begins at Home,” author Lyman De Platt states:
“Genealogical activity begins with training the children to appreciate family ties and heritage. Developing a family book of remembrance which is used, along with the scriptures, in teaching children; emphasizing membership in larger family organizations; participating in genealogical research, temple work, and subsequent activities—these are all means to that end.”
There are many ways to light the spark of interest in our children, but I would also like to add that children aren’t the only ones whom we can inspire to begin learning their family history.
On my father’s side, I am the only one currently doing any genealogical research. How I would love for some of my siblings or cousins to take interest and join with me in discovering our family history! Of course, it takes a little more creativity to spark the interest of an adult sometimes. So I am thinking of going with the following five genealogy gift ideas for Christmas. Maybe these are ideas you can use too!
1. Family History Calendar
I’ve thought about creating a calendar filled with photos of ancestors and family keepsakes, and including a small box of information on each photo about the ancestor or keepsake featured. An example would be a picture of the sword of my ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War.
Shutterfly is one website I know of where you can make your own calendar. (They also let you put your photos on mugs, puzzles, mouse pads and more!) Maybe you might put your family coat of arms on a mug for your father-in-law or a picture of an interesting ancestor on a puzzle for your children to put together and then tell them about.
2. Digital Photo Frame
Uploaded with family pictures, this might be a nice gift!
3. Family History Book
You can create this with the service MyCanvas. Their sample books look beautiful and the site seems very user-friendly.
4. Military History Binder
I’ve thought about compiling information on all known servicemen in our family tree. This could include muster rolls, enlistment records, pensions, photographs, etc.
5. Family Recipe Book
I would love to compile a book of all the recipes that have been passed down through the generations in our family and give it to those who love to cook and bake. To make it more personal, I may photocopy the recipes I have that are originals, written in my ancestors’ handwriting, along with a transcription if needed.
Do you have any other family-history-themed gift ideas to recommend?
This post was originally published in December 2007. Edits have been made for accuracy and timeliness.