Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Family History Journal

My Christmas gift to my aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and children is a 16 page (usually) family journal, called the "Seaver-Richmond Family Journal." This will be my 19th year of doing this family journal. I end up sending about 25 copies out every year to the extended family. I print them on my own color inkjet printer two-sided, which is a major production.

Fred Seaver and Bessie Richmond married in 1900 in Leominster MA and had seven children. This family line is 3/4 New England colonial immigrant, and 1/4 English immigrant in 1855.

The content of my family journal has changed over time. I used to print more lines of descent from famous or notable people, and more lines from immigrant ancestors to my grandparents generation. However, I ran out of these types of articles several years ago - I had covered all of the family lines with 5-generations or more.

In recent years, I've added more family photos - both of the older generations and the new generations - young families with babies and the like. I've also written more memorials as the aunts and uncles have died.

Last year, the table of contents looked like:
  • 2005 Family Search - page 1
  • What's Inside? - page 1
  • "The Ancestry of Isaac Seaver" book project - page 2
  • Seaver-Richmond Ancestry on the Internet - page 2
  • Elizabeth Dill Ancestry - Mea Culpa - page 2
  • A Seaver Family Photo - page 3
  • More Seaver Family Photos - page 4
  • Some California Family Photos - page 5
  • More Seaver Family Photos - page 6
  • The Pilgrims as People - page 7
  • Costings for Emigrants - page 8
  • Lauren Olivia Born - page 9
  • "I Am the United States" - page 10
  • The Puritans - page 11
  • The Faith of Our Ancestors - page 12
  • Immigrant Ancestors - Joseph Jenckes (1599-1683) - page 13
  • Immigrant Ancestors - Edmund Rice (1594-1663) - page 14, 15
  • Tom Seaver is Our 10th Cousin - page 15
  • A Family History Quiz - page 16
  • Finis - page 16

This year, I have some records to put in (e.g., my father's World War II separation papers), more immigrant ancestors, some newly transcribed ancestral wills, a New England vacation summary with family photos, several births and marriages to announce, a eulogy for my cousin's husband, plus several articles found on the Internet or this blog.

I try to get this out to the family by the second week of December, so I'm going to start working on it tonight - getting the MSWord document ready for content, then finding content in my files.

It's funny - even though I ask the family for pictures and stories, either by snail mail, email or in person, I never receive anything from them. Maybe they are bored by it all; maybe it slips their mind or they think they don't have anything to contribute. I do get compliments in the Christmas cards I receive, so I think they appreciate the effort.

How about you - do you send family history items as Christmas gifts? If so, tell us about them.


Sean Carter said...

This is absolutely wonderful!! This is probably the best gift and completely out of the box!! May be I can get together with my cousins, put together things and start designing something of this sort!!!!

Thanx a ton!!!

Jasia said...

What a great effort you make, Randy. Bravo! I've thought of doing the same sort of thing with my family but I know it would be a one way street... I do all the work, they sit back and be educated and entertained. You're a better person than me to continue to put forth this kind of effort.

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