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.

3 comments:

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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