Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 10 - The Family Journal

On the 10th day of Christmas,
I sent to all my relatives
this year's Family Journal to read.

1) What helps you remember Christmases past?

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 was my 20th 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, 6 of whom lived to adulthood and married, five of whom had a total of 11 children. This family line is 3/4 New England colonial immigrant (Seaver, Hildreth and White), and 1/4 English immigrant (Richman/Richmond, immigrated 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:

* 2006 Family Search - page 1
* What's Inside? - page 1
* The Ancestry of Fred and Bessie (Richmond) Seaver Book Project - page 2
* Seaver and Richmond Photo Collection - page 2

* Seaver-Richmond Ancestry on the Internet - page 2
* The "Genea-Musings" Blog - page 2
* Charles Alvin Seifert (1945-2006) - page 3

* Seaver Family News (1900 to 1950) From The Fitchburg Sentinel - page 4
* New England Vacation Pictures - page 5

* Smock Marriages (by Sidney Perley) - page 6
* Seaver/Hildreth Gravestones - page 7
* Earthquakes in Colonial New England - page 8
* More Seaver Newspaper Articles From The Fitchburg Sentinel - page 8
* Immigrant Ancestors - Caleb Carr (1616-1695) of Newport RI - pages 9,10
* Immigrant Ancestors - Giles Slocum (1623-1683) of Portsmouth RI - pages 11, 12
* Immigrant Ancestors - Simon Stone (1586-1665) of Watertown MA - pages 13, 14
* Logan Scott H*** Born - page 15
* Megan Seifert Weds - page 15
* Lewis Soule Weds - page 15
* Picture of the Soule Girls - page 15
* Answers to the Family History Quiz - page 16
* Finis - page 16

The 2007 Edition Table of Contents includes:

* 2007 Family Search - page 1
* What's Inside? - page 1
* Aunt Gerry's Photograph Collection - page 2
* Seaver-Richmond Ancestry on the Internet - page 2
* Geraldine (Seaver) Remley (1917-2007) - page 3

* James Howard Remley (1912-2007) - page 4
* Remarks at Aunt Gerry's Service by Randy Seaver - pages 5,6
* Gerry's Young Life in Pictures (Wasn't she cute? And beautiful?) - page 7
* Thomas Code Seaver Adopted - page 8
* Beth Soule Marries - page 8
* Pictures of Isaac and Lucretia (Smith) Seaver - page 8
* The Seaver Family Homes in Leominster and Fitchburg - pages 9, 10
* Colonial Ancestors - Job Card (1653-1739) of Rhode Island - pages 11,12
* Barack Obama is a Seaver and Richmond Cousin - page 13
* Mitt Romney is a Seaver Cousin - page 14
* Mary and Jonas - Love Rather Than Money - page 15
* Another Seaver/Richmond Family History Quiz - page 16
* Finis - page 16

The production process is pretty simple. I use last year's MSWord document as a template - but delete the content and save it as a new document. Then I add content over a 7 to 10 day period, based on family papers and photographs, material from my blog, the Internet or my genealogy databases. When the content is completed, then I print off 25 copies (16 pages, in color, two-sided). I save it also as a PDF file to put on CDROMs to give to family members who want one.

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.

I sent the Family Journal, along with our family Christmas letter, off to the cousins yesterday. I have copies at home for my brother, my niece and my daughters and will gift them with it on Christmas Day. Hopefully, we will share a bit more about Gerry and Jim, and memories of our parents and grandparents.

This post will be part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" carnival - organized by Thomas MacEntee at the Destination: Austin Family blog. Please go to Thomas' blog and read the submissions for each day.

1 comment:

Thomas MacEntee said...

Mind if I "steal" your idea next year? I think it is much better than the ubiquitous and self-touting holiday newsletter. And it might elicit submission of info from my family members.