Spotlighting Family

Family reunion season is right around the corner.

I’m reminded of this on a near daily basis, as my clan is responsible for helping host the upcoming summer shindig.

Due to distance issues, I have been relegated to designing a scrapbook of the event. Basically, I will be the official photographer for the three-day extravaganza, and then my aunt and I will go through the images and figure out a way to craft organized layouts.

In addition to documenting the actual party and subsequent activities, my mom wants the reunion scrapbook to also include family tree-type features. Her vision is for me to create different layouts for different branches of the family. So basically, individual pages for all guests regardless of their last name, and then a note on how they are connected to the ancestral family moniker. My mother also wants me to put together a double page layout featuring the meaning of our family name, including its historical significance and information that goes back at least four generations.

I have my work cut out for me.

I’m in the process of getting birth and death records as well as marriage certificates and other documents that I can copy and add to the scrapbook as memorabilia. Depending on how successful I am in obtaining public records, I am hoping to display them as part of a time line that is organized by decades. I plan to start at the beginning of 1900 and capture memorable moments in my family’s history through 2012.

Family reunion scrapbooks can take on a variety of forms. My mom’s idea to organize our family’s history through the decades is just one example. You could also create an actual family tree to feature on layout. Just consider the size of your clan. Large families may require fold out pages. Another option is to display the entire tree on a computerized chart and resize it so that it fits on a single or double layout.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.