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Scraps of history: Getting started

Getting started with family heritage scrapbooks

Is this for me?

This Getting Started Guide is for you if you’ve ever thought:

 “I’d love to make a scrapbook about my family history, but I don’t know where to start!”

 “I wish I had the time to do something like that.”

 “I don't know enough about my family history to try something like this."

The good news is that you can start your family heritage scrapbook today, with what you know right now!

Add the knowledge you already have to things you can start learning in the library and practicing on your own, and you’ve got a hobby you can do in your spare time and spend a lifetime enjoying.

Start with what you know

Family history can seem like a HUGE undertaking, but you don't have to do a chronicle from the beginning of time. Just start with what you know and see where it takes you. Even if you get stuck, you can always ask family members and friends for things they remember.

Who are your parents?

When were you were born?

Where were you born?

What else do you remember?


Congratulations! You’ve started your family history!


What do you want to create?

A family history doesn't have to be a big book about your ancestors. You can do lots of different projects -- and all of them can be treasures to your family. Here are some ideas:

  • Compile a book of special family recipes
  • Make a book about family vacations
  • Gather pictures of people in your family
  • A family tree drawing or diagram
  • Special memories of a person, place or event
  • Explore how events shaped someone, like being a pioneer or an immigrant
  • A gift to a special someone in your family
  • A book to share at a family reunion

A family history scrapbook can also be a reason to learn about places and events that shaped what your family is like, or even just things happening at the same time as things in your family's story. If you choose to write a book or a record of your family, or put together a scrapbook of information, these stories can add life and interest to dry facts.