As you know, I have been pursuing both my genealogy and quilting hobbies this year. I made a couple of calendars which family pictures on them, and I made a small quilt with family names on them. I've also been watching a lot of videos on how to make scrapbooks, junk journals, etc.
This week, I made a book to help interest family members in their genealogy. I'm not sure of the proper terminology for this format, but I decided to just make something that suited my needs and let someone else decide what category to put it in!
I was thinking about making a book for each of the 16 greats-great grandparents. There used to be something in genealogy about reaching that generation. But I got smart and thought if I came down a generation, focusing on the great-grandparents, and made a book for each couple instead of each individual, I would only have four books to make! Plus I would be able to find more facts for this generation due to record availability. Four seems much more manageable.
I wanted to make pockets that would help them discover facts one at a time, to duplicate the joy of uncovering mysteries that genealogists get when they find records one at a time. It was a lot of fun to make, and I think I will be making more. Some pages were more successful than others.
Front cover. The cover is basically a quilt sandwich. I used scraps of fabric, some beaded ribbon, and a decorative flower. The wooden butterfly on the ribbon can serve as a decoration or a bookmark. The strip of fabric sewn behind the lace on the binding to keep it secure. It is tied down to keep the book in a manageable shape and secure the items in the pockets.
This is the binding. I think this burlap and lace ribbon works really well as a binding. This book is about this couple, and I was able to write the names on it for easy reference.
The pages are made out of scrapbook paper. I just folded the 12x12 scrapbook paper into half. There are three sheets of scrapbook paper folded in half in each signature, and there are three signatures. I sewed around them to make pockets before sewing the signatures to the book. Half the pages have a pocket at the top and half have a pocket at the side. There are a couple of pages that don't have any pockets.
I stuffed the pockets full of every document I could find about the couple - census records, city directory listings, marriage and death records, headstone photographs, cemetery records, obituaries, etc. There are also some tags with historical facts and quotations on them. Each of the pocket has 2-6 things in it, based on the timing and importance of the documents, all in chronological order.
To save you loading time, I won't show you all the pages, but here are the highlights. I decided not to write too much in the book itself, and let the documents speak for themselves. I wrote some things on the documents themselves to help direct the viewer on where to look (arrows where the names are mentioned, highlighting the top of the record showing the location or name of record, etc).
The first couple of pages start the viewer off on their journey. I don't know much about this couple besides the vital statistics facts, so I started with the birth. If I had known an exciting fact about them, I might have started off with that.
In the picture above, the left side is the inside cover. The black 67 is a tag in the doily. Behind it are a few facts about things that happened in the year 1867, the birth year of our subject, William. I was initially thinking about making half pages for their life before they became a couple, but since the pages are fairly small, and I didn't know how many pages would be devoted to that period of time until after I filled in the pockets with documents, I decided to just keep it simple for my first book.
The next page is the birth of the other subject of our book, Millie. The other side of the doily holds the tag labeled 69, to provide facts about things that happened in the year 1869, Millie's birth year. The tag is covering up her siblings who were there to welcome her. This first page doesn't have a pocket because I had to cut apart the scrapbook paper to keep both pages facing up because it is directional and I didn't want things to be upside down.
The clothespin holds a note card in which the reader can write down the different ways her name is spelled. I just thought it would make it more interactive that way, and the result would be interesting. (I used a pen to hold down the pages so I could photograph them.)
I also added some pockets on the pages themselves. The tag on the left lists the births and deaths of the Millie's siblings since her own birth, but before her marriage. I wanted to keep the book about this couple, but the siblings births and deaths would have affected Millie, so I wanted to make sure to include the facts.
The envelope is a fold down advertisement, which I covered up with scrapbook paper. It has facts about the names William and Millie. I wanted some facts to be simple and not as "heavy" factually to give some breathing space to rest the brain, and to interest people who are not genealogically inclined.
I also tried to make the pages interesting. I printed and included a lot of maps, seals of the state, and other decorative elements. I put some washi tape near each of the openings of the pockets to help reinforce them for use. I also added stickers, stamped some images, and pasted some printouts from things I found on the web.
After I did that, I included quotations about family or life. In this picture, the left side is a doily I colored with some markers, and the center is a fabric scrap from the fat quarter I got from Butterfly Threads I showed yesterday.
This pocket on the left has three tags, one to represent each of their three children. The right side quote "Savor your journey" is a clipping from a Weight Watcher's magazine! I found three quotes I could use in that magazine.
Here's another one of those quotes, "Life is a gift; celebrate every moment." That leaf on the left side is a cheap tablecloth with a flannel backing. I was cutting up a piece to make a placemat for Zeus's food bowl, and had plenty of leftovers to put in here.
The page before this one was a thicker piece of scrapbook paper (in the third signature), and it was also directional, so I did not double it to make it a pocket. That made it a perfect place to divide the book into two sections. The section before was the journey, one fact at a time. Behind if there is only these pocket pages, and I used it to provide a summary of each of their lives. It just has the "life story" printout from Ancestry.
The right side is the other side of that dividing scrapbook paper. I included some concluding family quotations on these two pages The one on the right has a flap, under which I wrote my name and date.
This is the inside back cover. I decided to leave the paper blank in case I could add new things I could find, particularly photographs. It feels like something important belongs here. There is plenty of room in the book for more embellishments too.
This is the outside back cover. More fabric scraps.
And here's the front cover when it is not tied. I am really happy with this book. I'm not sure how much more interesting it makes genealogy, but it was a lot of fun to make.
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