There are many ways to ensure a special place for reunions in
the lives, hearts, memories and history of members. This section
outlines just some reunion preservation ideas and we invite you
to e-mail us your special
ways of preserving and celebrating your reunion.
on the dotted line
Signing on the dotted line is one way to preserve a very important
part of your family history. For people doing genealogy and family
histories, discovering an ancestor's signature is often considered
a significant find, a treasure, something to celebrate.
think ahead, wouldn't it be nice if there were a collection of
your family members' signatures? Without a concerted effort at
collecting them, signatures might have to continue to be those
special finds of genealogists. Resolve to collect members' distinctive
signatures at your next reunion.
books are probably passe now, but they could be a repository of
family treasures. In fact, autograph books might be something
for kids to make at reunions to collect family signatures. Save
these little books and years from now great family treasures will
make autograph books
Use two pieces of cardboard for front and back covers and plain
20# paper for filler pages. If you're into serious preservation,
you'll want to use archival paper for the inside pages. Punch
holes for the binding and thread some pretty yarn, ribbon or string
through the holes and tie in a bow on the front. The front cover
could be scored (bent) near the binding to give it slightly easier
Lloyd Dean made and shared a wonderful book called An Appalachian
Reunion from the 25th Dean & Creech Family Reunion. Instead
of using a conventional memory book format, Dean made a book comprised
mainly of candid snapshots of family members at the reunion. Pictures
are interspersed with clippings saluting achievements and sadly,
is a great way to remember your reunion and it's easy to do! The
cover is made of colored, light card stock. Inside pages are collages
of cut and pasted pictures. Imagine looking back at reunions and
see family spending time together. And family members will probably
be pleased to see themselves in the book. Thanks for a great idea,
family memories to bridge the past to the future
You've heard him tell the story a million times: during Thanksgiving
dinner ... at your son's birthday party ... even at Uncle Joe's
funeral. But your dad never tires of telling it.
eaten your mother's favorite chicken dish almost as many times
as you've heard your dad tell his favorite story. Now, you're
all grown up and live 1,000 miles away and your mouth still waters
every Tuesday, chicken surprise night at your parents' house.
you remember all the details of your dad's story to share with
your children after he's gone? Do you know your mom's secret chicken
surprise ingredient? Will you continue to enjoy her recipe when
she's not around? Or will you be overcome with nostalgia every
time you eat a chicken dish that's good but "nothing like
what mom used to make?"
the stories, memories, and experiences you take for granted. You
owe it to yourself. Give your family and future generations the
exciting adventure of traveling back in time.
Association of Personal Historians
Interest in collection and preservation of individual and family
history has increased dramatically in recent years. More people
than ever are writing and preserving memories as photographs,
tape recordings, scrapbooks, collections of family stories and
books. Exploring new technologies such as video cameras, computers,
color copies and short-run printing enhance traditional story
preservations and develop new methods.
Association of Personal Historians (APH) is a professional alliance
of individuals and businesses whose mission is to assist preserving
life stories and memories. Their members have expertise in journalism,
non-fiction writing, publishing, genealogy, history, storytelling,
gerontology, counseling and video documentary.
you are writing or thinking about writing your personal or family
history, APH offers "coaching" at www.personalhistorians.org/coach.html.
Lots of examples will help motivate you.
example, Randy C. Smart of ancestor-rescue.com preserves family
pictures from oblivion. He offers a new interactive multimedia
family album on cross-platform CDs. Another example is Julie McCullough
whose business, Your Story Oral and Family Histories, can help
you preserve much of your precious legacy.
tech memory sharing
"Ill be sure to send you a copy," my cousin said
about a picture he just took of my family. That was more than
five years ago and I still havent seen it. My pictures were
fine, but Id love pictures other relatives took. Everyone
knows about e-mailing pictures. Its easy to copy photos
and mail them the old fashioned way. But we dont make time
a Video by PhotoVision, is a new product that makes it easy to
share and present pictures in an entertaining way. A video with
special effects, music and titles is created with pictures. After
your reunion, mail your film to PhotoVision. The film is processed,
printed and the best pictures are selected for the video.
copies are $9.95 each. A single-use camera or roll of film is
provided for every ten videos ordered. Price includes film costs,
pictures and shipping costs to one person for distribution or,
for a fee it is sent to each members home. PhotoVision also
creates videos from old family pictures and 8mm movies to video
transfers. Contact Brenda Grimes, 800-533-7636.
to preserve family documents
A few simple and inexpensive precautions can help preserve your
familys important documents for future generations. Remove
paper clips, staples, and rubber bands. Dont glue, tape,
or laminate. Metal fasteners rust, rubber bands lose their elasticity
and adhere to paper. Both glue and tape hasten paper deterioration.
Glue also attracts insects and lamination may or may not be harmful,
but it is almost always irreversible.
documents at room temperature. Avoid storing them in rooms like
the basement and attic or against outside walls. Extreme heat
and dampness speed deterioration. A good rule of thumb is if the
temperature and humidity feel good to you, its fine for
your documents too. Documents are best stored in the dark (flat,
acid-free containers). Avoid lengthy displays under damaging fluorescents
or direct sunlight. Avoid folding and unfolding important documents.
If youre saving newspapers or clippings, store them separately
from other less acidic, documents. If the newspaper or clipping
is important for the information it contains rather than as an
artifact, photocopy it. A photocopy will hold up much longer than
the Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice NE.
One Memory at a Time: Inspiration & Advice for Writing
Your Family Story. by D.G. Fulford. (2000, 156 pages,
hardcover, $16.95) Doubleday, 1540 Broadway, New York NY 10036.
are a big part of your history and Fulford encourages you to simply
remember your past. There are questions like "Do you remember
being afraid to enter the first grade? Have you experienced a
natural disaster? Who did you go to the prom with? Did your mother
wear a fancy perfume?" All of these questions will send you
back in time and help you remember little things for you to pass
on to future generations.
Memory at a Time urges you to realize that there is no right
or wrong way to conduct your family history project. Instead of
using a strict, step-by-step process of conducting research, this
book offers suggestions for what may work best for you. Nine chapters
are broken into smaller parts to help you navigate the book and
notes set apart from the text highlight points in each section.
is an award-winning writer, nationally best-selling author, instructor,
speaker and former columnist for the Daily News of Los Angeles
and New York Times News Service. Her first book, To Our Children's
Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to Come,
written with her brother Bob Greene, is America's top selling
guide to writing family histories.
Memories to Manuscript, the Five-step Method of Writing Your Life
Story by Joan R. Neubauer. Ancestry, 266 W Center St, Orem
UT 84057; 1994, 40 pages, soft-cover, $5.95.
steps outlined by the author are a great review/reminder of what
must be outlined to write one's own story. She also recognizes
issues like frustration, feeling like you've lost control on your
way to the goal of your own story. She breaks the project into
manageable pieces and details each. Worth a look if you are preserving
your own fascinating tale.
We were remiss and are corrected by Lisa (McCullough) Youngblood,
Green Bay, Wisconsin. In a small article in our Winter 2000 edition,
Filling the time capsule, Youngblood said "you may want to
check your facts regarding color photos only lasting 50 years
and black and white ones lasting 100 years. In 1997, I had the
privilege of hearing Henry Wilhelm, director of research at Wilhelm
Imaging Research, Inc. and widely regarded as the world's foremost
expert on the care and preservation of color photographs. His
landmark book The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs, is
considered the definitive work on the subject. He told us that
color images are actually more stable than black and white. Because
color is the preferred film for most people, more research has
gone into making it more stable. Also, black and white images
are now usually printed on resin coated (RC) paper, just like
color photographs. If the black and white images were printed
on cotton-based fibers they would be more stable than the same
images printed on the RC paper. But, take my word for it, it's
very expensive and almost always has to be shipped out.
my field of preservation specialists, it is no longer the case
to suggest families take at least one roll of black and white
film for long term storage. The technology has advanced so that
most all 35mm prints will last a lifetime or more."
Makosewski, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a great source of wonderful
hints from her McLaughlin Family Reunion. Here are some new ones.
thing that worked well was renting a digital camera to take pictures
to insert directly onto the family tree. We didn't want to purchase
a digital camera because we weren't sure we would like the pictures.
For $50, we rented a $700 camera for the weekend. Good deal! In
addition, we created a table to list everyone's name, disk and
frame number. Then, as we took "mug shots," we found
the person's name, and simply wrote in the disk and frame numbers
of the shot. This was a great help in identifying pictures. We
were meeting many people, for the first time. We would never have
remembered who was who. Photographing and tracking was a two person
job; one to take pictures and one to keep track of names, disk
and frame numbers.
from Texas e-mailed that at their reunion, they had a poster with
lots of old photos of family members at a younger time. They numbered
photos then played guess who? The one who correctly identified
the most photos won. She says the game brings back memories, stories