8 Ways to Preserve Your Family’s History
You see the commercials on television where people research their family history. They suddenly find out that Amelia Earhart is a long lost cousin.
Let’s face it – it is not necessary to go centuries back to learn about your family, but you would like to at least hear about your parents’ childhood and that of your grandparents. They have a lot of memories and stories to tell that should be preserved for years to come. But what are the best ways to do that? Technology does wonders to provide ways to preserve your parents’ legacies along with other fun modes to keep stories, recipes, pictures and more. Here are some ideas that can not only help you carry their memories with you, they can be fun projects to do with your parents.
- Scrapbook. If you are a woman, more than likely, you have gone to scrapbook parties or at least declined an invitation to one. The word scrapbook has even become a verb as women host parties that involve scrapbooking. A scrapbook is an oldie but a goody and a creative way to put pictures in a photo album with dates and details about the pictures. It takes a decent amount of time to put scrapbooks together but once they are complete, families enjoy looking at them together and reminiscing about each of the pictures.
- Create Photo Books. This takes some time but is an easier way to scrapbook. Once you have digital copies of pictures online, you can go to one of the photo book websites like Shutterfly or Snapfish to put together a photo book with pictures of your family.
- Record Stories. Whether you actually capture the story-tellers on video or simply record their conversations, take time to record stories about your elderly relatives’ childhoods. One of our residents got together with his brothers at a family reunion and started telling stories about growing up. With the three of them together, they recalled some very funny stories that had everyone around them hysterics from laughing. Luckily the stories were recorded. If you get this opportunity, you just might learn something about one of your parents you did not know and realize that your parents were just like everyone else and got into a little mischief as children.
- Design a Family Tree. A family allows you to see how far back your family goes and get to know more about the people in your family. Apps and websites like ancestry.com make it so easy to trace your family tree back generations and learn details about them. There are also software programs where you can create a tree.
- Collect Memorabilia. You can pretty much always find boxes filled with memorabilia when you clean out your parents’ attic. It always happens and can fill hours of fun if you ask your parents to go through boxes and tell them about the collected items. If you can, make a scrapbook using what you found. Your parents will appreciate your effort and you will have something to treasure for a long time.
- Plan a Family Reunion. One fantastic way to preserve family is history is to plan a family reunion. It takes a great deal of time but to see elderly family members who may not have seen each other in decades; it can be well worth the effort. Not only do you get a fantastic picture with tons of people in it, you can actually incorporate some of the suggestions mentioned into the festivities.
- Make a Cookbook. Many family get-togethers revolve around home-cooked meals – the kind where you have to unbutton your pants. Imagine taking those recipes that everyone loves and putting them into a cookbook. Heck — you may even have some more recent recipes for which you are famous. You can send letters to everyone asking for them. There is no better way to get in touch with them while collecting the favorites from many of your relatives and recipes handed down from generation to generation are one of the ultimate ways to preserve history.
- Continue Family Traditions. Most every family has a tradition they maintain year after year. Make every effort to continue family traditions as they bring so much comfort to family members. You never know, future generations may carry on the traditions with their families.
No matter what you do to preserve your family history, be sure to find a way to create a one of a kind gift for everyone. Not only will you get genealogical clues about your family and your past, you will be able to connect with relatives you have not seen in years as well as relatives you never met.
Rittenhouse Village At Lehigh Valley provides a range of senior living programs to help support a healthy and happy lifestyle for our residents. We also offer several senior living options that include SHINE® Memory Care. Contact us today at 610.433.9220 for more information.