Babies are such a nice way to start people. That quote from Don Herrold has always amused me. It’s true. Babies really are a wonderful way to start people! When we think about our family, sometimes it is difficult to imagine Grandma or Grandpa as a baby! When I discovered some photos of my 18 month old Grandma Hopkins toddling along on the North Dakota prairie, I was delighted.
What do you know about your own birth? Your parents? Grandparents? For that matter, have you taken the time to write down the birth story of your own children. Sometimes there isn’t much to tell or facts have been lost to time. Sometimes there are hilarious stories of getting to the hospital, crazy incidences, strange food cravings or unexpected deliveries. My own husband was named after the teenage boy who drove his mother to the hospital – that’s about all we know from his birth story.
It would seem like the beginning would be the one place that everyone would start and have all kinds of wonderful stories, but as I mentioned above, it’s not always easy. So I would like to talk about ways you can document your family member or ancestor’s birth, even without the details or photographs.
First of all look for a birth record. Some family’s keep a copy on hand. Others might have it written in the family Bible. If you are blessed in this way – scan them and you can use them on a layout. If you do not have access to a birth record in your family, you might have to do a little searching. Family Search has a number of resources to help you find birth records as well as Ancestry. There are many genealogy websites out there. US Gen Web is a great resource for free genealogy records in the United States. There is an international version at World Gen Web too.
Finding birth information may tell you a little or a lot, depending on where it is recorded, during what time period and so on. At minimum is usually the mother’s name and the date of birth. But you might find out other information such as the father’s location, the usual home of the parents if they did not reside in the community where the child was born and even the occupation of the father and/or mother. Sometimes you can go from no information to quite a bit in a matter of minutes. That is when genealogy is really fun!
The flip side to that, is that sometimes you can find nothing. During some time periods births may not have been officially recorded, the courthouse may have been burnt or the records lost in a flood or other natural disaster. That is when genealogy is frustrating!
But, do not lose hope. There are still options for creating pages that document your family member’s birth. Do you know what year they were born? Look up what happened in that year. It’s fun to see the cost of a home or food, what music was popular, who was famous and other trivia. A simple search engine search produced the following sites: Year By Year dMarie Time Capsule and The HistoryChannel’s What Happened on this Day Day In History This one, Brainy History, goes back a couple millenia!
Including some information about the day your ancestor was born or the year they arrived on earth, puts things into perspective. You can make fun and creative pages with this information and may be able to find photographs on the Internet of some of the famous people or events or inventions from that time.
Now for the challenge: Let’s scrapbook about birth – our own, our children, a family member, an ancestor. Include photos if you can and journaling. Write as much as you can about the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How, and all the senses. If applicable, interview family members for information. And remember heritage is happening right now too, so journal about your own children as well.
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Thank you to all the wonderful artists whose layouts I used to share as examples on this post.
Happy Scrapping. Thank you for joining me. Forget-Me-Nots by Theresa Lindamood