It's time to turn your genealogy skills into a great gift.
You're the family tree nerd in your family, right? Then you're the best person to whip up a genealogy-based Father's Day gift. (If you can't give a gift to your dad, I'm sure there's a father in your family that you like a lot.)
Time's running out, so let's get to it.
Pull together every genealogy item you've found that includes your dad. These are your main ingredients:
- Birth record
- Census forms
- Yearbook photos
- Marriage documents
- Photos throughout his life
- Highlights of his accomplishments
Blend these ingredients together in a way that helps tell dad's life. I'm going to mix images from the list above into a Microsoft Word document. That way I can write detailed captions for each image. And I can write a few sentences between the images, telling the story of Dad's life.
|Who could be better than a genealogist to make the perfect Father's Day gift?|
With your ingredients gathered, whip up a timeline of Dad's major life moments. My dad's timeline would go like this. Think about how these types of events might relate to your dad.
- Birth in Ohio (I can't get the document itself.)
- Move from Ohio to New York (He's in the 1940 census in New York as a little boy from Ohio.)
- Grade school graduation (I recently got photos of him with his diploma and his parents.)
- High school graduation (Dad's Cardinal Hayes High School yearbooks are online.)
- Move back to Ohio (I have photos of his family in Cleveland.)
- Joining the U.S. Air Force (My dad was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, which is a big part of his identity.)
- Marrying my mom (I've got images of the Bronx, New York, marriage license index in 1954.)
- His bail-out as his jet plane started to break apart and crash (I have a copy of a newspaper article about his bailout.)
- Vacations with his young family (My brother digitized our old family slides.)
- His long succession of houses (Houses and moving are a big part of our family story.)
With your outline well-mixed:
- Fold in dates and places
- Knead each bullet point into a few sentences
- Sprinkle in photos and document images to taste
I can't give my father a hard-copy of this collection in person. He lives too far away, and I thought of it too late! But if I build it in Word and save it as a PDF, I can email it to him.
Here's how a section of my dad's story is shaping up. It's not a lot of text because I think he'll enjoy the photos more.
|Think through Dad's life and its milestones for a wonderful Father's Day gift.|
Don't over-cook it. Don't stress out. Just start writing and finding images to use. The words will come to you.
It's a lot more satisfying than a generic Father's Day card, don't you think?