Make a Family Tree this Summer

A great project that will have long-lasting meaning for you and your family is a family tree.

With summer vacations, you have an opportunity to interact with so many of your family members to recollect and share information.  We suggest that you consider using your computer to memorialize and stylize your efforts.  There are many genealogy templates available (some are free) that can help you organize your history in a visually pleasing way that your younger relatives will likely more easily relate to!

Start off simply by listing the names and relationships that you recall in a hierarchical way (again, check for free, fill-in-the-blank templates online that you can download to help).  Find photo albums, papers, etc. and bring them all together in one place for easy access.  Then reach out to others who you think can help.  We know of Suddenly Solos who have organized weekends to bring everyone together with their own memorabilia and documents to help bring this project to life.

There are many “finder” services online ( which can whet your appetite for doing such close-to-the-heart detective work.  But again, don’t make this a one-person project.   Bring as many of your family members into the effort as possible.  This is an unbeatable way to look backward and forward into time with those you may not have been in close contact with.

If you don’t already have a scanner, get one.  They are relatively inexpensive and are easy to use.  We strongly suggest that you get software that allows for “multiple image detection” so you can put several photos on the scanner at one time.

And since this kind of project is never really “finished,” consider creating yearly get-togethers to update your family tree as a way to stay close!


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