‘Tis the Season for Genealogy Gifts

It’s the time of year many of us are searching for gift ideas for loved ones. What do you get someone who has everything? Or whose tastes you don’t understand? You don’t want to give a gift the recipient doesn’t like, but gift cards are so impersonal.

We genealogists can create and give unique gifts that family members will love; we can share part of our research and help the recipient learn more about our mutual family history. In Preserving Memories: How to Write a Family History, my editor, Lillie Ammann, tells how her mother enjoyed writing about her life and her family. Each year at Christmas, she gave her children new stories to add to the collection. Lillie said those family stories were treasured gifts each Christmas and created a valuable legacy that has lasted long past her mother’s death.

My favorite gifts are copies of old letters or other documents. Almost any document can be inexpensively copied on parchment paper for an authentic look. For example, I recently found a fascinating letter written by an ancestor asking for help in rescuing her granddaughter who was being help captive by Indians. The copy can be framed to make an attractive display – one that is especially meaningful to the recipient. I like to choose letters or records that are most appropriate for the specific family member or friend. These gifts are always welcomed with enthusiasm and proudly displayed by the recipients.

Those of us who love genealogy have a wonderful opportunity to share the results of our research with loved ones who would like to know more about their family or who would enjoy displaying a historical family document without having to do the hard work to gather the information and find the records.

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