Miryelle Resek | May 5, 2017

5 Ways to Give the Gift of Family History

This is the third of a three-part series exploring how to engage the rising generation in family history. Read parts one and two.

Think back to the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received. Why was it meaningful to you? Giving gifts is a powerful way to show someone you care about them—and not all gifts have to be expensive! Sometimes the most meaningful gifts are those that come from the heart, and what better way to make a gift meaningful than by incorporating some family history into it?

If you’ve ever wondered what kind of gift to give to a fellow genealogist or family member, consider the following:

Family Photos Blanket


Do you have a lot of family photos that you aren’t sure what to do with? Use them to create a family photo blanket! Personalized blankets with photos of children, grandchildren, or even ancestors can be an excellent way of bringing comfort and preserving family memories. The blanket doesn’t have to be just photos; if you have a favorite family quote or saying, include it on the family blanket.

You can order customized blankets at places such as Shutterfly and Wal-Mart.

Customized Journal


Do you have a bookworm in the family? Maybe someone you know enjoys writing down their thoughts and experiences. Consider a customized journal with a photograph of an ancestor on the cover and a note from you or another family member on the first page.

Bubble Magnets

Keep your family heritage alive with family magnets! These can be displayed on refrigerators, school lockers, or other metal surfaces around the house.

To create your own, you’ll need:

  • Flat glass marbles (generally near the floral department in a craft store)
  • Decoupage sealer, such as Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Magnets

Once you have these items, follow these steps:

  1. Print a photo of an ancestor small enough to put on the bottom of the flat marble.
  2. Put a drop of decoupage sealer on the bottom of the marble, spreading it out in a thin layer using a foam brush.
  3. Attach the photograph to the decoupage side of the marble so the front of the photograph faces towards the glass marble. Once the photograph is dry, add another layer of decoupage sealer on the bottom of the marble to seal in any gaps.
  4. Once the second layer of sealer is dry, hot glue a magnet on the bottom of the marble.

Family Puzzle


Similar to a family blanket, you can also customize a puzzle with family pictures or quotes. Create your puzzle with a family portrait, or, if you want to include family history, use a photo of your ancestors or of something like your great-grandfather’s first car.

You can order customized puzzles at places such as Shutterfly and PrinterStudio.

Family Calendar


Stay organized with a family calendar full of family photos. Your calendar can include photos of your family today, but consider including the photos and stories of your ancestors as well. Then, every time your children look at the calendar, they’ll be reminded of something about their family heritage.

You can order customized puzzles at places such as Shutterfly and Persnickety Prints.

Other gift ideas

These aren’t the only family history gifts you can give your family. Here are some more gifts you can personalize with family photos:

  • Cards
  • Dice
  • Lunch boxes
  • Mugs
  • Phone cases

“Be thinking of ways that you can … get [genealogy] in the hands of your family,” said Rhonna Farrer in her RootsTech 2017 presentation. “This brings history and your story to life.”

How have you incorporated family history into your gifts? Tweet us @RootsTechConf

Miryelle Resek

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