In a recent conversation with one of my children I mentioned one of our ancestors, they looked at me and said, "I get to confused by who everyone is." As we talked some more I knew I wanted/needed to create something to visually show who our ancestors were. I can honestly say that is has become a unexpected treasure and I'm excited to share it with you.
As an experiment I decided to only use photos and information I found on familysearch.org and found several lines that did not have any photos attached. Thankfully I was able to fill in the gaps and it made me realize how many resources I have stored on my computer that could be benefiting distant cousins and family members. That will be one of my next big projects, adding documents and photos to my ancestors files. I even have a file of hundreds of old photos that are not even from either of our lines. I have no idea where they files came from, but I have had them for about 5 years. I found the line and will slowly add their photos, so if you are a Lamoreaux or Morrill. I have no idea how I have your old family photos, but they should be all familysearch.org by the end of next month.
I created individual cards for each of children, John and I, my parents, our grandparents and on a couple more generations. Each card contains birth and death years, along with locations (to help in understanding immigration). I included the names of their parents and children. I wanted to include a few interesting facts about each of them, but the 3 x 4" card were not quite big enough and I wasn't going to sacrifice the photo size. My plan is to go back and create a single sheet template there I can add interesting facts. I will post the download when I get it done.
Today's download includes a psd template for the ancestor cards, as well as the png/jpg files of each of the different colors. Some basic knowledge in an editing software is needed to complete this project. I will unfortunately not be able to help, but I have tried to make everything as simple and versatile as possible.
I have also included the main seal file if you would like to use different paper instead of the the gingham that I chose. The jpg file can be used with 12 round label/sticker sheet. You could also space them closer together using the single png file and use a 2" circle paper punch if you would like.
Once you create the individual person cards there are some printing options/suggestions:
1. I printed a set on 8.5 x 11 presentation paper so that I could have a double sided card effect. First side with the family cards (6 cards/page) and the opposite side with the desired gingham. I appreciated not having to match front and backs. I could just cut out the individual cards 3" x 4" and the gingham would be great. I then adhered the stickers to the center gingham. (as shown in second photo of this post)
2. The second way I printed the cards was on some 4 x 6 photo presentation paper that I was able to print double sided with cards. This eliminated the sticker step. A single cut in the middle made these quite simple. I would like to eventually find a printer that could mass (at least 10 sets, so each of the children can have one) produce a set of double sided playing cards.
3. Another option was to print only the family cards on photo paper. I used this option for creating a simple visual aid for the children one night. There was wonderful stories, memories, and facts shared. I was surprised at how meaningful these few minutes were.
I created the game primarily to be a memory type game.
Loaf was my initial tester. It was fun to hear her comments about the different photos and connections. I was surprised how often she would ask who the people were and why we loved them or where they were from. She doesn't love memory so she played her own game.
When the little boys got home from school they were happy to play a quick game of "go fish" (remember to make a set of wild cards if you want to play this game). A delicious caramel apple and surprise hands dealt made the afternoon quite fun.
A few other options to use the family cards:
1. Create a family tree.
2. I found it hard to decide what photo to use so I decided, when possible, to make two cards one older and one younger. It was fun to match them up and talk about the similar family characteristics with other family members.
3. Matching husband to wife was another way we challenged the children to get to know their ancestors. It was interesting what you learned just from the wedding dates. One couple was married on Valentines day nearly 100 years ago.
4. After it was all done I wished I had created a bigger file to make enlargements, but I just resized the 3x4" to a half sheet and the quality turned out great. The bigger size makes it a little easier to see with out bigger group.
Download Akimball_roots_game (part 1: labels and "my family" cards)
Download Akimball_roots_game2 (part 2: psd and png files for ancestor cards)
Download Akimball_roots_game3(part 3: 8.5 x 11" gingham digital paper)
Family history bingo download found here (coordinates with our family history matching game).