About 10 years ago my mom completed a beautiful fan-shaped family tree she’d bought through Martha Stewart (like this one). I’ve always loved it, but knew I would never do it. Mainly because of my handwriting. My mom has gorgeous, even handwriting and the completed chart is a masterpiece.
In December I was at one of my favorite funky craft fairs called the Beehive Bazaar in Provo, Utah and saw this family tree version that spoke to me. I loved the colors and the simple, graphic design. And I felt like the style would work with/conceal my messy handwriting. So I bought the kit.
After sitting in my craft room for a few months, I finally got it out last week and assembled it. I. Love. It. It was really quick and easy to put together. All I needed was a pair of scissors, a Pigma pen, a frame (fits perfectly in an 18″ x 24″ frame – I got mine for 40% off at Michael’s) and the names of our progenitors.
I love the finished look. For now I hung it on a wall in our family room/eating area because I just love to look at it. At some point I may frame some pictures of ancestors to hang around it and relocate them all to a bigger wall.
I already had copies of my and my husband’s family trees, so the project moved quickly. If you haven’t researched your family tree, there are lots of free resources on the internet to help you do that. (Family Search is a great place to start.) It’s so rewarding.
Personally I love knowing my roots. Especially because so many of them worked so hard and sacrificed a lot to give their posterity the blessings that I now reap. Whenever I feel like my life is hard, I think of them, and then I buck-up. The woman above is my great-great-grandmother named Ida Hunt Udall. She was a cultured, educated, musically-talented woman who ended up raising her family on the Arizona frontier. She is one of my heroes.
Whenever she has something she needs to get through she tells herself,
“I’m a Viking. I can do it.”
I loved learning more about my husband’s ancestors as I put this tree together. These are his grandparents whom I adore. His grandfather passed away a few years ago. My kids call their great-grandma Nonna – ‘grandma’ in Italian. Both of them were born to parents who emigrated from Italy during the early 20th Century. Both had siblings who had been born in Italy before the families left. Both of their mothers never really learned English and worked hard taking care of their large families.
A couple of years ago I was visiting the Lower Eastside Tenement Museum in Manhattan. (Such an awesome place!) One of the tiny tenement apartments had been restored to look like it did when an Italian immigrant family lived there in the 1930’s. I started tearing-up thinking that this was my own childrens’ heritage. My husband’s great-grandparents lived in Portland, Maine, not Manhattan, but so much of their lifestyles would have been similar.