Friday, June 15, 2012

Little House on the Prairie: A Photo Genealogy for Father's Day

Thinking back on her father, Laura once said "Father's ancestors arrived in America on the Mayflower and he was born in New York state. But he was also raised on the frontier. 
He was always jolly, inclined to be reckless and loved his violin...."

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder Biography

Gift-giving is a tricky business for my siblings and me, especially around Father's Day.  It wouldn't be so bad if our dad were more like our mom, in which case we could combine the powers of Play Doh and a Bedazzler and he'd weep tears of joy over the result.  But that's not Dad.  Dad relishes a good gift---and by good, I mean the kind of gift that he wouldn't be embarrassed to display.  (See the spring-headed clay teddy bear that Miriam made for our mother in 1988.)

This year we all decided to give our own "Pa" a gift he could literally display with pride:  a photo genealogy of his patriarchal family line in honor of Father's Day.  After pilfering Grandma's house, combing the internet, and annoying great-uncle so-and-so for photos, I was finally able to gather six generations in our family line for the series.  Yes, I did have to cheat a bit by putting my brothers at the end as one of the generations, but it was either that or conduct an archeological dig in the farmlands of Norway for sketches of my great-great-great-great-grandfather.  I chose my brothers instead.

With a little help from the framing aisle at the local craft store, the photo center at Costco, and a photo editing program on the web, we have a finished Father's Day gift for an amazing father who is just one of many amazing fathers in his family line.

The best part of this whole process has been my children's reactions to the pictures.  Not only is it hard for them to imagine their grandpas as younger men, but they can't seem to get over the facial hair on their great-great-great-great-grandfather.  They think they're related to Santa Claus.  Fantastic news for them, not so fantastic news for this Mrs. Claus.

And so begins another gift-giving dilemma . . .

A very happy Father's Day to you and yours from Be Book Bound!

Linking Up With . . .


  1. What a neat idea! I love old family photos, and this is such a nice way to display them. You can see the resemblance between the generations.

  2. Ahhh! I've been so crazy busy, it's time to catch up on blog reading. I love this idea for father's day. I've always loved old photos of family members and learning about geneology as well. I have a black and white picture of my grandmother (who died when I was two), and made one of myself in black and white and put them in a frame and gave them to my mom a couple of years ago. The resemblance is uncanny and I love to see that. :) Have a wonderful weekend ladies!

  3. Such a lovely gift! It turned out beautifully.
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

  4. I love this idea! Not necessarily for Father's Day, but my hubby and I did this with our grandparents' and parents' photos from their high school years or soon after. I love looking at all these faces of family in a way that I'm not used to seeing them: young! I can connect with that. I also like that F will grow up seeing these faces on the walls of his house and love these people that he hasn't met (his great-grandparents). Thanks for always coming up with great ideas to share with your readers! Here is a link to my family's side genealogy photo gallery on Pinterest (I'm in the middle- my senior picture).


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