This weekend, I started browsing MY baby book. I used to love looking through it as a child, and am hoping Kit will enjoy his/her baby book too! I’m really interested in creating a baby book, rather than buying one. In today’s digital age, that shouldn’t be too difficult! As an added bonus, the book would only contain what I want to document (rather than having potentially awkward blank pages).
My plan is keep track of typical baby book items in a draft format – things such as tracking milestones, what the world is like in 2012, photos, etc. Then once I have enough material compiled, I’m going to make a photo book.
One of the things I think is really nice about my baby book is the family tree my mom had filled out. There’s direct lineage shown, with names, birth dates and birth places. Plus, there’s a section where she filled in the extended family – aunts/uncles/cousins (well, at least the cousins born before I was).
So I also took the opportunity to update the family tree I had started testing out a few weeks ago at geni.com. I’m using the free version of the website, and it seems to be meeting my needs at this point. There’s space to enter in names (including maiden names), birth/death dates/places, current locations, etc. There’s actually more fields than I want to document, which is a good thing!
Just based on my baby book info, here is what my 5-generation direct lineage looks like:
Based on just my baby book data, I was able to make it to the great-grandparent level on both sides of my family, and my mom supplemented me with some names to round out my maternal great-great-grandparents (plus one set of great-great-greats, indicated by the green arrow on the right). I need my dad’s help with his side of the family, but I’m pretty sure my Grandpa K has been working on compiling this info. I’m not sure how much Grandpa has in an electronic format, but maybe I can help by using this website??
The free version also offers an expanded tree, which incorporates extended family and multiple marriages, etc. This seems pretty well thought-out to accommodate today’s complicated family trees.
I’m the white box on the bottom, and you can see how quickly the extended family branches out! I’ve only updated for my parents siblings (including half-sibs) and their children, and it already looks like this!
The really neat thing is that you can click on anyone in the tree, and rearrange it from that person’s perspective, including the 5-generation direct lineage. So once I add Kit into the tree, I’ll be able to print everything out from both sides of Kit’s family. If Kit ever has to do a family tree, we will be set!
Of course, I don’t have the knowledge of Steve’s family to go very deep down his line. So hopefully some gentle prompting of Kit’s grandparents (hint, hint Liz & Jeff), I can get some of that info entered into the tree.
I’m also going to have to upgrade to a paid version once I hit 100 people in the tree. But I’m liking the website more & more as I play around with it, so I think it will be worth the cost to get a snapshot of the family tree as of a certain point in time. Of course, there are lots of software options available, but again, I’m liking the formatting going on with Geni.