05 December 2012

Heritage Scrapbooking: Family Tree Pages

Digital Family Tree Scrapbook Page
Family Tree for Lewis and Louise Brown
For the past few weeks, I've shared information about selecting color for a scrapbook page and creating a cover page. If you've missed those posts, click here. Today, I'm going to talk about an essential layout that you must include in your heritage scrapbooks.

Family Tree Pages should be one of the first pages included in any heritage scrapbook. Why? Because it is the first page that nearly everyone turns to when they look at a family history album for the first time. It happened with my mother, aunts, and various friends as they looked at the albums I created about my parents. I often wonder why it's the first page to turn to. But that's not the point of this article.

I'm sharing the family tree I created for my maternal line for several reasons. First, to show that you are not limited to name and date trees. In a scrapbook, you can include photos. You might want to limit information to only the name and reserve the full family tree facts for another presentation format. I chose to use photos and names to keep the visual chaos to a minimum.

Second point, if you don't have photos for everyone, you can still include what you have. Who knows, in the future you just might come across a photo to add to complete the tree. You can print a copy of the photo for inclusion in a traditional album or drop in the photo for reprint for a digital album.If you print scrapbook layouts as single sheets and insert them in an album, you're set. Reprint that page and update your album.

Third, on the trunk of the tree, you could include a photo of one of the children belonging to the featured couple. This will allow you to tailor the tree to a particular family member.  Then that person can include a tailor made tree into their own family history projects.

Have fun and be creative. If you struggle in the creativity department, some wonderful designers have created templates to simply your tasks. Check out this great tool.

Heritage Album Family tree template

If you are creating a digital scrapbook, you can find a brush that will stamp a template on your page in PhotoSchop Elements. Follow the link for the included picture if you would like to follow that route.

I have had trouble using brushes in PaintShop Pro, so I decided to make my own family tree template. It wasn't too difficult. Plus, I customized to the family tree design to my liking. Although I will be switching from PaintShop Pro to PhotoShop Elements in the near future, it is possible to create unique family trees without a pre-designed template. But again, there are tools available if you need them.

If you liked this post, you'll like my book called Creating a Family History Scrapbook Digitally in 12 Simple Steps. Available through Amazon. Click the title to be directed to order the eBook.


  1. This is a very nice looking tree. Is it a digital work or the old fashioned cut and paste type?

    1. Thanks for the compliment. It's digital. I could never finish my paper scrapbook. It was created in PaintShop Pro. But I'm converting it to PhotoShop Elements.

  2. This looks great! Another useful tool I've found for making a family tree template Is Lucidchart. They have a simple yet powerful tool that is web based.



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