I am participating in the #MyForeverFamily Challenge with 14 other awesome bloggers during the month leading up to Easter. The challenge is all about diving into Family History and celebrating families and Easter in meaningful ways. Trust me when I say you want to check out the resources from all the other bloggers, which will be shared here at Chicken Scratch N Sniff all month long.
I am happy to be sharing a project that goes with #7 on the My Forever Family list above: Family History Bingo! I had so much fun creating this template, and I hope it’s something your family will love also.
I first created the template (files are available to download below) and then began filling in the squares with photographs of my ancestors and my husband’s ancestors. I made all the photographs black and white so the older photos aren’t immediately recognizable as such. We already had several of the pictures of our ancestors because I went through and scanned in a bunch of old photos from my parents’ collection several years ago. However, I was able to find a lot of photos on Family Search as well. What an amazing resource that website is! I think it’s nothing short of incredible to have access to photos and stories about family members I’ve never known. It makes me a feel a connection to the people whose choices and experiences have helped to shape my own life.
I especially loved coming across this photograph of my Great-Great Grandmother (center, bottom), Hannah Cropper Ashby, and her six daughters. Hannah was an incredible poet and I consider her book of poetry to be among one of my most prized possessions. Her emphasis on living a creative life and developing and sharing her talents in a time and place when that was not a common pursuit, especially for women, is a legacy that I admire.
My Great-Grandmother is also in the photograph. She was a beautiful woman who died before I was born, but one glimpse at this photo of her and I was in tears. She has a huge, gorgeous smile and a light in her eyes that makes me want to sit down and talk with her. My mom and sisters and I share this toothy grin. All growing up, people would say things to me like ,”Where did you get that big smile?” and now, because of this photo, I know that I share my smile with a woman who lived long before me.
I plan to go back and make several more bingo sheets using the photos of other family members from both my side and my husband’s side of the family. I’m going to laminate these bingo sheets and then we’ll play the game as a family to help my children learn about their incredible heritage. I have a list of all the names of the people on the bingo cards and we’ll pick one out at a time and whoever has that person on his/her card will mark it with a candy or sticker. Not all the people are on every bingo card, and I was even a little tricky and used different photos of the same person on different cards. I’m hoping this will help us really recognize their faces.
I don’t know stories of all the people on our bingo sheets, but I think it would be really fun to play bingo using their stories, or interests and talents, as hints. There are lots of ways you could change up the game to learn more about your family history. I can’t wait to share the stories I do know with my kids and this bingo game is going to be a great way to start leading their hearts toward those who went before us.
I’ve included several files in the dropbox folder below, so whatever method of creating you are comfortable with should be met here. You can do any of the following:
1) If you have Photoshop, download the .psd file and use clipping masks to insert your ancestor’s photos over the black boxes in the template. If you don’t know how to use clipping masks, here is a really excellent tutorial.
2) Use the .png or .jpg files and copy/paste your photos over the boxes.
3) Print out the pdf and physically cut and paste your photos over the boxes.
There are lots of options here! I hope you find a way that works well for you and allows you to grow closer as a family. Stay tuned for more My Forever Family challenge contributions over the next few weeks!