Sunday, May 3, 2015

Gift Ideas for Genealogists

Cool Gift Ideas for Family History Enthusiasts

If you're buying a gift for someone who spends their time tracing their family tree then you might be wondering what on earth to get them. I've found some cool gift ideas for budding genealogists through to certified family historians right here!

Not everyone enjoys tracing their family trees, but for those who do it can become somewhat of an obsession which leads to the non-family tree nuts to scratch their heads and wonder what on earth to get them for their birthday, Christmas etc.

 As a person who enjoys piecing together her own family tree I thought I would put together a cool gift guide for you that is sure to impress.

Funny Genealogy T-Shirts

A Cool Gift Idea for the Family Historian in Your Life

Now as much as I'd love to find someone had discovered the old parish records thought to have been destroyed in a fire during the 1940s, the odds are pretty slim - finding a funny t-shirt that I could wear however - the odds of that are pretty good.

One of my favorite sites for finding unique t-shirts has to be Zazzle and they've come up with some great ideas for genealogists as you can see here -

Creating Gifts from Family Photos

If someone is interested in tracing their family history then they are going to appreciate family photographs and it's easy to use these as a basis of lots of different gift ideas that they are bound to love.

Clocks, calendars, photo books, quilts and more can all be made from family photos for what will become a very treasured gift.

A Family Clock

Telling the Time with your Ancestors!

Use different family photographs to make a unique clock for them - parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, great grandparents etc These clocks have 12 spaces to fill so depending on the photos you can find you can decide on the best way to re-arrange them and decide whether you just do one branch of their family or several.

If you're not too fond of the design of that particular clock there are plenty of others to choose from, including these three I've selected for you.

Family History Quilt

A Photo Quilt

Another cool idea is to use family photos to make a quilt - you could make it a small quilt to hang on the wall or a full sized quilt for them to actually use. To be perfectly honest I'd never thought of this before and I think it's a great idea, unfortunately I don't think I'd get anyone to make one for me so I'll have to make my own!

Here are some links that will show you exactly how to make this incredibly personal gift idea.
  • Photo Quilt - A Mini Tutorial - This site shows how to make a photo quilt that also includes other cool fabrics - they were making a quilt for kids going off to college.
  • How to Make Photo Memory Quilts - Another tutorial on making these quilts because sometimes the way some people write instructions make it easier to follow than others!

Now if you can embroider or do cross-stitch I think it would be great to incorporate that on a quilt as well. Under the different photographs you could stitch the name of the person and a date if known - this way it makes it even more relevant which I think is great.

Photoshop - Make Your Family History Come Alive

If your family historian loves looking at and collecting together the family photos then their own copy of photoshop can help to keep all of the photos organized on their computer. Remind them to have back ups as well though (in actual fact an external hard drive for their family tree information and family photos is another great gift idea - I know my dad lost a lot of his research when his computer died. Luckily for him we share all of our research and mine is kept backed up on an external hard drive!).

Photoshop also enables you to do touch ups of old photos so that the images look a lot better. I've gotten rid of age spots on photographs as well as darkening some that have faded so that you can see your family members easier.

Being able to put faces to names helps to bring your family tree together and gets younger members more interested in learning about where they come from.

Memories - The Ultimate Gift for a Genealogist

Collecting Information to Bring Their Tree Alive

Now usually it's the person tracing their family tree that asks about family members and stores all of the information away, but if you wanted to you could create your very own memory book or recipe book for them to treasure.

Visit family members and get them to tell you their favorite story about grandma, great granddad, Christmas growing up, the war, etc Choose the topic for yourself and collect all of the stories to write or type up, add any photographs you might have and have a beautiful gift idea.

I would personally write it all down in a hard backed journal and include photos almost so it looked like great grandma's diary.

Another cool idea is to collect family recipes and collate them together in a family recipe book. Unfortunately I couldn't get my great grandmas recipes as she never wrote any of them down, but even if you can only get recipes going back one generation it's still worth collecting together.

Any of these following hardcover journals would work really well as they all have acid free paper in them which basically means they are up to archival quality - a must have from a genealogy viewpoint.

A Family Bible

In the past people used to keep family records of births, christenings, marriages, deaths and burials in the family bible and I think it's a great tradition to re-start. The first step to take is to get a family bible like this one and I think that it's a great gift idea whether the person is particularly religious or not as they'll understand exactly why you chose to give them this.
 The Holy Bible, Illuminated Family Edition, King James Version

My family's bible mysteriously disappeared right around the time that my dad started asking his favorite aunties questions about the family tree. Turns out that my great grandmother not only had a child only a couple of months after marrying great grandfather, but their first born was already a couple of years old ..

I do have my husband's grandmother's bible which my daughter thinks is awesome because it's so old and has a dated inscription inside. Unfortunately she didn't keep any family details in it :(


More Fun Gift Ideas for Genealogists

I showed you some cool t-shirts from Zazzle further up the page and you can also get calendars made up with family photos through them as well as mugs, bumper stickers and other cool ideas.

I'm including some funny gift ideas here -

 Genealogy Key to Past Bumper Sticker Genealogy; Past Lane Two-Tone Coffee Mug Genealogy, Relativity bumper sticker



  1. I keep thinking I want to begin to research my family tree. I was given a few pages of family names and dates from my grandmother and am now curious to know more. Great gifts for genealogists here.

    1. It's a great hobby, but a warning it 'steals' a lot of time! I love it and it's so much easier nowadays as so many records are available online compared to when I first started looking into it.

  2. I need to leave this page up on my screen so hubby can see what I want for my birthday.