Reunion Ready

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In about three weeks I will be heading north to visit the family. My aunts, dad’s sisters, had decided to have a family reunion in August and sent a note in my Christmas card to save the day. I figured it was just going to be the Van Houtte side of the family and started planning accordingly for taking the needed genealogy papers to mine the family for info. To my surprise the Siffrinn side of the family will be there also. This is great because there are a whole slew of them and I am missing a ton of info.


The next thing I needed to figure out was the best way to gather the information in a format that wouldn’t leave me scratching my head until the next family reunion in 50 years, if I lived that long. I opened FTM and tried several of the charts to see what was going to work best. None of them gave me exactly what I needed. I then noticed in the family view if you selected from the “file” menu, “print family view” I got just what I needed.


This meant I had to do each member individually and it would create a pdf of the page. I decided to do two separate books, one for each line of the family, to help simplify the gathering process. Once I had all of the Siffrinn side of the family, all 23 pages, I opened Adobe Acrobat and built one large file. I organized them with birth order and then children and grandchildren following each parent. Unfortunately Acrobat wouldn’t build me a nice neat table of contents, so I did that by hand. All I have left to do is create simple covers to slide into the 2 plastic binder sleeves. I’ll tie a pen to a long ribbon and attach it to the ring on each binder and they will be finished.


I had a slow day at work and printed of the ancestry chart in color, with pictures, not that I have that many. I taped all 26 pages together, it is three pages wide. I rolled it around an out dated calendar to keep it from getting smashed and added it to the genealogy pile. I printed a descendant’s tree from Louis Siffrinn which will show all of the attendees of the reunion and help people understand how we are all related. I created business cards with my contact information so that attendees can send information, stories or photos.


All I have left to do is print off on the duplexer the family ancestry books for both of my grandparents. My grandfather’s book is pretty small only 21 pages. Most of his family came off the boat, but I do have the ships manifest and some newspaper articles that I have recently dug up.


Grandmother’s book is a bit more sizeable at 935 pages and growing. Hers is the Burgess line and there is loads of information available on line for Thomas Burgess. To keep it under a thousand pages I had changed the index to be three columns instead of two and now it runs around sixty plus pages.




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