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Family Reunion Forum

Re: Displaying the family tree.
In Response To: Displaying the family tree. ()

Well, I'm planning on cheating myself for our up-coming reunion on the Family Tree. I've got too many projects going to really do a full-fledged chart and I've had such a difficult time getting relatives to go to the family website to complete a Family Branch Form. SO here's my cute little plan, I'm buying a roll of white butcher paper. Yep, just like they use at the store because it's white and the paper space is HUGE!

My present plan is to use about 18 feet of the roll. My Tree starts with the earliest set of NORRISs, Eliza and Buck who had eight children. I'll typeset the first and last names of Eliza and Buck and the eight kids (born between 1856 and 1870) with their spouses names and glue them to the top of the sheet. Cutting/pasting the names will allow me to space them far enough for the children underneath as the two boys outdid themselves. One had 25 children and the other 16. I can typeset names, cut/paste them onto the chart until I get to the 1930 Census and a little beyond.

At that point I'll leave the rest of the paper blank. I also plan to typeset a good size box with whitespace inside it. I'm hoping to get atleast 12 of these to a sheet of paper. Then I'll make photo copies so that my end result is TONS of cut-out black outlined boxes which I'll cut out. My precious little boxes will go into envelopes. I want about 50 boxes per envelope for each of those original eight ancestors. I'll be affixing these to the sheet of paper once I get to the reunion with strong clear tape. Also, very important, I'll use a different color for each child of Eliza and Buck. For instance, I descend from Sonnie Norris so his color will be BLUE. Color association works for any and everybody. Everything on the chart in BLUE will refer to Sonnie. I'll also need a small supply of black markers so lines can be drawn to connect boxes and scotch tape to affix the boxes in the right places.

Once I arrive at the Ranch for the reunion I'm going to put my 16 foot sheet of butcher block paper up on a long flat wall. Secure it VERY WELL! I will have also have drawn an outline 3 or 4 inches inside of the paper edges. In other words there will be a border surrounding the Family Tree. Remember to tape those envelopes of blank boxes underneath the names of the 8 children.

Since I'll be at the door handing out Goody Bags as family members come in. The first 6 or 7 kids under 12 years old that come in I'll be handing them an extra bag of goodies, cookies, candy, a special necklace just for them and large color crayons. Once I have my 6 or 7 kids I'll take them over to the Family Tree and point out the border line around the outside of the Tree and ask them to color anything that they like in that border area ONLY with three RULES.

1. They cannot color INSIDE the box;
2. There pictures MUST be somehow family related; and
3. They must write their names, the names of their parents and all four grandparents.

Once they finish this I'll give the Invitation over the microphone for every family there to go to the Tree as a gamily group and fill in their own information. Asking them to give maiden names of women when possible. Tell them there are little boxes on paper available in the envelopes to write their names and tape them to the chart in the right place. Also want them to please write their phone numbers and an email addy on the back of the paper before placing it.

I realize this is something that will require constant monitoring but, I'm not above bribing someone in their late teens to take on the task of making sure lines are drawn in the right places and I'll be nearby to assist as well. I know, it could be a shot in the dark but, it is interactive and I'm hoping that people will be curious enough to wander over. NOW, what would be really wonderful is if I could get that teenager to take pictures with a throw away camera of the groups as they affix their boxes to the chart.

P.S. Must add that everyone gets a colored arm band when they enter that correlates to the ancestor they descend from. I'll be wearing BLUE!


By far the best Reunion moment for me was when I attended my very first family reunion in 2006. I'd been asked to give a presentation on the History of the Norris Family. Little did they know that my knees literally knock and I pull nervously at my clothes whenever I have to speak in front of large crowds. I woke up that morning in tears because I was so nervous. I had my little info typed on a sheet and it shook in my hands as the room finally came to total quiet. At first that scared me, thought my slip was hanging or something until I realized that they were quiet because they wanted to hear what I had to say. Somehow I was able to get it all out, my love of the research, my quest to find the living, my joy at finding so many ancestors in the census reports, it all just came tumbling out of me. They gave me the biggest applause when I finally finished. I could have died on the spot of pure joy because in my heart I knew I had come home again in so many ways.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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