Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Search Ancestry Census Page Free Today

Today only you can search the US Census free at Ancestry.  They also have a free Census guide to download.  Happy Searching!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Family Historian Big Start Kit, Clusters, Papes and Easy Album

So, I've been busy, designing!  This is something I have had running around in my brain for quite some time and it feels good to get it done and in the shop.  First off is the Family Historian Big Starter Kit.

Are you the historian in your family? I am in mine and there is a lot of information to keep track of. Whether you are just starting out, or you've been doing this for awhile, this kit was created to help you handle your family photos, stories and memorabilia. The elements are neutral tans, beiges and creams, as well as the papers. Because the majority of the kit is neutral it will work together with some of my other kits like: Homestead, Family Album Big Heritage Kit, Family Treasures Family Tree Kit, My Family Tree series of kits, as well as many others here in the Heritage Scrap store.

Frames and Journal Elements
Of course it is important to keep track of the vital statistics for your family, so there are plenty of journaling options and frames. In most of my kits I decorate these, but I have left them plain and blank so that you have more freedom to design your own pages with them.

Special Papers
This preview shows the special papers that were created - a French memo board, rumpled sheet music, an old map, a delicate edged overlay and a worn overlay featuring one of the photo blended oak tree papers that were created with my own photography.

Some of the 12x12 300dpi background papers.  I have tried to create some neutral but interesting backgrounds so that your photographs and stories take center stage!
More background papers in lighter colors.  Several of the backgrounds have blended photographs from the lovely oak trees in northern California.  Others have vintage newspapers and there is a mix of feminine and masculine/neutral patterns.
And since this is a starter kit designed for both the experienced and the beginner, I have included a bonus color pack for those who do not have other kits to draw from, or for color ideas in mixing with the neutrals.
As you can see, this is a packed kit!  It includes:
44 Papers

39 12x12 300 dip background papers
4 Overlays
1 French Memo Board

79 Elements

11 Frames
14 Flowers
6 Leaves/Ferns
5 Bows (1 recolored)
5 Ribbons
1 Bead Spill
1 Bookmark
2 Borders
1 Set Brackets
2 Brads
1 Button
2 Chains
1 Clip
1 Coin Cluster
1 Doily
2 Watches
1 Lace
1 Lock/Key
1 Fountain Pen
3 Stamps
1 Staple
2 Pieces of Tape
4 Labels (3 recolored)
1 Banner
1 Book
1 Telegram
1 Postcard
4 Journal Cards
1 Scrap Paper
1 Envelope
One of my favorite things to design, are clusters. Since the main kit is a starter kit and some purchasers of a starter kit may not know how to combine and create clusters (or maybe you just think they are pretty), I have created a Clusters Add On.  In it you will find 10 clusters, many page sized, others floral, designed for journaling, frames or borders.  Dress up your pages!
These cuties are my Grandpa Hopkins and his little sister Vera.  The photographs were taken 1907 and 1908 respectively.  A page cluster was used to create this, adding only the journaling circle and background paper which come from the Family Historian Starter Kit.

Some of you may not want a whole big neutral kit, but would like some special family tree and vintage newspaper, music and map papers and overlays to mix in with your other kits to add a special touch a project.  That is why I separated out 9 12x12 300dpi background papers and 3 overlays into the Family Historian Special Papers Pack.  PLEASE NOTE:  These are the papers INCLUDED in the Family Historian Big Starter Kit, so if you purchase it or one of the bundles, you already have these - they are not an add on.
This fun family tree was actually created with the next kit I'll highlight, along with elements from the starter kit.  But this quick page from the Easy Album shows what one of the special papers looks like.
Family Historian Easy Album is designed to be just that - Easy!  If you want, you can simply slip in photos and write and you have an album.  It is left neutral so that you can add embellishments to create your own masterpiece!
One of the things I envisioned this Easy Album being used for, is a quick project to be created for a gift.

There are 3, 4 and 5 generation photo family trees as well as a pedigree chart on a tree background.
There is even a fun French Memo board page to which you can add multiple photos and memorabilia. (There is a coordinating "blank" memo board background in the main kit)
The pages can be configured in any order that you wish.  And there is a combination of full page photo frames, multiple photos on one page and photos accompanied by journaling.
All together the Family Historian Easy Album includes:
19 Premade Pages
1 Blank Page
1 Front Album Cover
1 Back Album Cover
1 Album Spine
This layout of my great grandparents was created with a page from the Easy Album, with the addition of a cluster from the Cluster add on and other elements from the Starter Kit.
This one is also a single photo page from the album with the cluster and a bow added.
Do you like more than one item?  You can save with a bundle.

You can get the whole shebang in the Family Historian Big Bundle, which includes the Family Historian Big Starter Kit, Cluster Add On and Easy Album.
And if you aren't interested in the album but would like both the Cluster Add On and the Family Historian Big Starter Kit, you can find them both in the Family Historian Bundle.
While these are new, the kits are on sale for 25% Off and the Bundles 10% Off (because they already offer a significant discount).
Phew!  This is a long post!  Thank you for making it to the end with me.  I hope you will enjoy these new kits.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Contest WINNERS!!!!

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who participated.  And thank you to Ancestry for sponsoring and supplying the prizes.  To determine winners I used the website

1. Six months US Ancestry Membership goes to Anita B.!  Her winning comment was #5 about brick walls:

#2 My frustrating genealogy "brick wall":
I want to know, who were the parents of my great-grandfather?!!

George Eugene Brown was adopted by a couple in Texas (Joseph & Elizabeth Baker), but they left his last name as 'Brown'. We've wondered if that was true, but last fall my brother had DNA testing done, and we fit into Brown Group 10; a few other people there are dealing with brick walls, as well!

It would be so exciting to actually find out who his parents were!!

2. A copy of 2012 Family Treemaker goes to jmdt!  Her winning comment was #9, which was also about brick walls.  I suppose those brick walls were good for something!

This is my #2 entry. One of my brick walls is Jacob Garber/Gerber/etc. He was born about 1800 in Pennsylvania, probably Berks County. He married Ann Campbell in 1825 and had five known daughters and one known son. One of the daughters was my 2x great-grandmother Harriet Garver Sassaman.
I posted more information on Jacob on my genealogy website:

Winners, please contact me.  If you do not have my direct email address, you can find it above in the "contact me" tab that runs across the top of the page.

Thank you and anyone who participated in the contest and would like a coupon good for $5 in my shop, please let me know!  Coupons will be good through November 1, 2012.  (Only people commenting in the original contest are eligible)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Kit: Rosen

ANCESTRY GIVEAWAY - click on link to go to details.

Hot off the press!  Rosen was a really fun kit to create.  I was inspired by my friend who loves roses and this kit is full of them!  The name Rosen is taken from the German word for roses.  It should be in the store any moment and when it is, I will come back and put a direct link.  For now you can go directly to my store at Heritage Scrap.

Here you can see the flowered papers that have a little touch of vintage, a little shabby chic, a little elegance and a whole lot of fun.

Included are two worn and torn overlays and a lovely mat.  This preview also shows some of the rosy journaling options.

In the elements, I wanted to be sure and include a lot of components to make your own flowery creations.

There are many frame options for you to choose from.

Soft coral pink and green tones compliment the roses.  The colored papers are subtly designed so as to coordinate with the floral prints.

This is one of the layouts I created with Rosen.  The photograph was taken from the Evergreen Washelli blog, where you can read a little about her.  She was one of the first children born in Seattle, Washington and comes from two of the founding families.  She was an author and painter in her own right.

Thank you for looking.  I hope you will enjoy Rosen digital scrapbooking kit!

Brick Walls

Do you know what a "brick wall" is?    Basically, it is when you have done your genealogy research and you just can't go any further, it's just as if a brick wall were there blocking your way.

So, what do you do? has a good article with strategies, all of which I have used.  The ProGenealogists site of Ancestry has suggestions too.  Genealogy In Time magazine, gives 50 suggestions.  These should help you get started with some ideas.

The layout above has two of my brick walls - married to each other!  My great great grandparents both came from eastern Europe and met in Anaconda, Montana, which at one time had more people from more countries in the world, than any other place on the globe.  It's a tiny town now, but at one time was part of the mining boom and specifically copper mining at Anaconda Copper and Mining.  The men in this picture worked there and certainly I'm sure the women here spent a lot of time in prayer for safety for these men.

One thing I learned by starting and then abandoning a blog on my ancestors, is that even if you forget it's there, other people find it.  Scrapbooking I think could be helpful as well.  If you do a layout and post it in a gallery and in your description discuss the ancestors, it could come up in an internet search for someone researching the same family.  Most of my great genealogical finds have been connecting with a distant cousin who is not direct line but a collateral line.  So today, I am posting my brick wall to encourage you to try it for yourself.

Anna Dipko was born about 1874 in "Austria", but spoke Slovak, so we think the family is Slovakian but that land was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time she was born.  Census records list her as having immigrated in 1885.  Her death certificate lists parents as Michael Dipko and Mary.  Michael Dipko was present when she was married but we have found no trace of them.  There is a Joe Dipko who was a cousin to my great Grandma Anna Smith, Anna Dipko's daughter.  But neither their family nor ours knows how we are related.  We suspect that Joe's father was Anna's brother.  There are Dipko families in the mining areas in Pennsylvania and a few in Ohio, but otherwise we have not found any Dipkos.  We have tried all the usual - immigration, ship lists etc, to no avail.  She died in 1943 in Missoula, Montana.

Anna Dipko married an interesting man named Alexander Burczinski.  He came from Poland about 1876.  Some military records have shown that he was widowed in Poland, came to the United States as a young man and joined the US Army where he was sent to Montana.  He then went by Alexander Smith. (Gee thanks - that helps in the genealogy searches!)  Later he is listed as CBF Smith which I am told stands for Cyrus Benjamin Franklin.  An article also calls him ABC Smith because he was fluent in several languages and often helped miners in court cases since they did not understand English.  I have found him on the 1910 census, but cannot find the family in 1900.  Given that their children were all born in Anaconda, Montana before that time and living there afterwards, and that there income was the mine and that they don't show up on any other census indexes, I'm assuming they were missed or they are under another name.  I have gone through page by page.  Marriage records in Latin, give his parents' names as Nestor Burczinski and Pulcherine Mendesca.  He lived 1855-1928.

One day I hope I'm able to climb my brick wall and see what's on the other side.

If you would like to share your brick wall story, it could earn you a chance to win a 6 month US Ancestry membership or a copy of Family Treemaker 2012!  For details see this blog post and enter your brick wall story on the comment section there.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 GIVEAWAY!


The generous people at Ancestry are sponsoring a give away and they are donating one each of the following:

*6 month US Deluxe Membership

*Family Treemaker 2012 Software

Personally, I have used Family Treemaker software since about version 2.0 and currently use it in conjunction with other software.  It is a great resource.

So to make this fun and creative, I'm going to give you 7 ways to win.

*IMPORTANT*  For each way you enter, please place a SEPARATE comment on this post.  e.g. if you can enter all these 7 ways, there should be 7 comments from you in the comment section.

Deadline:  9PM Pacific Daylight Time Thursday, August 23, 2012

Winners Announced:  by Friday, August 24, 2012

Winners will be determined by a random number generator based on comments.

You can enter in the following ways:

1. Post in the comments if you are a user/member at  Please provide your user name to verify.

2. Share in a separate comment your frustrating genealogy "brick wall" (you just can't figure it out).

3. Share in a separate comment your favorite genealogy story/find.

4. Post a layout in the Heritage Scrap Gallery that is created with ANY of the Heritage Scrap designer's products.  Please include a link so I can see! (This needs to be a layout posted during the contest time, not an old one already there please.)

5. Post a layout in the Heritage Scrap Gallery that is created with MY designs.  Please include a link so I can see! This needs to be a layout posted during the contest time, not an old one already there please.)

6. Share this give away on Facebook and then put the link here in a comment.

7. Share about this give away on your blog and then put the link here in a comment.

The more ways you participate, the more chances to win!  Let's have fun with this.

Thank you to Ancestry for providing the gifts in this challenge.

SALE: Heritage Scrap Birthday Celebration Continues

Come visit my corner of the store to find some goodies on sale.  Some of my bundles and albums are 20% Off and select scrapbooking kits are 40% Off for the rest of August.

Remember we still have the Family Gathering Collaboration Kits on sale for the month of August as well!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

1940 Census Completely Indexed

Yeah!  Ancestry announced tonight that they finished indexing the final states and territories for the 1940 census!  And along the way they found some famous people in the census.

Though I haven't found anything earth shattering or new, I have had fun looking around at the census and hope to complete my records now that the states are finished indexing.

Happy Birthday Heritage Scrap!  Sales in my store and check out the coupon on the graphic below - remember to use it as you check out.  Put $25 worth in your cart and get it for $15.  All the designers are having additional sales as well.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Family Gathering - August 2012 Designer Collaboration

Family Gathering is my portion of the August 2012 Designer Collaboration Kit.  Traditionally for Heritage Scrap's birthday month, our collaboration in heritage/genealogy themed.  This year our theme is the family gathering and I have interpreted that as family reunion.  I love family reunions - it's the one time when people are usually interested in all the hard work I have done on the family research!

Here are the elements.  The  collaboration kits are made to be good starting points.  Remember to check out the collection.  The designer's pieces work together and are available for $2.50 during the month of issue.  Many of the designers also work on add on kits.  I will show mine further below.

Papers Preview - I chose to keep the papers pretty simple.  The reason is because reunion pictures are often full of lots of detail - groups of people, various activities and so on. Busy photos and busy paper don't work well, in my opinion.

In the collab you will find:

12 12x12 300 dpi Papers

15 Elements

3 Titles
2 Frames
1 Journal Paper
2 Labels
1 Tag
1 Ribbon
1 Bow
1 Tree
2 Flowers
1 Leaf

So then I kept designing and created the Family Gathering Add On Kit.  That was a lot of fun!

Elements - including a "golden" family tree, some vintage clusters and lots of flowers.

Frames and journal portions.  I wanted to include a lot of journaling and labeling options because family reunions are often the places where you tell stories, learn new things, discover new relatives - the details should be included with the photographs!

Some of the papers - I have tried to make a combination of vintage and modern feel and have included a few "trees" for backgrounds as well.

More papers to choose from.

And then there are all the titles.  I included 42 titles, some of which could be mixed and matched to title pages for reunions, family tree projects or other family gatherings.

The Family Gatherings Add On Kit includes:

24 12x12 300dpi Papers

80 Elements:

42 Metallic Gold Titles
9 Frames
1 Journal Cluster
1 Journal Book
2 Labels
1 Label Holder
2 Bows
2 Buttons (1 recolored)
1 Element Cluster
1 Tree
1 Fern
2 Leaves
2 Flower Clusters
5 Flowers
1 Lace
1 Doily
3 Ribbons
1 Tag
1 Border Cluster

Next, I created a Quick Page Pack.  This was a lot of fun.  Included are two family tree pedigree chart pages, one with an opening for a photo and special journaling and a vintage French memo board with memorabilia and slots to place in two of your favorite photos.  To match with this page I created a blank memo board paper and you can place your photos, journaling or memorabilia on top.

For my Hopkins pedigree chart, I began with the quick page, then I added the two small frames from the Add On Kit, some photos and Hopkins as a title.  You can place more information on your ancestors if you like.  For time's sake I chose to only include birth and death years.

Here is another pedigree page.  The only thing I added to this is the surname in the center.

Here is the French Memo Board.  I used this quick page "as is" except for adding the title "Memories" from the add on kit.

This quick page is great for lots of journaling.  I added the element cluster on the upper right, but otherwise used it as is.

This page is created using only my collaboration portion and will be a cover/opening page for our family reunion.

These photos chronicle my Grandma Hopkins' early life and include one as I remember her growing up.  Both the collab and the add on were used for this.

This is my favorite of the pages I created using the kits.  I believe this one uses only the Add On kit.  Extra embellishments were added onto the book cluster.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Heritage Scrap!!!!

Heritage Scrap just turned FOUR!  To celebrate, we are having store wide sale-a-brations!  Most of the designers have put their stores on sale and IN ADDITION Kate has put the whole store on sale with a coupon (in graphic above)!  Simply put $25 worth of product in your basket and get it for $15 when you use the Coupon Code!

My store will be 25% off almost everything.  Bundles are 10% off (since they are already discounted).

But wait, there's more! He he he!

Our August Designer collaboration kits will be in the store this evening and I will have some Add Ons.

And that's not all...

I'll be having a give away hosted by Ancestry, details to follow!

Congratulations Kate McClellan on a beautiful shop geared for all of us heritage and genealogy scrapbookers!  I have been privileged to work for and with the shop since December 2008 in different capacities and it has been a great adventure.  Happy Birthday!