My 1st Family History Layout

I’m a bit of a family history nut – I’ve had an Ancestry.co.uk subscription for as long as I can remember and, slowly, I’ve investigated my family tree.

In 2012, I got to what I like to call “The End of the Line”. I’d found the earliest ancestor I could on my grandfather’s paternal line. I spent months writing a family history essay to give to my Granddad as a Christmas gift.

The problem I had with this essay was that I’d tried to write it like a story that flowed. Family history doesn’t do that. Each person is their own story and occasionally that story flows for a generation or two but then it stops and will pick up again somewhere entirely different.

Flow just didn’t happen.

I always thought digital scrapbooking was never going to be for me – layouts of other peoples wedding day or children or  overseas holiday just never gave me the creativity fizz.

But creating a family history scrapbook which combined people, history, politics, the changing European geographical landscape – THAT gave me the fizz.

It took a few years for me to find the time (and, admittedly, the confidence) to start my scrapbook. Here is the first layout I created a few months ago. The subject I chose to start with is Gorm the Old, the first officially recognized King of Denmark.

Gorm The Old
Gorm The Old

Products Used

Papers I created myself
Frame and tag by Laitha’s Designs (Attic Treasures kit)
Screws by Regina Felango (Last Roses kit)
Fonts are Livingstone, Typewriter Antique and Ballantines Serial

I found it a challenge – it was my first layout and there was so much information I wanted to include – his relation to me, dates of birth and death, his title, plus his biography.

The biography has been cobbled together from a variety of sources, many of which contradict each other (helpfully!)

This is what the text says:

Gorm the Old was officially the first recognized King of Denmark. Born in 900 A.D., he ruled Denmark from 936 until his death in 958.

Gorm was considered old in the sense that he had always been the ancestral head of the Danish monarchy, plus the custom at the time was to give nicknames to people as surnames weren’t formalised in Denmark until the 19th century.

Gorm married Thyra and they had three sons – Toke, Knut and Harald, who later became King Harald Bluetooth. Legend has it that Gorm and Thyra also had a daughter, but she was captured by trolls and taken away to a kingdom in the far north.

The three sons of Gorm were considered true Vikings and departed Denmark each summer to raid and pillage. One day, Harald came back to the royal enclosure at Jellinge with the news that Knut had been killed whilst attempting to take Dublin, Ireland.

There is conflicting information as to Gorm’s death. Some sources say he was so grieved by Knut’s death that he died the next day. Other sources say Queen Thyra died first. Either way, the King and Queen were eventually buried together beneath a large runic stone erected by their son, the new King of Denmark, Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson.

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5 thoughts on “My 1st Family History Layout

  1. I’m just recently addicted to Family History. I love your page! I recently attended RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah where I was SO inspired in so many ways! I hope to start making pages — and books! — like this in the near future! I look forward to seeing your heritage-inspired papers!

    1. Thanks for your kind words Julie. 🙂 Family history is such a fascinating rabbit hole to jump down and even though it’s going to be probably a life-long project, it’s something that brings me immense satisfaction and joy.

  2. Love your family history page! I have been slowly following my lineage over many years as well and still have yet to make a page. I hope you keep posting these types of pages and hope to see some elements and papers to use as well as they are sooooo difficult to find! Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much Laura! I have only made about half a dozen family history pages so far – I think it’s going to be a long and slow project of mine. 🙂 In 2016 I’ll be expanding my paper range to include the papers I use in my heritage and family history pages.

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