What good is all the researching, collecting, and storing and all the time and money spent if we never share the history, stories, or photographs with our extended family? This is the place where I share all the best tools, ideas, and techniques that will make it possible for you to preserve and share you legacy for extended family members and future generations. ---Robin

Reunion Ideas

Reunion  Booklet   

Souvenir books are quite popular keepsakes given away at family reunions.  Most share history and photos and reunion activities, but they leave much to be desired when it comes to content and creativity. 
Including a few of the following ideas will make your next family reunion souvenir book a lasting treasure:
The Cover
The cover needs to be both meaningful and attractive.  Include a family photo or a photo of a family landmark.  Using Photoshop Elements, segments of a photo of the murals on Bethel AME Church in downtown Columbia were used to create the reunion book cover on the right. 
The colors used were selected from the photo, and the reunion theme was also included.  Color ink is costly, however, you may want to consider splurging on the cover since the family reunion booklet is a memento that can be passed down to future generations.   You can find many more great ideas and predesigned templates at African American Family Reunion Planner Organizer.   
Back Cover         
If your budget allows, you can surprise your family with something other than a plain back cover.  See the slideshow for the back cover of this reunion booklet.   A historical photo of The State House was matted and layered on a background matching the front cover with an embellishment.
A quote from the testimony of an ancestor who testified during Reconstruction at The State House in Columbia in 1876 is included below the photo.  Combining the actual words of an ancestor along with a corresponding historical landmark is a great way to inspire family members to want to learn more about history and ancestors. 
Welcome letter from officials
Contact state and local officials to write a  welcome letter to include in your reunion book.  Often officials will suggest  local attractions, and your family may want to extend their visit in order to sightsee.   
Recent family history findings
Contact your family historians to find out about any recent findings that could be included.  Include an article detailing findings, family group sheets, and photos to help family members understand how they are related.  Be sure to include sources in case other family members want to begin researching their family history. 
Extended family and in-laws whose ancestors knew each other are most often overlooked in family history research.  They have information and oral history that should become a part of the family repository. 
Family news
Use the reunion book to share interesting news and announce special occasions and accomplishments that happened since the last reunion.  Remember to include a memoriam for any loved ones who passed away.  Today's news becomes tomorrow's history.
Select a family member to spotlight.  Conduct an oral history interview and include a past and recent photo.  An interview of the oldest living family member is a great way to help family members get to know each other and learn more about their heritage. 
Fun worksheets
Get younger children in the family involved by creating worksheets for the family reunion souvenir book especially for them.  These can be generated online and printed free.  See Word Search Maker  and Create a Crossword Puzzle.

See this slide show:  Ideas for a family reunion book

Family History Playing Cards created
here:  Heritage Makers  
Create your own account here:  Heritage Makers

Playing Cards
price: $24.95

  • contains 54 cards
  • extra cards $0.50 each
  • customizable front side
  • high gloss finish, rounded corners


Bookmarks: Bookmarks are great souvenirs. I took a photo of a site we would visit as a
group and designed bookmarks. Be sure to cut the bookmarks out before laminating

Souvenir Mugs from Discount Mugs:

Souvenir Pens

Pens: I designed pens at the following website: I choose the colors and wording.
http://www.personalizedpensusa.com/ Pens are a great keepsake to remind us
of family and a memorable reunion.

Souvenir T-Shirt

T-Shirts: Design a t-shirt that reflects the theme for your reunion. I designed our 2009
Johnson-Vance Family Reunion t-shirts. Be sure to save the design in a format that
the vendor can use, such as .jpeg. See sample on display. It can be difficult finding a good
vendor. I searched and found a great one with reasonable prices:
Roger Leaks rogerleaks@hotmail.com 803-414-4175

Family History Display

Family Reunion Web Site: 
Family Reunion Web Sites help to inform family about upcoming
dates and events, accommodations. This is also a great way to post local attractions for
family coming from out of town. They can plan activities around the reunion agenda.
Blogs are free and easy to post information and photos.

Family Newsletter: 
Family members send in information and photos they would like to
share with the entire family such as births, graduations, promotions, and these items are
published in a newsletter every two years. Many software programs come with templates
for newsletters so all you need to do is copy and paste the photos and text.

Souvenir Calendar at Heritage Makers
 Create your own account here:  Heritage Makers

11 x 8.5 Calendar
from $29.95

Celebrate your memories all year round with your own keepsake calendar. Personalize each page with photos and text, then add holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and appointments that are important to you. 
  • 11" x 17" open / 11" x 8.5" closed
  • Twin-loop wire bound with die cut hole for hanging
  • Velvet, acid-free, lignin-free paper
  • High-quality digital printing

Post Cards at Heritage Makers
Create your own account here:  Heritage Makers

5 x 7 Postcard
from $1.79

Share your joy with delightful announcements, invitations, or seasonal favorites. Our popular postcards are a fantastic alternative to the traditional greeting card.
  • Completely customizable
  • Printed on premium velvet paper
  • Landscape or portrait options
  • Photo and journaling space

Family Directory:
  It is an ongoing process for our family to keep track of everyone's
contact information. This has helped us draw closer as a family and keep abreast of those
who live far away. We publish a family directory every two years.

Family History for the Young 
We are sure to include activities to hold the interest of
children young and old.

Visit the following for ideas:

Teaching Kids to Be Ancestor Detectors

Helping Children Love Family History

10 ways to pass family history on to your children

(Great Pedigree Charts for youth!)