Monday, November 19, 2018

Family History for the Holidays. Roundup of the best ideas...

Family History for your Holiday Gatherings: Best Ideas
from our newsletter

We've been blogging at The Chart Chick now for over 10 years, and Zap the Grandma Gap for 7 years, dishing out great ideas about how to share family history with your family.  Over that time, we've talked about how to utilize family history in your family gatherings to create more unity and strengthen your relationships.  And what better time to have a family gathering than during the holidays?  Whether your family is getting together for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day, Chinese New Year or all of the above, be sure to talk about your family history together.  Here are some ideas to help:

1. Share Heirloom Family Recipes
We've shared many of our ancestors family recipes over the years, on our blog and in our Zap the Grandma Gap books, but a family favorite for this time of year has to be Kim's Mother's Cranberry Salad Recipe.  It is super simple and super delicious.  You can find it on our post at "Happy Thanksgiving from our House to Yours" and see the video my kids made about it on our YouTube channel.  While you are cooking this year, ask your family to help create a video to share some of your family recipes with extended family members and record them for posterity.  

2. Decorate With Your Family History
We're all about decorating with family history charts aren't we?  If you haven't created a chart with us yet, we'd love to get you started with a free consultation.  But we've also got lots of ideas about decorating with your photos.  You probably have family heirlooms that have to do with the holidays too.  Make sure you are sharing the stories behind these items as your family gets together this year.  Check out our posts about family history table decorations, the ChristmasTree my daughter made, and decorating using family heirlooms for ideas.  

3. Talk about Your Family History
Get the conversations going during the family gathering with our articles on 10 Questions to Ask Around The Table, or 20 Questions for Your Table.  The holidays are a great time to interview older relatives, create videos, and take lots of pictures.  Make sure you are capturing the resources you have now to preserve your history.  

4. Capture the History You Are Creating Now
One of the best ideas we have shared for a family activity during the holidays is to create a time capsule. Intentionally creating an heirloom for future generations helps you be thankful for the time you have now. It could be a collection of artifacts you store for a year, or 10 years but it will be a treasure in a very short time.  Check out our hints in our Time Capsules post for ideas of what to collect and how to store it.  

We hope you have a wonderful time together as you celebrate the winter holidays coming up.  We wish you all the best, from our families to yours.  

Saturday, November 17, 2018

All New 2019 Fill-In-The-Blank Chart designs

The designers at Family ChartMasters have been hard at work lately coming up with all new fill-in-the-blank designs for 2019.  Ready for you early for the holidays.  Take a look:
Boston 4 generations 20x24

Branson 4 generations 20x24

Concord 6 generations 20x24

Dublin 6 generations 20x24

Fairbanks 7 generations 20x24

Fresno 6 generations 20x24

Milan 6 generations 20x24

Monaco 7 generations 20x24

Montreal Green 5 generations 20x24

Montreal Red 5 generations 20x24

Ottawa 7 generations 20x24

Savannah 7 generations 20x24

Seattle 7 generations 20x24

Stockholm 4 generations 20x24

Vienna 5 generations 20x24

Sydney 7 generations 20x24

Tacoma 6 generations 20x24

Topeka 6 generations 20x24

Look at these adorable new circle charts too:  First, perfect for a nursery...

Brussels 5 generations 20x24

Burssels 5 generations 20x24
And these beautiful new bright on trend circle charts.  Fill in with different colored markers or metallics for a fun family history display...
Cordova 7 generations 20x24

Marseilles 4 generation 20x24 blue

Marseilles 4 generation 20x24 Desert

Marseilles 4 generation 20x24 Pink

Marseilles 4 generation 20x24 Purple
We've added different sizes too with some beautiful styles.  Check out the 23x36 collection...
Denver 8 generation 24x36

 Mesa 8 generation 24x36

Montreal Couple Green 5 generation 24x36

Montreal Couple Red 5 generation 24x36

Vienna 5-7 generation 24x36

And then we come to the large charts--for serious family historians who want to put everything out where they can see it.  Lots of room for notes and extra relatives.  Check these out:
New York 9 generations 24x74.  Perfect for the back of an office door.
Oslo 9 generations 36x36

Oslo 11 generations 42x42

Paris 11 generations 42x60

Tokyo 11 generations with room for notations up to 15 generations  42x96
Place your order now at  Until November 30th, all blank charts are 50% off with the code "FILLIN2019"

Friday, November 16, 2018

Instagram Giveaway!

So everyone is giving away fun things on Instagram and we thought we'd give it a try too.  Take a look at the post this weekend:
GIVEAWAY!!! We are SO excited to announce this incredible giveaway to you! One lucky winner will win a $100 Gift Certificate to Family ChartMasters to go towards any chart of your choice! 🙌 Entering is easy:

1) Like this post
2) Follow Family ChartMasters on Instagram
3) Tag THREE friends (more tags = more entries!) That's it! Giveaway runs through Sunday, 11/18 at 8:00 pm MST. Winner will be announced Sunday night! .

Check it out at and enter today!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gratitude and The Buzbees & the Booths

I have lots of pictures of Bruce and Mike and Laurie and Sandy (of most of them are shots across from a restaurant table. Bruce and Mike are the real definition of mentors.  They have been there for us from the very beginning and we have learned SO much from them. I think they first mentored us because they didn't want to have to do their own chart printing-LOL-but I'm so glad they didn't. We have spent so many hours over the years talking about the genealogy industry, about how to run a business, and how to run a business in this crazy genealogy industry. I can credit them for so many of our business processes and marketing successes.  It was Bruce and Mike who first talked me into starting a blog. Yeah that. So this first photo is to show how far back we go with these old friends.  Yikes.  I don't want to think about how much we've aged.
4th of July 2008
Bruce and Mike have been the greatest of friends--even working for them doing phones for a while to help ease the pain of being a startup.  They have advocated for us and taught us.  Truly great mentors.  And always fun to talk to.  These are the guys who taught us to hit up two restaurants in a night. Talk about mentors!
Which brings us to doing triathlons.  More years ago than I want to admit, I got to spend lots of time with Laurie and some of their kids (Kristy here) doing triathlons.  I'd like to take credit for getting them into that--until my health issues slowed me down.  But they've kept going and they're freaking awesome. It was really lots of fun.
Laurie's surprise birthday party
Recently we've been having dinner together again regularly and we always look forward to talking with them.  I save up all of my analysis about the people and entities in the industry to bounce off Bruce and I'm always interested in his take on the situation. Figuring things out is always fun together and if everyone would just do what we think they should, we'd solve all the problems in the world.  It is so good to have a sounding board and now-- and after all these years, some really good old friends.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Gratitude and Maureen Taylor

One of the greatest blessings I have had in this career in genealogy is in the dear friendship I have with Maureen Taylor (  I have so many friends who are impressed that I even know this amazing lady--and they should be.  But I also get to call her a dear friend. She is so talented!  She can identify a family photograph from a mile away.  She's earned the respect of everyone throughout the industry as a hard worker and a brilliant historian. She is a wonderful speaker and a genuinely kind person.  I am just delighted every time I get to spend some time with her.  

When she came to stay with me a while ago, she brought me this cute little dish and I keep my curling pins in it on the vanity in my bathroom.  It makes me smile every morning when I think of Maureen. One of my love languages is gifts, and it takes me back every morning when I think that she may actually think that I make the world a better place.  

Maureen has been an awesome sounding board for the challenges I come up with in my career.  I'm always happy to hear from her over the phone and I know I can always turn to her when I need something. I am so thankful to have a confidant with such a wide range of experience in the industry who I can trust to be honest with and to understand what I'm feeling. We often run into the same challenges in our companies and I learn so much from her. You can't put a price on a girlfriend like that.  

Maureen and Erin in Malibu this summer
We've had many fun times at conferences throughout the years.  She's always silly and up for an adventure--in business and in life.  I've written before about how gracious she was to take care of me when I got to stay with her in Rhode Island.  We've had some delightful time together.  All of the ladies I work with love her too of course.  She's easy to get along with and good to hang out with anyone. We have fun! She has been a lovely addition to my life and my career.  And I can't wait to see what the next idea is that we cook up together.

And most recently, Maureen was incredibly sweet when I was having trauma over a big birthday.  She went out of her way to send these beautiful roses.  She said they reminded her of me because they were in a Victorian arrangement.  They were a beautiful welcome to the "half century" club.  But more than that, they were a great reminder of how blessed I am to have such a dear dear ally.  Thanks Maureen.  I treasure our friendship

Friday, November 9, 2018

Gratitude and Crista Cowan

Silly Crista (with Lorilee Wagner who is also a dear lady)
In this month of thankfulness, I'm feeling the need to express my gratitude for my dearest friend Crista Cowan ( Barefoot Genealogist).  I honestly think Crista and I are like Anne Shirley and Diana Berry-bosom friends and kindred spirits "to whom I can confide my inmost soul."  It is hard to put into words how much my friendship with Crista has meant to me.  She is one of the greatest blessings of my life. 

I'm not sure how I got so lucky as to be able to be close friends with her.  Well I am a little--I stalked her one year at SLIG and I love making healthy dinners for her (we've both been recently diagnosed as diabetic). But in return it is hard to quantify how much that has changed my life. But from the first night we had dinner together at SLIG, we clicked.  We have the same world view.  We care about the same things.  We usually have the same opinions on people and situations. We both want to save the world in the same way.  It's like we've known each other for much longer than just this lifetime.

I am privileged every time I get to spend time with her.  There are so many who clamor for Crista's attention.  I once called her "she who gets 10,000 likes with every sneeze and 12,000 comments with every cough." or something along those lines.  There are so many who clamor for her talents and skills.  She changes lives right and left with her storytelling skills and unbelievable research talents.  She uncovers family stories and finds adoptees' lineages like the rest of us blink.  She changes lives daily. She makes it look easy.  And what I love about Crista the most is that she understands the power that this family history holds.  She knows what we are doing in genealogy and finds it a sacred duty.  She is truly a woman of light and power like no one else on earth.

Crista has made an immeasurable difference in my life and in our business.  I couldn't begin to list all of the things I have learned from her.  I bask in her passion for family history.  Even though we often talk late into the night, I often can't sleep afterward because I am so excited about the ideas she's brought me.  I am so grateful for how Crista's breadth of experience enriches my professional life, but I'm even more grateful for her influence in my personal life.  She is truly a great treasure and I honored to call her my friend.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Two New Employees-

We have two new employees that I'm excited to introduce to you.  

Stacy Wightman is our new associate designer. Stacy grew up in Spokane, Washington.  She obtained a math education/psychology degree from BYU and taught math for several years before starting her family.  She has always had a great interest in family history and enjoys the search for ancestors.  She also loves anything to do with computers and especially enjoys using the computer to do research and design/edit genealogy charts.  She is a great organizer and enjoys using her talents to assist in the work at Family Chartmasters.

Emily Park is our new Social Media director.  Emily worked for us previously while she was going to school but then took a hiatus while she finished her degree in art education and started her family.  She taught for five years at American Preparatory Academy where she received the "Builder of the Year" Teacher Award. She has a super cute two-year-old son and is expecting a daughter next spring.  Emily is just adorable and perfect for keeping our social media fun and engaging., with lots of new ideas about sharing your family history.

Both Stacy and Emily are going to be great assets and we're looking forward to utilizing their skills to serve you better.  They both understand how important your family history is and are dedicated to helping you share it and show it off.  Let us know what we can do to help you!