Category: Melanie

May 4th, 2011

Chris Nicholson: How to Choose a Mat for Framing Your Family Tree

Chris Nicholson is a writer and fine-art photographer based in the northeast U.S. He offers decorating tips and sells limited-edition prints through his website,  As a follow up to my post A Surefire Way to Choose the Right Matting, Chris makes some excellent points about choosing a mat for your custom framed family tree chart.  Chris writes:

Hanging your family tree on the wall turns it into a piece of art — perhaps the most personal art that could adorn a home.

As such, you probably want to treat that tree just as you’d treat an expensive print or painting, by matting and framing it with care and precision. Framing a piece provides protection from the environment, and matting it provides protection from the frame — especially in humid climates, the framed piece can adhere to the glass, causing permanent damage. A mat provides separation, preventing that damage.

Choosing a frame is usually a straight-forward process — matching it to your décor is often as simple as just looking at your furniture for reference. On the other hand, the creative reasons for choosing a mat are not always as conveniently obvious.


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February 4th, 2010

Family Trees: A Guide to Getting Started

Once you make the decision to document your family history, the next logical step is to document what you find. You are excited and feel tempted to plunge into the research. However, starting with a plan is a precursor to your success. Here is a beginner’s guide to starting your family tree.

Create your Roadmap. Imagine you decide to drive from Los Angeles, California to Miami, Florida. The first thing you do is to look at a map and plan your trip. You figure out the distance, the time it takes to get there and your route. Without looking at the map, you can wander along, get lost, take detours and may take twice as long to et to Miami. But, you would like to get to your destination as quickly as possible.

In order for you to document your family tree properly, you need a plan of action.

• What is your goal?

• What to include, maternal and paternal relatives?

• Where to look?

• How to document it? Download a family tree template to help you document your research.

Take the time to create a roadmap. You will increase your chances of completing your project successfully.


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January 28th, 2010

Does Your Last Name Define Who You Are?

If you are like me, you may at some point thought about your last name.

What does it mean?

Where did it come from?

Am I related to anyone famous?

Maybe my last name means nothing. It might simply be a made-up name without history.

Your last name is your ID.
The name you have serves to define and identify you to others. Consider the number of times every day someone asks for your last name.

“Can I see your driver’s license please?”

“Sign here please!”

“Could you please spell your last name?”


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January 21st, 2010

What I Discovered About Genghis Khan’s DNA Has me Searching My Family Genealogy And Might Have You Doing It Too!

It wasn’t what I anticipated as I lazily enjoyed an evening of history on television last week. In 2003, Researchers found, that nearly 8% of the 200 men living in the region of the former Mongol Empire, carry nearly identical Y-chromosomes. That’s about 0.5% of the men in the world or roughly 1 in every 200 men. This led the researchers to believe they all had a common fore-father.

I sat straight up in my chair and listened more intently. And to my surprise; I learned Genghis Khan’s DNA might possibly be in my family genealogy! and he could be in yours too!

No way, that is impossible, I thought. I have to check this out.


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January 16th, 2010

It’s Time to Shake the Family Tree and Document Your Family Genealogy Before It’s too Late!

Every life is a story. I am sure you have one too. You don’t have to be famous to have your story told. And, you definitely don’t have to wait for someone to tell it for you.

You can do it yourself.

Now is a good time to shake your family tree and document your family genealogy before it’s too late. Before the storytellers are no more, their memories fade and the history is forgotten.

Make the family connection – Are you one of those people as a child you hated to go to Grandma’s house or visit your great Aunt Jane 3000 miles away? How you hated the stories, they used to tell repeatedly. How many times you heard, “When I was your age….” You probably rolled your eyes every time you heard those words.


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