Thursday, July 31, 2014

Family Ties

If you’ve wanted to dig into your family tree and learn more about your ancestors, summer is the perfect time to start! Check out the genealogy article on page 20 of Viking magazine’s August issue, where we feature ways to get started on your genealogical journey. Also highlighted are wonderful ways to display your findings—from modern genealogy charts to activities for the kids. We had the pleasure of including the founder of Creative Family Tree, Virginia Rufener-Angus, who creates customized family trees. Check out the interview on page 25 and read more below.

Q: What makes your particular method of displaying family history unique? 
A: I think my trees are unique in three ways. First, I focus on making each tree a work of art that can be proudly framed and displayed in a client's home. I make each tree one at a time, so I can customize background colors and designs to match individual decor and style preferences. I can also add features to a tree that emphasize family history. For example, I can add a map of Norway for a family with Norwegian history. I’ve created trees with the Declaration of Independence as a background for members of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution, and a tree with the Mayflower Compact for a member of the Mayflower Society.

Second, I’m able to integrate real images of an individual's ancestors in a way that maintains a uniform color design. Clients scan their own images and forward them to me over the Internet. I make these part of the overall family tree design in a way that is consistent with the unique and individual approach for that client. In this way, family resemblances and blending can be seen across generations at once.

Finally, I can have the final electronic files delivered for professional printing and delivery almost anywhere in the world. I can locate a professional print shop near to a client's destination and deliver an electronic file for printing. This limits the costs for shipping and handling of the final product to a minimum. Of course, within North America, I can have printed, framed and boxed products delivered to your doorstep from a variety of excellent suppliers. As well, I've hand-delivered prints to customers who live near by.

Q: How can our readers get started on gathering their family history and contacting you to create a customized work of art? 
A: Simply email me. I require the names and dates of individuals on the tree. I also require digital images of those folks for whom you want photos on your tree. These can be modern digital camera images or scans of old photographs. You do not have to have images for everyone on your tree. I can work with what you have.

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

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