Inspired by the hall trays in Victorian homes for calling cards, I came up with Character Cards. Whenever I “add” a new relative to a family branch, I make up my own little version of a collectible edition trading card. I call them my Character Cards.
Each family has their own ever-expanding “Deck.” The Decks only get larger, because unlike real live families, no one gets discarded (buried). In most cases, I have figuratively dug them up :).
I have a specific list of info that I want to chase for each Character. These are the same old things one puts on an ancestry chart : dates and places of major life events, occupations, spouses, a parentage note etc. I also include on my hunting and collecting list an “image.” I really like having pictures. So, in some cases where none is (yet) available, I will opt for some other image to represent the person and their statistics. It can be anything I can connect to the real person. For one uncle I have a scan of a lock of hair found wrapped in tissue paper marked “Tommy’s first hair cut.” Eventually, I hope to find a photo, but until then he is represented as a little yellow curl.
I do not put original items on my cards. I only use scanned images and I simply tape them on with cellophane tape. I can pop a whole collection into my purse and head off to the cemetery, history center, or out to do drive- by house photos.
My family has a big laugh with this…they have always insisted that I don’t quite play with a full deck, and now, well…they have it in writing :)