Buying a present for your mom isn’t always easy, especially when mom already has everything she needs. Or doesn’t she? For the woman that loves genealogy, these gift ideas for Mother’s Day will have something for all kinds of moms. If she loves genealogy and family history, then she’ll like something on this list!
12 Genealogy Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day
1. A Gift Certificate for Photo Restoration
All moms have old photos that they treasure. Antique photos often have issues like faded color, lack or contrast and detail, and tears or bends in the paper. A professional can fix those up really nice. If colorization is all the photo needs, you can DIY it with the new colorization feature on MyHeritage. However, if there is any damage to the photo, it’s best to let a pro take care of it.
Below is an example of photo restoration I had professionally done on an antique photo of my grandfather, great-grandfather and great-uncle. As you can see, the photo had some crayon marks and water stains on the image. I had it restored and also opted to have it colorized. The company I used was American Photo Restoration and they were very reasonable (total cost was under $50 and included digital downloads and a mailed copy of the printed photo).
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2. Acid Free Albums
Why acid free? Acid deteriorates paper, which is why so many old photos turn yellow or fade – because the album pages that they were in contact with for so long were destroying them. Look for albums that are also lignin free (lignin is acidic) and pvc free (also destructive).
3. DNA Test Kit
Ancestry.com has one of the best DNA tests, in my opinion. It’s reasonably priced, has easy instructions and is easy to use and mail in. Their results lead to many more matches than I imagined! Ancestry.com is one of the most widely used DNA kits in the world, so they have one of the largest databases. Their DNA matches are updated as necessitated (yearly, on average) as the number of people taking the DNA test grows all the time. The results also get more specific to ancestral regions around the world.
4. Keyboard for her iPad
I can’t tell you how happy I am that I finally got a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. Search entries, writing emails, and family history writing are now a breeze with a keyboard. An iPad is great on the go, but I didn’t know what I was missing! The keyboard I like is small and easy to take along with the iPad (it fits in my tote). The batteries last a long time and set up was SO easy. You can get one like mine (made by Anker) for under $20 at Walmart or you can take a look at Amazon for the hottest options.
5. Recipe Book for her heirloom recipes
Does mom have a lot of family recipes that she would love to organize and save in one place? A book of treasured recipes can be completely DIY or you can check out a company like Create My Cookbook. If you DIY it, you’ll need to buy the album and the refill pages that come with different size openings for 3×5 and 4×6 cards, clipped recipes or full page recipes, and recipes or photos that you print yourself and want to include.
6. Digital Photo Storage (and to save historical documents)
Flash drives are very useful and always needed. So is cloud storage. Consider buying her some extra flash drives and/or more cloud storage space (like Apple iCloud, Amazon Storage, Dropbox, etc). The price range for these services and for the amount of space needed, vary a lot. You can check out Consumer Reports for their idea of the Best Cloud Storage. Photos are generally considered some of our very most treasured possessions. So, always back up your photos in several places: a printed copy, cloud storage, external hard drive or flash drive.
7. Frame for old textiles (ties, doilies, linens)
Most people have some handed down textiles of some kind. Things like aprons, doilies, neckties, towels, linens, handkerchiefs, etc. I inherited more old linens and crocheted things than I’ll ever be able to use. One way to enjoy them is to frame them, especially if the item evokes special meaning about family. Here’s one of my dad’s neckties that he wore often and I put in a double mat frame similar to the one here. The double mat frame has extra room for the thickness of the tie and won’t squish it up against the glass too hard.
8. Domain Name (for her own family genealogy website)
Seriously??!! You’re never too old to start your own website! If all she can talk about is ancestry, then maybe she’d really love to have her own family website to share all of her hard work – for generations to come! I have done this for my mother, and at 90, she is not too old! Yes, I am helping her but it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Start out by purchasing a domain name for her. My mom’s domain name cost under $10 on Namecheap.com. She picked out the name and called it Joyof90.com (a work in progress). You could present your intentions in a nice card (free template here) and then help her select the domain name later. My mom is SO excited to share her life stories on her blog!
9. Personalized generation names necklace
Names are important to the genealogist and an ancestral line of names is pretty special when they are presented side by side. She may love a special piece of jewelry that has the names of her matriarchal line.
For example, you could have the necklace engraved with her name, her mother’s name, her grandmother’s name, and her great-grandmother’s name. I like this mother’s necklace on Etsy because it is casual and trendy for the cool mom.
10. Subscription to a newspaper site
I’m a big fan of online digital newspaper archives. There is always something MORE that can researched. Newspapers are always being added to online sites as they acquire them. Each newspaper site carries their own titles, sometimes the same as another site but often times very different titles, so it’s good to search them all. My two favorite newspaper sites are ChroniclingAmerica.org. The latter is free, so a great gift would be for a one year subscription to Newspapers.com
11. Her Old House on Canvas
If she can’t quit talking about “home” and all the wonderful memories of growing up, how about a taking a photo of the house she grew up in and making it into an enlarged canvas print? My mom got tears when I gave her a canvas set of her old house and barn. Canvas photo enlargements can be ordered through Amazon.
12. Favorite Flowers, of course!
But make them REALLY special!
- Do you know if she has a favorite memory to go with a certain flower?
- What was her grandma’s favorite flower?
- If you know of a family story that includes a certain kind of flower, she’d probably appreciate the extra thoughtful effort put into selecting her bouquet.
Your mom will really appreciate that you took notice of one of her favorite hobbies and got her something she can use or that will create a new memory for her.
Of course, you can still get her a beautiful bouquet (always a winner) or lovely potted arrangement for the porch. She’s worth it! If there’s something on this list of 12 ideas that you’d like for yourself for Mother’s Day, be sure to share this post on Facebook or in an email!
These are 12 of my favorite genealogy gift ideas for Mother’s Day. Leave a comment below if you have any unique suggestions to share!