Transcription & Secretarial Svcs Working From Home Books

How to Create a Family History for Publication – Part 6 (the final part)

My Great Aunt with my Grandmother

Part 6 (the final part of this 6-part series) contains information regarding saving your book to a CD or DVD, printing and publication options, creating a PowerPoint presentation or an e-book.

Once your book is complete, typed and ready to be distributed, you need to decide how you want it published. The following are options to consider:

Saving your book to a CD or DVD: This is the least expensive way to distribute your book. Keep in mind that the only way someone can view your family history will be on a computer screen, a DVD player or on a TV screen with a DVD player connected.

* If you save the book as a Word or text document, anyone can make changes to your file. If you do not want anyone else to be able to make changes, consider password protecting the document so no one else but you can make changes.

* You can save the document in PDF format which will prevent anyone from making changes. PDF files are easier to read. To read a PDF file will require someone to have a computer or a tablet or other file reader unless you save it to a DVD formatted for an external DVD player.

Printing: You can either print copies of your book yourself at home using your own printer or use an outside copy service. Per page copy prices whether you copy them yourself using your printer or using a copy service will vary depending upon the following factors:

* Printing two-sided pages (printing on the front and the back of each page).

* Printing in color or black print only.

* Using a laser printer or an inkjet printer. If you decide to print the book yourself and intend to use an inkjet printer, depending upon the number of pages, this could be costly… more than using a copy service. Be sure to call different copy/printing services for prices before you decide. If you want your book printed in color, ask the service if they use laser color printers or inkjet. Most copiers today use laser printers.

Binding:

* Printing on 3-hole punch paper for insertion and distribution in a folder or 3-ring binder. When you are estimating the cost to print one book, don’t forget to factor in the cost of the folders or 3-ring binders in addition to the cost of the paper.

* Coil binding. This can only be done using a copy service. NOTE: One of the advantages to coil binding and printing on 3-hole punched paper is that if you or any other family member should want to add pages to the book later, it can easily be done.

* Perfect or soft binding (pages glued together at the spine). This type of binding is usually used for paperback publications. However, if your copy service will do this for a reasonable price, it’s a nice finishing touch to your book.

PowerPoint Presentations: Your text and all the pictures and images can be imported and saved in a PowerPoint Presentation. Voice recordings, video clips, music, narration and special effects can be added. Presentations can be saved to CD’s or DVD’s with menus to send to family members or uploaded to one of many sites online that only you and your designated family members and friends can view.

As for the cost if you don’t know how to create a PowerPoint presentation yourself, there are many services that can do this for you.

E-Books: E-books require special formatting to create in order to read them on a tablet, Kindle, Nook, computer or other ebook reading device. There are many ebook publishing services that offer this type of formatting.

Cost: Keep in mind that the more pictures and documents you have, the higher the cost will be. The cost to put your book together will include the following:

* Typing of the text and Table of Contents

* Pictures and document scanning, cropping, size scaling, adding text titles, image editing (if necessary), and insertion into the file.

* The time to save each photograph and/or document as a file then combine them in the desired order.

* Printing costs vary depending upon the number of pages.

* Printing in color will cost more than in black only.

* Special paper. If you choose special paper, this will cost more.

* Binding costs if you choose to have your book bound.

The text portion of your book: Most likely you’re going to do the writing or typing yourself. You may even be able to scan the pictures and documents yourself. If you know how to scan images and insert them into a document and if you know how to save a document to a CD, you might not have to pay for anything more than the cost of the CD’s.

If you don’t need many copies, you can print them at home. Remember that color copies with pictures can use up a lot of ink. It might be cheaper to save the file to a CD and take it to a copy service to have copies made.

You may be thinking, “I can’t afford to publish or print a book nor do I even want to.” It doesn’t have to be a published book. Once you have ALL of the material put together in a computer file, you can take the file to any printer or most office supply store and have copies run off for your family. You can also save copies to CD’s or DVD’s for distribution. The cost is not all that much. Price what the cost of one book will be, before you make your decision.

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I hope this 6-part article about putting together a Family History Book is helpful to you. I would love to hear from you if you found series this useful.

If you have a question regarding dictation transcription or how to run your own secretarial service from home, let me know. Send me your comments, suggestions, and/or questions in the comments section.

Bookmark this site and drop by again. I’ll be posting more tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts.

Thanks again for stoppin’ by.

Gail S. Kibby White

PLEASE NOTE: All ads, SPAM and inappropriate comments are NOT read. They are automatically deleted by WordPress and the sender is blocked from further communications.

How to Create a Family History for Publication – Part 5

Chumung, NY in 1880 – Where my GGrandfather was born.

Part 5 of this 6-part article contains information about assembling the book’s information just prior to typing for publication.

If you are going to give all of the information you’ve put together to someone to type for you, it is imperative you keep everything about each family member (chapter content) together in their own large marked envelope including the chapter number on the front of the envelope and the chapter heading. You may prefer to use file folders and write this information on the front of the folder.

Inside the envelope or folder, include your handwritten or typed summaries and other notes for the typist in addition to the photographs and document images to be included in this chapter.

If someone else is going to be typing your book for you, in each envelope/folder, be sure to reference on your handwritten or typed notes, each picture by number, names of the people in the picture and other information that identifies the photo or document. Make notes of what title you want the typist to type under each photo and/or document image on the page in the book.

Include notes for the typist where the image should be inserted, i.e. on the same page as your notes, on the top, bottom or back of the page or on a page of its own. If you want multiple pictures or document images inserted, be sure to note for the typist in what order they are to be inserted and if you want more than one image on the same page. Number them clearly.

All of the family books I typed and formatted for publication for customers, were either dictated on tape for transcription or given to me as handwritten or typed material. I then scanned all of the photographs and documents as JPG images to be inserted in the final document.

You might want to consider placing all of the images/photos you want on the same page in small envelopes with notes attached to the outside as to what titles you want under each image and in what order on the page they should be placed. Then place the smaller envelope with the images and your notes inside the appropriate large envelope or folder.

If you already have scanned JPG images, copy them to a CD or DVD and give them to your typist to insert into your typed book.

Examples of the various chapters of your book and what they should contain:

The beginning of the book:

The Title page (The very first page): Think of an appropriate and unique title. Consider adding a logo, family photograph, a collage of family pictures or your family crest.

If you are going to type the information in your book yourself in Word or another word-processing program, be sure a blank page follows the Title page. That way when your book is printed, the blank page will be on the other side of the Title page.

About the Author: Write some background information about you, why you wrote this book, and when you wrote it. Add a picture of yourself. Mention where you’re living and where you were born. Use your imagination. Make it short (about one page or less) yet interesting.

Acknowledgment and Dedication Page: This is the page where you may want to acknowledge any assistance you received and dedicate the book to one or more people.

Table of Contents: Here you’ll list the chapters and page numbers. This will be the last thing you fill in after the book is complete with all of the chapters typed and pictures inserted.

Introduction: Elaborate more on what prompted you to write the book and some background about you, your current family, and ancestry. One customer I typed/formatted a book for inserted maps of the area her family was from in Russia. She added copies of information she found online about the ships her ancestors sailed to the U.S. from Russia on. She elaborated on where they came from to familiarize a reader with the family in general and what to expect to find in the book i.e. stories about her family both in Russia and in America as related by each family member.

Sections: Each surname family should be in their own section i.e. a section for your father and his side of the family, one section for your mother and her side of the family and maybe even another section for close friends. You and your siblings will most likely be included in all of the sections with different photos and notes about special events and memories.

The chapters in each section: Each family member should have their own chapter complete with pictures and document images. Name the chapters after the family member the chapter is about. This makes it much easier when you’re putting the book together or browsing through the published book. If you have one long file, it makes it harder to find the section and chapter you want to add the information to or if you want to go directly to a specific family member’s chapter.

Because you’re going to have different sections by surname i.e. Jones (father’s) section and Smith (mother’s) section of your book, it would help if you name the envelope or folder you are going to store your notes, writings and images as follows:

The section name first then the family member name (Chapter in the section):

Jones Section – Emily Jones
Jones Section – name, etc.

Smith Section – Dolly Smith
Smith Section – name, etc.

In the next and final part of this article, Part 6, we discuss the various copy, printing and/or publication options.

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I hope this 6-part article about putting together a Family History Book is helpful to you. I would love to hear from you if you found series this useful.

If you have a question regarding dictation transcription or how to run your own secretarial service from home, let me know. Send me your comments, suggestions, and/or questions in the comments section.

Bookmark this site and drop by again. I’ll be posting more tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts. Next week I’ll post the final part of this series, Part 6 – Copying, Printing, and/or Publication.

Gail S. Kibby White

NOTE: Due to the number of hacking attempts, I am no longer posting my email address. If you want to contact me, leave me a comment and I’ll respond here in the site.

PLEASE NOTE: All ads, SPAM and inappropriate comments are NOT read. They are automatically deleted by WordPress and the sender is blocked from further communications.

How to Create a Family History for Publication – Part 4

My GGrandfather, George Sutherland

Part 4 of this 6-part series – The writing process; ideas to write about.

Now we begin the writing process. You can do this by writing, typing or dictating/ recording your ideas.

I recommend you put all of your ideas and thoughts down as a first draft and come back to it later. You’ll find you may want to do several drafts until it’s perfected. Things you didn’t think of when you wrote the first draft will pop into your mind later. You may decide to take something out or elaborate more on one particular subject of part of a story.

Now the following may get a bit confusing but I’m going to try my best to explain.

As I’ve mentioned before, you’re going to want to create a section for each family surname (your father’s last name and your mother’s maiden name). There will of course be some duplication but don’t worry about that. You’re going to write one chapter about each family member under each surname and reference the chapters in the Table of Contents. Yes, when you’re done with the book, you’re going to create a Table of Contents.

For example: Judy Jones’ father’s surname is Jones. Her mother’s maiden name is Smith. She would have two sections; one for Jones and one for Smith.

Judy would write stories about herself in a chapter in the Jones section (her father’s surname) but not necessarily in the Smith section (her mother’s maiden name). An alternative would be for Judy to write a completely different story about herself to go in the Smith section; events etc. that relate mostly to her mother’s side (the Smith side) of Judy Jones’s family. The choice is yours. I personally wrote different chapters about myself and chapters about my brother to go in both sections, my father’s and my mother’s side of our family thus avoiding duplication of the same material i.e. the same material in two sections.

In the Table of Contents, Judy’s name would be listed under the Jones section AND under the Smith section. If Judy had decided to only write one story/article about herself in the Jones section and NOT in the Smith section, she could make a reference in the Smith section back to the Jones section, i.e. (refer to the Section on Jones.)

But we’ll get to sections and chapter creation for individual family member stories later on.

Suggested topics for the written material:

Memorable parties or get-togethers with friends from school, work, college, an organization you belong to or neighbors (current and former).
Over the hill birthday parties
Engagement parties
Batchelor parties

Were any of your family members a member of an organization and served as an officer or did something noteworthy? You may want to include any recognition documents i.e. certificates of merit.

Military service

Events that happened way back then that are nonexistent today. I can remember when photographers would go door to door and take pictures of children on a pony. I have one of my brother and I.

Do you remember milk tokens, ordering milk from a delivery milkman (the top was always the cream), returnable bottles for refund, ration stamps during WWII, rag men who rode in horse drawn carts collecting paper and rags, mood rings, secret ID rings in cereal boxes, maple syrup in a can shaped like a log cabin, crystal sets, Barbie dolls, GI Joe dolls, etc.

All of these things should be very interesting to your younger family members today and in the future.

Mood rings
Mezpah
Mustard Seed Jewelry
Radio Broadcasts (before TV)
Commercials

If these things were before your time, ask your family members and friends. Look them up online. Adding these things to your stories will make your book that much more interesting to your readers especially future generations.

Have you saved your old address and phone number books? I have and so did my mother. I found names and addresses for people I had forgotten about long ago. Seeing the names triggered memories I then wrote about. I used the old addresses for relatives who have passed away as part of my stories. I also looked up some of the addresses for close relatives in Google Earth and saved pictures of the residence to include in my stories. Even if the person you’re writing about has been gone for many years, it is still interesting to those reading about them to see where they used to live especially if the person reading it is also a relative.

To make stories more interesting, especially when you don’t have any pictures of the person you’re writing about, I added images from Google Earth showing the area where an ancestor lived… even the house itself… if I had the address. I downloaded pictures from the internet of what the area looked like when they lived there i.e. my Great-Grandfather was born in 1840 in Spencer, Tompkins County, New York and lived in Chemung, New York. I searched and found several picture postcards on the internet of what Chemung, New York looked like in the 1800’s. (Refer to these pictures at the top of this article.)

For example a business card may remind you of a friend you knew a long time ago and some things you did together. If you kept all of your own business cards, they could be scanned and included in your book to serve as a visual illustration of your promotional climb at work.

Examples: My uncle Bill passed away in 1959. He was born in Brooklyn, NY. I happened to find the address in some of my father’s things after he passed away. I looked up the address in Google Earth, found the residence and saved the picture for the story about Uncle Bill.

My father was born in Buffalo, NY in my Aunt’s home. I found the address, looked it up in Google Earth and saved the picture of the home to add to my story about my father.

Through research, I found out that my great-great-grandfather lived in a little town called Spargurville, in Highland County near Rainsboro, Ohio. I didn’t know the address but I looked up the town in Google Earth and saved several pictures of Spargurville. I also looked up some history of Spargurville and added that to my story.

For example I found out my GGGGrandfather came to America from Ireland in 1790 with his father and fought in the American Revolution. I wrote to the government archives and obtained a copy of a handwritten account of his service, how he fought for two years escorting settlers to safety from the area around Pittsburg, PA to the Philadelphia area during the Indian uprisings just before the revolution. He then reenlisted for another two years and guarded the British prisoners after the fall of Yorktown. I found that three GGrandfathers fought in the Civil War, two on the side of the Union and one in the Army of the Confederacy. Two of them almost died of Typhoid fever and one was captured and held in a Confederate prison. I found a lot of historical information I never read about in school.

Include friends. You might even want to add a section for those special lifelong friends as well.

Look up stories and pictures about the time your relatives were born and lived: It makes your stories more interesting if you add in interesting bits and pieces about where they were born and lived especially if they came from another country and you know the time period.

Example: My great-grandfather George Sutherland was born in Inverness, Scotland. (His picture is above.) I do not know when but, judging by my grandmother’s age, I estimate it must have been around 1850 or 1860. I looked up the history of Scotland and found pictures of Inverness, Scotland around that time. I also knew that my great-grandfather was a member of the Black Watch. I looked it up and found pictures and information about the Black Watch. I added those stories and pictures to the story about my great-grandfather.

Be sure to do a search for all the surnames you want to write about in your book. This may sound crazy but someone may have already started a site for one of those names. I found a site for my maiden name with a lot of very interesting facts. I also found out there is an entire book written about my maiden name going back to the 1,600’s. The book contains names, birth dates, death dates, last known city and state, who they married, information about them and their children with dates and a complete lineage of ancestors for each name in the book. My name and my entire family are in that book and I didn’t even know it.

Possible Problems:

Below I’ve listed just a few facts. To learn more, there are FAQ files in many ancestry searching sites online.

1. When you’re doing research, you’ll find it’s difficult tracing women because of married names especially if they’ve been divorced and married again. Obtaining Social Security records when possible can yield a lot of information regarding maiden names.

2. When you go back two or three generations, you’ll find most men didn’t have middle names which makes it difficult to pin down a specific name especially if it’s a commonly used last name. You’ll need as much information as you can about that person to definitely identify him i.e. age, where he lived, who he married, how many children he had and their names, where he came from (if from a foreign country) and when.

3. Only fragments remain of the 1890 Census report. The building they were housed in burned down. For more information on all of the Census reports every done, go to http://www.censusfinder.com. This site contains a lot of good information about all of the census reports.

4. In the beginning, Census Takers went door to door and wrote things down by hand. As a result, you’ll find many errors with name spelling and other information. In addition, errors occurred when the records were converted to computer files because the typist couldn’t make out the handwriting or made typing errors i.e. spelling, etc.

5. Obtaining records from the states of New York, Pennsylvania and New England states can be very difficult and daunting because that is where most of the people immigrated to and settled before the American Revolution. Many people were born at home so there are no records. Checking ship and Ellis Island records can be helpful if you know approximate dates.

6. Immigrants and settlers came into America through New York (Ellis Island), North and South Carolina and even through Nova Scotia and down through Canada.

Your family members should listing in the order of their position of hierarchy in the family (see the basic sample illustration below). Most ancestry sites will give you a variety of hierarchy listings to guide you.

To make it clearer to your readers, in addition to the Table of Contents, consider creating a list for each family member showing the relationships.

Sample Hierarchies:

GGGGGrandfather
GGGGrandfather
GGGrandfather
GGrandfather
Grandfather
Father
You
Your children
Your Grandchildren
Your GGrandchildren

If you have a video on a CD, DVD or even a VCR tape, pictures can be taken from the video (a frame) and saved as a snapshot for insertion into your book.

If you pass on a CD or DVD to family members, hopefully, one of your relatives or more might decide to continue on and keep adding to it making this a perpetual living family album. This would be your legacy to your family.

Refer to the various pictures in your text. If you have titles under the pictures with short explanations, this will help cut down on the text you have to type.

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I hope this 6-part article about putting together a Family History Book is helpful to you. I would love to hear from you if you found series this useful.

If you have a question regarding dictation transcription or how to run your own secretarial service from home, let me know. Send me your comments, suggestions, and/or questions in the comments section.

Bookmark this site and drop by again. I’ll be posting more tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts. Next week I’ll post Part 5 – Putting everything for your book together to get ready for tying and publication.

Gail S. Kibby White

NOTE: Due to the number of hacking attempts, I am no longer posting my email address. If you want to contact me, leave me a comment and I’ll respond here in the site.

PLEASE NOTE: All ads, SPAM and inappropriate comments are NOT read. They are automatically deleted by WordPress and the sender is blocked from further communications.

How to Create a Family History for Publication – Part 3

My Junior Prom – 1952 – Age 17 – I’m the third from the left.

Now we’ll move on to organizing and cataloging all the material you’ve gathered for your book thus far.

1. Now that you’ve sorted the pictures, documents and mementos by family member and section into piles, go back through them to be sure you’ve picked the best ones to put in your book. If your funds to print the book are limited, this will be especially important. The more pictures and document images you include, the more pages there will be in the book which will raise the printing or copy cost per book especially if the book is going to be printed in color. However, if you are going to save the book to a CD or a DVD or create a PowerPoint presentation, video/movie or e-book to distribute on CD’s or DVD’s, the printing cost will not be an issue. The cost of CD’s and DVD’s are much less than printing, copying or publishing. We discuss printing costs in the last chapter.

2. Once you’ve picked all the pictures, documents and mementos you want to use, sort the items in order by age starting with the youngest first. Stories should usually begin when the person was the youngest and lead up to the present time.

3. On a legal pad or notebook page, write each family member’s name at the top of the page. Create a separate page for every family member you are going to include in your book or, if you created an Excel Workbook, enter the information in the appropriate page.

4. Once you’ve written a family member’s name at the top of the page, number down the side leaving every other line empty.

5. Number each picture and document on the back lightly in pencil. For some pictures or documents you can use post-it sticky notes to place numbers on them so as not to deface the picture or document.

6. How many times have you looked at a photo and wondered who the people were, when was the photo taken, where and what was the event? The stories in your book will be much more realistic, interesting, and meaningful if you identify each photo or document you use in your book using the names of the people in the picture, dates, where the picture was taken, the event and other meaningful information. Identifying the pictures and documents will make the reader (including you) feel they were there too and a part of the story especially if the reader is a family member who knows or knew the person the chapter is about or was there at the event. Ask friends and family members if they can help you identify the people in the photo and the date, if possible.

Below are some recommendations:

a. The person, place, and date the picture was taken including month, day and year and any other significant information to identify it.

Examples:

Mom playing baseball at the family picnic on the Fourth of July, 1997.

OR

Don Draper, Jim Jones and Sally Jones and I at Sally’s engagement party at (place), June 1, 2000.

b. Consider adding some descriptions or comments either in the title or description in the picture or document image or in the story directly below.

Examples: “My hair was much longer there then than it is now.”, “This picture was taken after the accident.” “This is our old house in the background.” OR “This was my first car, a 1950, Chevy convertible. Boy I loved that car.”

c. Name the people in the order they appear in the picture from left to right.

d. If the picture has more than one row of people, identify them as: Back Row: John Smith and Jim Jones, Front row, Sally Jones and I.

e. If all the people are in one row, identify them this way: Left to Right, John Smith, Jim Jones, Sally Jones and I.

f. It helps to use last names because some people, including distant relatives or future relatives might not know the people or remember them in the future including you. People change and you might not recognize them later.

Example:

Left to Right: My first cousins Don and John Draper, Sally Jones and I at Sally’s engagement party at (place), June 1, 2000.

OR

Back Row: My first cousins Don and John Draper
Bottom Row: Sally Jones and I at Sally’s engagement party at (place), June 1, 2000.

g. You might even want to put ages in. Example: “This is a picture of me at grandma Smith’s house in Cleveland in 1965. I was only two years old then.”

h. Place each picture in the book on the same page as you write about the event even if it’s just a short sentence. When you write about the event, reference the picture. Example: (See picture above or below).

i. If you decide you want to use the same picture in several different sections of the book, make a note of that in the family member’s identification sheet.

Example after you have written the complete description, write: This picture to also be used in the section or sections (name) in the chapter or chapters for (name).

An alternative to placing the same picture in more than once section or chapter might be to make a reference on the page you’re writing to the page where the picture or document is located. Example: See section (name), chapter (name), page (number).

7. Next, go to one family member’s pile of pictures and documents. Find the page you created for that family member in Step #3 (or go to the page in your spreadsheet) with that family member’s name on it.

8. Choose the first image or document you previously numbered in Step #5 (i.e. Item #1) that you want to include in this family member’s chapter and write the information recommended in Step 6 about that image on Line #1 of the page. This information is the information that will be typed below the image in the book. The information can either be typed in the picture or document image itself as a title or in the story under the image. This is especially important if you are going to add the information to the image itself as a title at the bottom of the image.

9. Continue doing this with every picture and document you’ve gathered for that same family member. When done, put everything including the list in the envelope.

10. Follow this same procedure for every family member.

11. Sort all the envelopes containing pictures and documents by family surname, most likely two piles; one pile of envelopes for your father’s family section and one for your mother’s family section (her maiden name). For family members branching off under different surnames, we’re going to make sub-sections under the main sections, etc. If you had a step-mother or step-father, they would have their own sections. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Don’t worry about a family member needing to be listed in more than one section. I’ll cover that and make this clearer in the next part of this article. For now we’re going to just have two piles; one for your father’s side of the family and another for your mother’s side. We’ll break them down later.

An example would be:

Chapters about your father’s family to be included in your father’s section would be the following in this order:

First would be a chapter about your father’s mother and father (your grandparents)
Next, a chapter about your father.
Next, your father’s sisters and/or brothers (your aunts and uncles)
Your aunts and uncles children (your cousins)
Your cousin’s children etc.

Chapters about your mother’s family would go in her section under her maiden name in the same order. The same would apply to step-parents, brothers and sisters.

12. Now write the surname (Section name) for each family member on each of the envelopes that belong to that family name above their name and number them in order by oldest family member first, youngest last. (See above.)

Now on to Part 4 where I give you ideas about things you can write about.

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I hope this 6-part article about putting together a Family History Book is helpful to you. I would love to hear from you if you found series this useful.

If you have a question regarding dictation transcription or how to run your own secretarial service from home, let me know. Send me your comments, suggestions, and/or questions in the comments section.

Bookmark this site and drop by again. I’ll be posting more tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts. Next week I’ll post Part 4 – The writing process; ideas to write about.

Gail S. Kibby White

PLEASE NOTE: All ads, SPAM and inappropriate comments are NOT read. They are automatically deleted by WordPress and the sender is blocked from further communications.

How to Create a Family History For Publication – Part 2

My Great-great-great Grandmother

Part 2 of the 6-part series– Suggested List of Pictures and Documents

Gather all the items you think you want to include in your book. All pictures and documents will be scanned and saved as images that will be inserted into your family history book in the article about that person.

Include all of the family members you have information about. If you don’t know much about a family member, ask other family members. Get them involved in helping you create something that everyone will treasure for years. If your parents and grandparents are still living, be sure to talk with them. I didn’t get interested in my ancestry until after my parents and grandparents had passed away. I regret every day that I didn’t learn as much as I could from them before it was too late. I’m sure there were many memorable pictures, stories, and valuable documents that are long gone. Future generations of my family will now have a documented record they will value. My hope is that one or more of them will pass it on and continue to add to it making it a living legacy.

If there is a particular person or persons in your life who have been a significant part of your life but they’re not family members, consider adding them to your book in a separate section. Example; there are two women I’ve known all my life. Their parents double-dated with my parents before they were married. Their parents were like an aunt and uncle to me and their daughters my cousins. We still keep in touch through Facebook and email. I have many pictures of them and their parents. A family history wouldn’t be the same without them in it.

If someone else is going to edit and format your book for printing or publishing along with scanning your pictures and/or documents, do NOT make copies of pictures and/or documents to give to them. Copies of pictures and documents do NOT scan well. Use originals for scanning. Don’t discard or rule out old pictures or documents that may be cracked or faded. Originals of old pictures or documents can be enhanced and restored through the scanning process and use of a photograph/ document enhancement program. I’ve had old pictures that, after they were enhanced, looked almost as good as I’m sure the original did. If you have some pictures that need enhancing or resizing and don’t know how to do it, you may have to hire a professional to do this for you.

If you know how to scan pictures and plan to have someone else format the final book for publication including inserting the pictures with titles etc., scan the pictures and save them in JPG format. You can then copy them to a CD or DVD and give them to the person formatting your book for the final production.

If the pictures need resizing and/or enhancing and you don’t know how to do that, the person who will be doing the final formatting can probably help you with that as well. By the way, be sure to ask about that before you hire someone. You don’t want to have to hire two different people. That could get costly.

All of the items you gather will serve as “memory joggers” as well as illustrations as you write. As you read through this list many of these items will have significant meaning for you and help you to remember events that happened or topics you want to write about. There are many examples to assist you in Part 4 of this 7-part series.

Suggestion: Print and keep this list handy as a “memory jogger” as you begin the writing process. You may even want to print one copy for each family member and highlight the item on the list you want to write about. I’ve added a line to write in the family member’s name in case you would like to print a copy for a particular family member.

Name: ______________________________

Pictures:
Family members
Friends
Pets
Pictures of awards given to you or family members
Conventions
Parties
Weddings
Engagement Showers
Bridal Showers
Baby Showers
A Flower arrangement you received for something special
Races i.e. running, Walkathons, motorcycle, bicycle, swimming, boat, etc.
That “huge” fish you caught
Recitals
Homes you’ve lived in or current family residences
The neighborhood you lived in
Places, towns you’ve visited or family members lived in present and past
Special events i.e. a cruise ship you took a cruise on, the circus you went to as a child, a special concert or play, a national football or baseball game you went to, etc.
Vehicles you or a family member owned including bicycles or motorcycles… even scooters, ATV’s or waverunners
Boats
Vacations
Camping trips
Amusement park rides you photographed
Your office (especially your very first one)
Pictures of buildings where you worked
Coworkers
Grave sites where family members are buried.
Pictures of Inventions by a family member
Pictures or postcards of the town or city you lived in.
Something you or a family member built like a soapbox racer.

Documents:
Bibles
Birth certificates
Birth announcements
Baby Shower announcements
Birthday Party invitations
Engagement announcements
Bachelor party invitations
Bridal Shower Invitations
Wedding invitations and/or announcements
Marriage Certificates
High school diplomas
School Grade Cards
School yearbooks
Special Awards or Certificates of Certification
Programs from sports events, dance recitals etc.
Membership documents in special organizations
Special Citations
College degrees
Death certificates
Divorce papers
Obituaries
Grave Site Documents
Military enlistment papers
Military discharge papers
Other miscellaneous military papers or medals
Special training certificates
Business Cards
Promotional announcement in the company newsletter or newspaper
Hospital documents
Medical ID Cards
Memorable Articles printed in newspapers or on the internet
An article you wrote or that was written about you or a family member in your company newspaper, school paper or organization news.
Membership Cards or Plaques from organizations
An article or document written by some family member i.e. poetry, a letter.
Address books containing names, addresses & other important information
Greeting cards; special ones you may have saved
Patents
Books published by a family member
News articles about a family member
Social Security cards and applications
Census records
Immigration documents
Emigration documents
Mortgage documents
Deeds
Clan Crest i.e. I belong to the Sutherland Clan of Scotland
Documents about the history of the clan
Land grant documents
Voter documents
Drivers Licenses
Law Suit records
Court documents
Maps
Post Cards of trips and places you’ve been
Vehicle titles
Announcements and/or Programs from special events you attended
Old budgets
IRS Tax Returns
Cancelled checks
Paycheck stubs or records
Honor Cords from graduation
Trophies and other items that can either be scanned to put in the book or a picture taken to add to the book.
Articles about a major event that happened nationwide or worldwide during the time period you are writing about.

Miscellaneous other items that might help to jog your memory and write a story about it:
Songs
Dress or special outfit i.e the dress you wore to your first prom or first date
Piece of Jewelry
Gift from someone special i.e. statue, bric-a-brac, candles, jewelry
TV program
Famous people
Movies
Actors
Radio show from the past

Other miscellaneous papers that would be of interest to other family members. My grandfather invented a clamp in 1915 that was used commercially for many years. I included the flyer, his brochure, and other information about the patent.

For contrast, I’ve included copies of some checks I wrote for miscellaneous expenses many years ago and then a few from the current date i.e. electric, rent, groceries etc. to show the difference between expenses then and now. You might even want to include some text about this in your written material. In my parents things after they passed away, I found a check ledger from the 1930’s. What a difference when I compared the expenses then to today’s expenses!

Talk to the people you want to include in your book and/or others who know or knew them. Ask them for their recollections about the people and events you are going to put in your book. Their memories could enhance your book. Ask if they have any photos or documents you could borrow to scan and add to your book.

Procedures:
1. For each family member, pick out the best pictures you want to include in your book or journal. You can narrow it down later as you go back through them. You will probably delete or add some but for now, pick as many as you think depict an important event or are particularly good pictures of a family member or members.

2. Sort everything into piles, one for each family member you’re going to include in your book. Keep the items separated by family member.

3. You may have pictures that contain a group of people that you will probably want to include in several different family member sections. You can note that later but for now, you can use a post-it or sticky note on the picture to remind yourself you want to use this in other sections. Mark the other family member’s name on the note as a reminder of the other chapter you want to include this picture or document in.

Next week we will move on to Part 3 – Organizing and Cataloging

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I hope this 6-part article about putting together a Family History Book is helpful to you. I would love to hear from you if you found series this useful.

If you have a question regarding dictation transcription or how to run your own secretarial service from home, let me know. Send me your comments, suggestions, and/or questions in the comments section.

Bookmark this site and drop by again. I’ll be posting more tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts. Next week I’ll post Part 3 – How to organize and catalog all the information you’ve gathered in preparation for writing the stories and articles.

Gail S. Kibby White

My author’s web site is: www.tailoredpcdocuments.biz

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How to Create a Family History for Publication – Part 1

My grandmother back in the 1920’s

Part 1 of 6 parts – Getting Started.

Your book is going contain a chapter about every one of your family members going back as many generations as you can even if it is just one short paragraph or two and should contain stories and as much information about them as you know. Note: you may wish to confine your book to current immediate family members only and not include and ancestors. That’s okay too.

Your book should include pictures and documents as part of your stories. Each chapter will serve as a short biography of this person including your connection and experiences involving the members you knew personally. You can make the chapters as short or as long as you want. Note: some of your immediate family members may be deceased. I suggest you write a short chapter about them with pictures anyway.

Your book is going to have sections containing the chapters. The minimum number would be two sections; one section for your mother’s side of the family (her maiden name) and one section for your father’s side of the family. You may want to add another section for special friends if you like or a step-parent or in-laws.

I go into more detail with many ideas of what you can do to make your book more interesting, colorful, real and “alive” in Part 4. If you have some ideas and suggestions you would like to share, please e-mail me and I’ll add them to Part 7 with recognition of your contribution using only a first name.

If you want to get into genealogy researching to find out as much as you can about all of your ancestors as far back as possible, there are many sites on the internet to help you; some are free, others are by subscription. There are several very good computer programs that are reasonably priced that you can purchase and install on your computer, then enter your information and the program will organize lineage, your family tree and many other features including the ability to imbed images of documents and photographs, stories, etc. There may be classes offered on this subject through your local community center, school or an organization you belong to.

There are now DNA services where you send away a sample of your DNA and find out a lot of information about your heritage. More on this later.

Okay! Are you ready? Let’s get started. Below are the first steps.

In order to organize everything prior to writing and gathering pictures, documents and other items, you’re going to need the following:

Supplies:

1. A package or box of 8 ½” x 11” mailing envelopes. The number of envelopes you need will depend upon how many people you’re going to write about. You’re going to use one envelope for each person to store all the pictures, documents and other mementos related to that person.

2. You’ll also need a package of sticky notes.

3. A pad of legal paper or lined notebook paper.

4. Several colored Highlighter pens.

Procedures:

1. Make a first draft list of all the family members and any other people you can think of right now that you want to include in your book. As you begin gathering the pictures, documents and other items, you’re probably going to add more names to this list.

2. Number the names in the list and make a notation next to the name what the relationship is to you. The numbering is merely to keep track of how many names you have so far. Don’t worry about organizing them just yet. We’ll get to that in Parts 2, 3.

Suggestion: To save a lot of writing by hand, I created a Workbook using MS Excel containing three pages or sheets; one page containing names and important basic information about that person, one page to list all the pictures by the name of person and section they will be placed in and the information that is to be typed under the pictures. I used the third page to list document images and information. You could create a separate workbook for each section containing individual pages for each person you’re writing about. Whatever is easiest for you.

Each page has columns to enter information as you find it. Once you’re laid out the sheets with column heads etc., you can either print the sheet as a blank form to write in the information, or type the information directly into the Workbook sheets as you go along. This comes in handy later because when you’re done, names can be sorted any way you want i.e. alphabetically by last name, section, relationship, etc. The pages also serve as a memory jogger to remind you of the information you still need to gather.

If you are interested in using this method of keeping a list of the people you want to write about along with a list of pictures and documents and pertinent information, I would be happy to email you a sample blank Workbook with the columns already laid out etc. Send me an e-mail.

3. For each family member or name you’ve noted on the list, write their name and relationship to you on the front of one 8 ½” x 11” envelope (or in the Workbook).

4. Write the Section (last name) this person will be included in; your father’s last name, your mother’s maiden name, friend, in-law, etc. If this person will eventually be included in more than one section i.e. a sister or a brother, note that on the envelope.

5. You may decide you want to write about two family members in one chapter i.e. married couples. Note both names on the front of the envelope. However, because you may have a lot of pictures and documents for each one separately, I would make an envelope for each person. Again, we’re going to organize these later on.

As you begin selecting the pictures and documents, choose the ones you want included in your book using the following steps:

1. Decide if you want more than one picture on a page or if you want each picture on a separate page. Keep in mind larger pictures and/or landscape pictures (side to side) will have to be rotated on the page in order to fit them on a page without reducing the size too much.

2. Place the documents you want right after the appropriate pictures. For example you would want to put birth announcements first and obituaries last. If you want to put in a marriage certificate, put that in right after the wedding pictures. Examples of the types of documents you may want to include are in Part 2 of this article. You might want to put all the pictures at the beginning or the end of each story or even the entire chapter. The choice is yours.

Once you have all the envelopes marked with names, relationship to you and section, continue on to Part 2 which will be published next week. Part 2 contains a list of suggested pictures, documents, and items. Keep the extra envelopes because you’re probably going to be adding people as you gather items.

Part 3 contains instructions on how to catalog and identify everything before you store them in the envelopes ready to begin writing.

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I hope this 6-part article about putting together a Family History Book is helpful to you. I would love to hear from you if you found series this useful. I’m more than happy to help.

If you have a question regarding dictation transcription or how to run your own secretarial service from home, let me know. Send me your comments, suggestions, and/or questions in the comments section.

Bookmark this site and drop by again. I’ll be posting more tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts. Next week I’ll post Part 2 – Suggested List of Pictures and Documents.

Gail S. Kibby White

My Grade School – 1944

You can CONTACT ME me directly at gailskibbywhite@earthlink.net

My author’s web site is: www.tailoredpcdocuments.biz

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How to Create a Family History for Publication – Introduction

My grandfather as a child with my GGrandmother and his sister and brothers.
My grandfather as a child with my GGrandmother and his sister and brothers.

Welcome to the Introduction of the 6-part series on How to Create a Family History for Publication.

Have you ever thought about or wanted to create a journal or book about your family containing stories, pictures, and information about your current family and your ancestors; something permanent you can share with your family now and pass along to future generations? A journal about your family member that can continue to be added onto as time goes on?

If so, be sure to read this 6-part article with instructions about what to do to create and document your family history as well as ideas of what to include. Creating your family history may be a little time consuming at first but the rewards are well worth it. You can start with some of the items you probably already have in your possession. Maybe you have already begun making notes about events and meaningful experiences.

It’s not as difficult or costly as you might think. Part 6 of this article contains information regarding copying, printing, publication options, and approximate cost.

Your book would not only serve as a valuable piece of family history for you and your family to enjoy, it would be something you will have fun creating. Your book would be something you will enjoy going back through from time to time to bring back memorable events you can relive in your mind over and over again.

Creating a book about your family and ancestors is an important way of converting and preserving memories forever with the printed word, pictures, video clips, and recorded narrations. You could use the book to create a PowerPoint presentation, home movie or an e-book.

One book I transcribed and put together for one of my customers contained 500 pages and 350 photographs and images of important documents. The final printed copy was one inch thick. This woman had her book printed on 8 ½” x 11” paper in color with coil binding so pages could be inserted later as new family members were born, people passed away or there were some significant events that she wanted to add to her publication.

She had 20 copies printed and give them to all of her family members and close friends she included in her book. This book took almost a year to put together including all of her research and is something she and her family, present and future, will treasure for generations to come especially if they keep adding to it.

The information contained in this 6-part series came from what I learned as I put her book together.

If you save your book as a Word document, an E-book, PowerPoint presentation or home movie on a CD or DVD (more about this in Parts 5 and 6 of this article) to give copies to family members, hopefully one or more of your relatives will continue to add material making it a perpetual living family album. What a wonderful legacy this would be to your family. You might even want to consider adding a section of the book to include pictures and information about close friends and significant people in your life.

If you have an interest in researching your family ancestry, there are excellent sites you can subscribe to: Heritage.com, Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com and Rootsweb.com. There are many other sites as well.

There are inexpensive computer programs you can purchase to make keeping track of your information easy. Using one of these programs, you can upload the files created to the internet where other family members you didn’t know existed may find and contact you. Two second cousins of mine and two sixth cousins found and contacted me through Ancestry.com. I connected with two first cousins I had lost track of fifty years ago. We now keep in touch through Facebook and have traded family history information. One of my sixth cousins had come into possession of my great-grandfather’s Bible from 1850 with letters from him as well as locks of hair from various relatives. She sent this precious Bible to me.

In addition to learning about your own ancestry, you’ll learn a lot of very interesting historical facts you never learned about in school. For example I found out my GGGGGrandfather came to America in 1790 with his father from Ireland and fought in the American Revolution. I wrote to the government archives and obtained a copy of a handwritten account of his service, how he fought for two years escorting settlers to safety from of the area around Pittsburg, PA to the Philadelphia area during the Indian uprisings just before the revolution. He then reenlisted for another two years and guarded the British prisoners after the fall of Yorktown. I found that three GGrandfathers fought in the Civil War, two on the side of the Union and one in the Army of the Confederacy.

Historical facts and information about your own family can be shared with all family members, especially those who are still in school. Just think how proud your son, daughter, niece, or nephew would be to tell the class that his or her GGGGrandfather fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War or that one of your ancestors played a significant part in history in some way either in America or another country. It makes history more real, personal, interesting, and fun to study. The possibilities of what you can learn are endless. Once you get started, it’s like a treasure hunt. This applies to everyone no matter when your ancestors came to America or where they’re from.

If you don’t have the desire to research and include your ancestry, a book that is just about you, your parents, grandparents, your children (your immediate family). would still be something of value to you and your family now as well as future generations.

If you think about writing a book about your family and ancestry in these terms you’ll have fun doing it and when it’s done, you’ll have something you’ll be proud of that you and your family will enjoy for years to come… a lasting legacy about real people… your family.

I’ve created a 6- part article containing steps to help you:

Part 1 – Steps and procedures for gathering information to get started.

Part 2 – A suggested list of pictures and documents to gather.

Part 3 – How to organize and catalog all the information you’ve gathered in preparation for writing the stories and articles.

Part 4 – Information and a list of things and ideas regarding what to write about… what to include in each article.

Part 5 – Putting it all together ready for copying, printing or publication.

Part 6 – Information about the various ways you can save your book as well as copying, printing and publication options, what you need to do to get your book printed and/or published (if you decide to do this) and approximate cost of each option.

I have also included information about obtaining an ISBN number and Copyrighting for those who may have a novel or other books they would like formatted for publication.

There is information about how to test your text for readability, citations etc. should you so desire. There are instructions on how to create a Q.R. (Quick Response) Code containing valuable information about your book that can be scanned by cell phones and stored for future reference.

There is information regarding dealing with printers and on-demand self-publishers. This part also goes into creating a PowerPoint presentation, an Ebook or a home movie containing the contents your book.

If you’re interested in creating a book about you and your family, I’ll be posting my 6-part article, one part at a time each week so be sure to check back.

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I hope this 6-part article about putting together a Family History Book is helpful to you. I would love to hear from you if you found series this useful.

If you have a question regarding dictation transcription or how to run your own secretarial service from home, let me know. Send me your comments, suggestions, and/or questions in the comments section.

Bookmark this site and drop by again. I’ll be posting more tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts. Next week I’ll post Part 1 of this 6-part series.

Gail S. Kibby White

Food for thought: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” (C. S. Lewis)

PLEASE NOTE: All ads, SPAM and inappropriate comments are NOT read. They are automatically deleted and the sender is blocked by WordPress from further communications.