Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans – only 1 Penny – Just pay $8 P&H – USA Sales – Nov 22 & 23, 2016 Only

Family Roots Publishing has found that we have several cases of these books in stock, and want to blow them out. We’re making them just 1 cent Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29 and 30, 2016. Buyers need just pay the $8 p&h.

Following is a review:

In his History of New Hampshire, historian Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole attempts to answer the question, “What makes a man prominent?” In his words:

“Whoever has helped notably in the great march of human progress deserves credit therefor in the popular estimation. Abilities, character and achievement make men prominent. Learning and money may be helpful, but they are not enough; without character they may the sooner sink one into oblivion.”

This seems to me as good as any definition. By whatever scale of prominence men have chosen to use, historians has provided us with tales, biographies, and accounts of men deemed important in their own right. Histories are written of events from those that changed the world to the deeds of men known only in their own communities. Either way, research can help uncover these men and their deeds. Family historians should take note that many of these histories contain vital genealogical data about not only individuals of prominence, but also their families, their acquaintances, and those with whom they interact, fixing these individual in time and place.

Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans, by William S. Speer, is a prime example of a selective history of men in Tennessee. By whatever right the Honorable William Speer though these men important, he has immortalized their names through the written word. First published in 1888, Speer selected 259 men from 19th century Tennessee for his historical record. “It is this kind of unique first-hand biographical information that makes Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans unequaled in the canon of Tennessee genealogical literature. Not only did compiler William S. Speer have the unparalleled opportunity to interview a number of the featured Tennesseans himself, he also was able to garner–and include in this book–thousands and thousands of names of their family members, friends, and colleagues.” Republished in 2008, this type of book is a treasure to both those interested in Tennessean history as well as to genealogists.

As would be hoped, these sketches include many details about the lives of these men and their families. Speer offers, often extraordinary, insight into the personal, professional, and sometimes even physical characteristics that made each of these men a success. A complete list of names, or even surnames, would be too lengthy to list here. However, below is a list of surnames of those men highlighted in this book.

 

Pick up a copy of Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans from Family Roots Publishing; Regular Price: $45. Just 1 penny November 22 and 23 – Just pay the $8 P&H.

 

Surnames featured in the book:

  • Anderson
  • Arrington
  • Atkins
  • Atlee
  • Baptist
  • Barrett
  • Bartlett
  • Bate
  • Baxter
  • Bearden
  • Bibb
  • Black
  • Blankenship
  • Boynton
  • Bradford
  • Briggs
  • Brockway
  • Brown
  • Buchanan
  • Buist
  • Burney
  • Burns
  • Burrus
  • Butler
  • Callender
  • Campbell
  • Chester
  • Childress
  • Clapp
  • Clift
  • Coldwell
  • Cole
  • Conner
  • Cooper
  • Cowan
  • Craft
  • Cullom
  • Dake
  • Dashiell
  • Deaderick
  • DeWitt
  • Dibrell
  • Dickens
  • Dodd
  • East
  • Elder
  • Elliott
  • Erskine
  • Estes
  • Evans
  • Eve
  • Ewing
  • Fain
  • Fentress
  • Ferriss
  • Fleming
  • Folsom
  • Foote
  • Foster
  • Frayser
  • Freeman
  • Frierson
  • Frizzell
  • Fulkerson
  • Gantt
  • Gaines
  • Gallaway
  • Gardenhire
  • Gaut
  • Gibson
  • Glass
  • Godwin
  • Golliday
  • Goodbar
  • Grant
  • Graves
  • Green
  • Greer
  • Hadden
  • Hall
  • Haller
  • Harding
  • Hardwick
  • Harrell
  • Harris
  • Harrison
  • Haynes
  • Heiskell
  • Henderson
  • Henning
  • Hill
  • Holman
  • Holmes
  • Houk
  • House
  • Howell
  • Hughes
  • Humes
  • Ingersoll
  • Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jordan
  • Keating
  • Kennedy
  • Key
  • Killebrew
  • King
  • Kyle
  • Larkin
  • Latta
  • Lea
  • Ledgerwood
  • Lidsley
  • Lipscomb
  • Livingston
  • Looney
  • Long
  • McAdoo
  • McBride
  • McConnell
  • McDowell
  • McFarland
  • McFerrin
  • McGuire
  • McMurray
  • McNeal
  • McTyeire
  • McWhirter
  • Maddin
  • Marchbanks
  • Marks
  • Martin
  • Mathes
  • Maruy
  • Meek
  • Menees
  • Mitchell
  • Morgan
  • Moore
  • Mumford
  • Muse
  • Neal
  • Neely
  • Neilson
  • Nelson
  • Netherland
  • Nichol
  • Nichols
  • Nicholson
  • Overton
  • Paine
  • Palmer
  • Patterson
  • Pettibone
  • Phillips
  • Pitman
  • Plunket
  • Porter
  • Quarles
  • Rambaut
  • Randolph
  • Reid
  • Richardson
  • Roberts
  • Robison
  • Rodgers
  • Rose
  • Safford
  • Sanford
  • Saunders
  • Scobey
  • Sears
  • Senter
  • Shearer
  • Sheppard
  • Shields
  • Simonton
  • Smith
  • Smitheal
  • Smithson
  • Staley
  • Stark
  • Stephens
  • Stewart
  • Stockell
  • Stokes
  • Tarver
  • Taylor
  • Temple
  • Thompson
  • Thomas
  • Thornburgh
  • Thornton
  • Thurman
  • Tinnon
  • Trewhitt
  • Trousdale
  • Turley
  • Turney
  • Ussery
  • Vance
  • Van Deman
  • Van Dyke
  • Vertrees
  • Wade
  • Ward
  • Warder
  • Watson
  • White
  • Whitthorne
  • Wilder
  • Williamson
  • Wilson
  • Wood
  • Woods
  • Wright
  • Young

Producing a Quality Family History — Now in Hardcover

Last year I reviewed Producing a Quality Family History, which I have copied below. This helpful guide is now available in hardcover from Family Roots Publishing. The hardcover looks just like the softcover, with the same four-color printed cover, only laminated and bound as a hardback. If you missed picking up a copy of this book before, now is the perfect time to get help creating your own permanent family record or book.

Original Review:

What does it take to put together a family history worth reading? The short answer is time, money, and effort. However, after all the work you have done in researching, collecting documents, gathering pictures, sorting, and recording genealogies and family stories, putting a family history together should seem like a piece of cake. To help researchers preserve their family histories and make the process as streamlined as possible, Patricia Law Hatcher has written the helpful guide, Producing a Quality Family History.

The obvious follow-up question is, what makes a “quality” family history? As a publisher and book designer, I have developed my own ideas over the years as to what makes a quality book. I have also learned that others have their own idea of what quality means. Hatcher acknowledges personal preferences in choosing how to produce a family history. She recommends researchers start by reviewing family histories at a library. She, also, goes on to suggest there are some basic guideline, or qualities,  which should be followed. The list reads as follows (referring to a quality work):

It presents quality research–research that is thorough, new, and based on a variety of primary sources

  • It is well organized, understandable, and attractively presented
  • It uses a recognized genealogical numbering system
  • It documents each fact and relationship fully
  • It expresses information accurately, indicating the likelihood of conclusions
  • It goes beyond records, placing people in context
  • It included illustrations such as maps, charts, and photographs
  • It has a thoughtful and thorough index

Producing a Quality Family History can help the reader create a manuscript, and final publishing, to meet and exceed these criteria. Not only is content reviewed, but layout and design, font selection, editing, and developing a print ready history are all covered. This book is meant to help you avoid mistakes before you even start writing. However, even if you are almost ready to print your book, this guide can help you feel confident you have produced a quality history, before you go to print.

Patricia Hatcher is a technical writer, instructor and certified genealogists. Having written and edited numerous books and articles, she is well versed in the subject. This guide is easy to follow, and equally easy to implement in your own writing. As Hatcher notes in the book, nonfiction writing is to inform, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be, or even shouldn’t be, interesting. Genealogies reproduce facts, family histories, when properly written, give life to your ancestors. Through this guide, your family history can find the life and quality you always dreamed about.

 

Contents

Publishing Family History in the 1990s

What to Write; When to Write It

You Must Have Style

Writing

Understanding Type and Fonts

Book Design

Page Layout and Formatting

Organizing and Presenting Family Information

How Do You Know?

Turning Paper into People

Illustrations, Charts, and Photographs

Opening the Door to Your Book

Developing an Editorial Eye

Preparing Camera-Ready Art

Turning Camera-Ready Art into Books

Options from Technology

Self-Publishing

Resources

Index

 

Producing a Quality Family History is available from Family Roots Publishing.

 

Thanksgiving and Family Drift

Ted-&-Virginia

Tomorrow is thanksgiving and I find myself looking back at the Thanksgivings of my past. Born in Washington State and surrounded by most of my extended family, we always got together with the full family at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But with the deaths of all of my grandparents and the growing up of my cousins we have all moved on from those close childhood experiences. Arizona, Australia, Maryland, Utah, California, Colorado and Washington – we are spread too far apart to get together on this holiday.

family2-300p

Genealogy brings you closer to your family, but holidays also remind us of how many family members you no longer see.

On the other hand, many of us will see our loved ones on this holiday. I have my parents, my brother, our wives, their families and our children, to spend the day with. I will hold them close, remember those who cannot be there and we will share our memories. I hope you share yours too.

family-300p

The holidays are the time of year we have those people together that we may want to interview. We usually realize too late where the memory-holes in our relatives lives are. It is a tragedy when only after his death do you realize there is a 12 year gap in grandpa’s life – a gap that we really know nothing about. Where was he? Was he really a logger for that long? That would make it his longest held job!

In this vane, let me direct you to my friend, Marlo Schuldt’s, blog. In his article titled “Sharing, Recording, and Preserving Family Stories”. He discusses a number of ways to save these memories. I like his suggestions and plan on using them.

Written by Dale R. Meitzler

Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA

rh01I write from three to seven book reviews a week for this site. The main goal of each review is to provide sufficient information about a book to allow the reader to determine the book’s potential value to their own library. In other words, to answer the question “should I buy this book?” I try to remain unbiased in my reviews, preferring to provide a summary or synopsis. To review this many books, I could not possibly read every page. Instead, I focus on author’s notes, forewords, introductions, and key sections of each book.

However, every now and then I pick up a book and start reading and have a difficult time stopping. These books tend to be highly insightful, educational, and most-importantly, well written. Such is the case with Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA.

After the accidental discovery of his adoption, and sickbed revelations made by his adoptive father, Richard Hill began the arduous journey to finding his birth family. Hill recounts his own personal search for his birth family in gripping detail. There are many fiction author’s who could learn a thing or two from Hill’s writing. But, let me be clear, while this book is a story, according to the author it is also 100% true.

His mother’s name was Jackie. But was she dead or alive? She supposedly died in a car accident just a year or so after his birth. But Richard also learned this is a common story told to adoptees to keep them from digging too deeply into their past. Plus, one source told Richard she was a nurse who lived to become a professor. Oh, the tangled webs we weave. Such is the way with family research.

Through the chapters of this book, Hill not only reveals his own personal story, but he reveals the tips and tricks of his own success. Thinking like a detective, unearthing clues, and learning the system and how to manage it to your own advantage to find the answers. The climax of the book comes with the revelation that new simple DNA testing can prove relationships between parents and children, as well as siblings, cousins, and others.

Yes, this story is simply fun to read. But, this story is also useful to any adoptee looking for his or her biological family. In addition, these same techniques apply to any genealogical research. Following the paper trails, interviewing friends and family members, using directories, hunting down vital records, court records, and countless other research tools and sources are all critical to successfully uncovering one’s family history.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I typically avoid giving a personal opinion in my reviews. This time I am going to disregard my own rule and give this book two thumbs up (one from each hand). Even if you just read it for the story, this book is worth your time.

You can find Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA at Family Roots Publishing; Price: $14.65.

 

Contents

1 Revelation

2 Moving On

3 Another Shoe Drops

4 No Time. No Way.

5 Lighting the Fire

6 Dead or Alive?

7 Breakthrough

8 Carol

9 Ethnic Soup

10 Lies

11 Eleanor

12 Michael

13 Confession

14 Paper Trails

15 Lynn

16 Tony’s Story

17 Ray

18 Plymouth

19 Family Bonds

20 Back in Gear

21 Conrad

22 Doubts

23 Paternity

24 Cookie Girl

25 Rumor Revisited

26 Roy

27 Girlfriends

28 Boyfriends

29 Social Insecurity

30 Transitions

31 Inspiration

32 Hitters

33 Online Assistance

34 Gerry

35 Fathers and Sons

36 Blues

37 Decisions

38 Results

39 Reunion

40 Blood

41 Revisions

42 Journey

43 Mission

44 Not Again

45 One Final Decision

46 Confirmation

My Life And Times : A Guided Journal For Collecting Your Stories

fnw5A critical, if often overlooked, part of genealogy is the recording and preserving of one’s own life through records, documents, the passing of family heirlooms, and stories. With a focus on collecting information about the past it is easy to forget about the present. Sometimes we think about telling our life stories, but seem to lack to focus or direction needed to get the job done. There are tools out there to help us get through the process. Some are books, some software, and some basic questionnaires. My Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories reminds me of a recipe book.

The book reminds me of the old red-checkered Better Homes & Garden cookbook that comes as a three ring binder. The cookbook comes divided by tabbed pages into categories. The beginning of each section give guidance and suggestions. Following pages provide recipes, which can be considered analogous with one’s life stories.

My Life & Times breaks down the process of preserving our own life’s details through guided categories and easy to follow, fill-in the blank pages. It is a bit like writing down the recipes that make up our lives. Collecting data and statistics about ourselves, writing the stories about our childhood, our teen years, on through the families we create and watch grow. Page by page, we are offered charts and tables to fill in. Stories are requested by topic and question. We are guided through an easy process for recording our life story. Take just a few minutes, a few times a week, and it won’t take long to fill out a treasure for your descendants. If only your ancestors had left something like this behind for you to find…

Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear, the book comes as a three ringed binder. There is also a CD from which additional pages can be printed, to help us cover up those little mistake we are bound to introduce in a hand written story.

 

Contents

Chapter 1 – Gathering Your Family Stories

Chapter 2 – Statistics About Me

Chapter 3 – Stories About Early Family Life

Chapter 4 – Stories From Childhood

Chapter 5 – Stories From High School

Chapter 6 – Stories From My Professional Life

Chapter 7 – Stories About a Family of My Own

Chapter 8 – Reflections on My Personal Life & Values

Chapter 9 – Preserving Your Memories

Chapter 10 – Special Forms

 

Order My Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories for yourself or as a gift, Christmas is just around the corner, from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $29.39.

 

Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA

rh01I write approximately six book reviews a week for this site. The main goal of each review is provide sufficient information about a book to allow the reader to determine the book’s potential value to their own library. In other words, to answer the question “should I buy this book?” I try to remain unbiased in my reviews, preferring to provide a summary or synopsis. To review this many books, I could not possibly read every page. Instead, I focus on author’s notes, forewords, introductions, and key sections of each book. However, every now and then I pick up a book and start reading and have a difficult time stopping. These books tend to be highly insightful, educational, and most-importantly, well written. Such is the case with Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA.

After the accidental discovery of his adoption, and sickbed revelations made by his adoptive father, Richard Hill began the arduous journey to finding his birth family. Hill recounts his own personal search for his birth family in gripping detail. There are many fiction author’s who could learn a thing or two from Hill’s writing. But, let me be clear, while this book is a story, according to the author it is also 100% true.

His mother’s name was Jackie. But was she dead or alive? She supposedly died in a car accident just a year or so after his birth. But Richard also learned this is a common story told to adoptees to keep them from digging too deeply into their past. Plus, one source told Richard she was a nurse who lived to become a professor. Oh, the tangled webs we weave. Such is the way with family research.

Through the chapters of this book, Hill not only reveals his own personal story, but he reveals the tips and tricks of his own success. Thinking like a detective, unearthing clues, and learning the system and how to manage it to your own advantage to find the answers. The climax of the book comes with the revelation that new simple DNA testing can prove relationships between parents and children, as well as siblings, cousins, and others.

Yes, this story is simply fun to read. But, this story is also useful to any adoptee looking for his or her biological family. In addition, these same techniques apply to any genealogical research. Following the paper trails, interviewing friends and family members, using directories, hunting down vital records, court records, and countless other research tools and sources are all critical to successfully uncovering one’s family history.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I typically avoid giving a personal opinion in my reviews. This time I am going to disregard my own rule and give this book two thumbs up (one from each hand). Even if you just read it for the story, this book is worth your time.

You can find Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA at Family Roots Publishing; Price: $14.65.

Producing a Quality Family History

What does it take to put together a family history worth reading? The short answer is time, money, and effort. However, after all the work you have done in researching, collecting documents, gathering pictures, sorting, and recording genealogies and family stories, putting a family history together should seem like a piece of cake. To help researchers preserve their family histories and make the process as streamlined as possible, Patricia Law Hatcher has written the helpful guide, Producing a Quality Family History.

The obvious follow-up question is, what makes a “quality” family history? As a publisher and book designer, I have developed my own ideas over the years as to what makes a quality book. I have also learned that others have their own idea of what quality means. Hatcher acknowledges personal preferences in choosing how to produce a family history. She recommends researchers start by reviewing family histories at a library. She, also, goes on to suggest there are some basic guideline, or qualities,  which should be followed. The list reads as follows (referring to a quality work):

It presents quality research–research that is thorough, new, and based on a variety of primary sources

  • It is well organized, understandable, and attractively presented
  • It uses a recognized genealogical numbering system
  • It documents each fact and relationship fully
  • It expresses information accurately, indicating the likelihood of conclusions
  • It goes beyond records, placing people in context
  • It included illustrations such as maps, charts, and photographs
  • It has a thoughtful and thorough index

Producing a Quality Family History can help the reader create a manuscript, and final publishing, to meet and exceed these criteria. Not only is content reviewed, but layout and design, font selection, editing, and developing a print ready history are all covered. This book is meant to help you avoid mistakes before you even start writing. However, even if you are almost ready to print your book, this guide can help you feel confident you have produced a quality history, before you go to print.

Patricia Hatcher is a technical writer, instructor and certified genealogists. Having written and edited numerous books and articles, she is well versed in the subject. This guide is easy to follow, and equally easy to implement in your own writing. As Hatcher notes in the book, nonfiction writing is to inform, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be, or even shouldn’t be, interesting. Genealogies reproduce facts, family histories, when properly written, give life to your ancestors. Through this guide, your family history can find the life and quality you always dreamed about.

 

Contents

Publishing Family History in the 1990s

What to Write; When to Write It

You Must Have Style

Writing

Understanding Type and Fonts

Book Design

Page Layout and Formatting

Organizing and Presenting Family Information

How Do You Know?

Turning Paper into People

Illustrations, Charts, and Photographs

Opening the Door to Your Book

Developing an Editorial Eye

Preparing Camera-Ready Art

Turning Camera-Ready Art into Books

Options from Technology

Self-Publishing

Resources

Index

 

Producing a Quality Family History is available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $31.31.

ReelGenie a Finalist for the High-Profile SXSW Accelerator

The following News Release is from Thomas MacEntee:

Washington, DC (PRWEB) January 30, 2013: ReelGenie, an innovator in digital storytelling, has been selected as a finalist for the high-profile SXSW Accelerator. The company, based in Washington, D.C., is among eight competitors selected from hundreds of applicants in the Social Technologies category. ReelGenie will unveil its new technology at the live event.

ReelGenie helps people create and share family videos online. Users select a storyline for their movie, and ReelGenie guides them through the process of uploading photos, videos, and historical documents; recording voiceovers; and adding music to generate an online movie that can be shared with family and friends. Geared toward the creation of personal history movies for birthdays, memorials, anniversaries, and reunions, the service is the first of its kind. It improves upon slideshows and photo books by guiding users to tell a compelling story while incorporating a variety of rich content.

“My mother and I were making a video for my Grandmother’s memorial when we realized that the available tools were limited,” said David Adelman, ReelGenie’s founder and CEO. “An online slideshow didn’t give us the capability to tell a story, and editing software was expensive and difficult to use. We just wanted a way to create an inexpensive, compelling video that told a powerful story. That’s how ReelGenie was born.”

ReelGenie was developed to utilize the collaborative advantages of the Internet. Groups of users can work together, so each person can contribute their own material and participate in the creative process. The site also makes it easy to share completed videos with friends and family through social media tools and other publishing options.

“Our mission is to empower people to tell and preserve their stories, no matter how big or small,” said Adelman. “We all have a unique story. Anyone should be able to make an emotional, expressive movie they are proud to share. ReelGenie was created so that everyone has affordable, easy-to-use tools at their fingertips.”

ReelGenie combines three of the most popular computing trends — the collaboration of social media, the visual power of online video, and the technology benefits of the cloud — with a rapidly-growing interest in family history and storytelling. The company will present in front of a live audience and industry judges during the fifth-annual SXSW Accelerator at the Austin Hilton on March 11-12.

About ReelGenie
ReelGenie makes it easy for anyone to create family history stories by turning pictures, documents, text, and voice narration into engaging movies. Featuring intuitive interfaces, a collaborative production process, and seamless social media integration, ReelGenie lets users bring stories to life and preserve them for generations to come. Dubbed “The Genealogy Technology to Watch in 2013” by thought leader Thomas MacEntee, ReelGenie is revolutionizing video storytelling through its Web-based movie platform.
For more information on ReelGenie, please visit http://www.reelgenie.com. Follow ReelGenie’s progress at SXSW on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/reelgeniefilms or on Twitter at @reelgenie.

About SXSW Accelerator
The fifth annual SXSW Accelerator will take place March 11-13 in Austin, Texas. A live audience, as well as a panel of expert judges will be discovering advancements in social media, mobile applications, web entertainment, and more. The best part? Product demonstrations by the most ambitious talents in the world with the most creative new ideas to change it. We will catch a glimpse of the industry’s future, with a guided tour by our emcees and judges.

This competition will be unlike any other. On March 11, 48 companies battle for your taste-making, trend-setting attention, leading to a fireworks display of innovation. Connections will be made and careers launched. On Tuesday March 12, the top 18 companies will be invited back, and at the end of the day winners of SXSW Accelerator will be announced.

Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips, and Tricks for Discovering Your Family History

Each family history is different, as are the stories of each ancestor. The research trail is equally unique for each family history. In Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips, and Tricks for Discovering Your Family History, Barry J. Ewell shares his experiences in hope of helping other researchers make their path to research success just a little easier. This books serves as research guide with exceptional example from the author’s experience with just enough encouragement to keep the reader going through tough times.

From his own experience, Ewell has this to say:

“With experience and focused persistence, the journey became easier, increasingly successful, and more rewarding. I’ve learned how to do the following:

  • ask the right questions to be led to answers;
  • find, access, and explore genealogical resources quickly;
  • develop, expand, and sharpen my genealogy research skills;
  • recognize clues and use them to trace and explore my family ties;
  • resolve genealogical ‘brick walls’;
  • effectively use technology in research and preservation;
  • learn to find and use specific country, state, and county records; and
  • help others with their genealogy research.”

The desire to help others is evident in this newly published book. Ewell’s genealogical journey has been as difficult as anyone else has experienced. However, he has found a way to share his journey in such a way that other genealogists will find encouragement along with additional skills and insights adaptable to their own research process. And, the reading is both easy and fun. Just follow this simple advice from the author,

  • Open your mind to ideas
  • Choose what you need
  • Use what you take
  • Share what you learn

and you will have gained something from these pages.

 

Contents

Preface

Introduction

Lesson 1: Genealogy is a Repeatable Process

Lesson 2: Start Organized, Stay Organized

Lesson 3: Every Record Has Value

Lesson 4: Where to Find Records

Lesson 5: How to Search the Internet like a Genealogist

Lesson 6: Field Research is Required

Lesson 7: Cite and Verify Every Source

Lesson 8: If Sherlock Holmes Were a Genealogists

Lesson 9: Learn to Network

Lesson 10: Stay Connected to the Network

Lesson 11: Carefully Search Ancestor Writings

Lesson 12: Search Every Page of Hometown Newspapers

Lesson 13: Learn to Find the Origins of Immigrant Ancestors

Lesson 14: The Oral Interview is the Most Valued Research

Lesson 15: Write and Publish Your Story

Epilogue: Genealogy, Prayer, and Inspiration

About the Author

 

To order Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips, and Tricks for Discovering Your Family History, published in 2012, click the title to visit Family Roots Publishing; Regular Price: $24.99.

Writing the Family Narrative

Eventually, most genealogist come to realize that years of collected data, records, diaries, pictures, heirlooms, and more cannot endlessly pile up in boxes and still serve living or future generations. Organizing and sharing volumes of data in a practical and digestible manner becomes a problem. The solution for many is the publishing of a family history book. However, putting a book together can seem like an overwhelming task. With help, some of the fear around writing and compiling a book can be alleviated. The most common type of family history book is a narrative. Writing a Family Narrative was created to help genealogist bring their experience and research together with the necessary help to produce that family history book. Learn from author, Lawrence P. Goudrup, “how to compose a controlled and focused rendition of your family’s story.”

This book was written specifically for the genealogist and those hoping to write about themselves or their own family’s history. Though not spelled out in the table of contents or on the cover, here is what the reader can expect to learn from reading this book:

  • Planning: writing a family narrative requires careful preparation to avoid being tedious or unappealing
  • Scope: avoid beginner pitfalls like trying to tell the complete story, when focus on specific issues, people, or periods is better
  • Focus: commitment to the specific theme and selecting only those facts from one’s genealogical data that contribute to the narrative in a positive way
  • Evaluation: deciding what is truth and what it not, and what truth to include in order to properly tell the story
  • Avoiding Fiction: avoiding tendency to “put words in their mouths;” avoid adding opinions, ideas, or details to embellish a story but lack truth
  • Immersion: put at least the same effort into organizing facts and into the writing process that went into the original research. “Leave no leaf unturned,” “leave no lead unfollowed.”

Writing a Family Narrative helps the reader examine aspects of family information to determine relevancy and the relevant details necessary to construct a story without undue embellishments. For example, sections include “How did the family earn its money and how did it spend it?” and “What did the family consider important or valuable?” The book also focuses on important writing techniques such as characterization, plot conflict, and point of view.

Each section provides clear instructions and is filled with examples. The book is easy to read and the examples help take the reader step-by-step through the literary process.

 

Contents

Preface

Chapter One What is Family History?

Chapter Two Using Genealogical and Local History Records to Write the Historical Exposition

Chapter Three Writing the Narrative

Chapter Four Point of View

Chapter Five Some Finishing Touches

 

Writing a Family Narrative is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: TP274, Price: $12.69.

 

Exploring Our Lives: A Writing Handbook for Senior Adults

You don’t need to be a “senior,” or even close, to make use of and enjoy Exploring Our Lives: A Writing Handbook for Senior Adults by Francis E. Kazemek. As the title suggests, this book is designed to help people write their own life stories. Perhaps Francis simply feels that being a “senior” simply means having enough experience to have enough to say, even if the person doesn’t believe it themselves. That said, this book is unique.

There are many books about the subject, and many follow the same pattern and offer roughly the same advice. Exploring Our Lives takes a different approach. In addition to offering some the typical topics and basic writing concepts this book also offers unique approaches to seeing our own lives in different ways and explorers different writing styles in which to express one’s memories and feelings. In these pages, Kazemek covers more than the typical narrative, additional styles are explored, such as poetry and fiction for sharing memories. The author comments:

“In over twenty years of conducting writing workshops with Seniors, I have found again and again that people who are convinced they can write only biographical stories in prose are surprised and excited at their latent ability to write poetry, fictional short stories, and children’s books.”

This books helps the reader look at their lives from different angles. Considering alternative writing methods, such as poetry, short stories, and others, helps promote stimulate the creative side of the brain and helps the reader take a look at their own lives from those alternate angles. Each chapter reviews a different type of writing, along with tools for reviewing and editing one’s writing. Mixed in are the memory recall guides and topic suggestions found in many other books; but still, with the author’s own twist. These, of course, help round out this book, making it a complete guide to memoir writing.

 

Contents

Introduction: Honoring Memory

Chapter One: Getting Started

Chapter Two: Writing & Writers

Chapter Three: Remembering Our Live

Chapter Four: Writing about Memorable People

Chapter Five: Form Poetry

Chapter Six: Writing Our Lives

Interlude: Fathers and Sons

Chapter Seven: Photographs and Writing

Chapter Eight: Free Poetry

Chapter Nine: Fiction

Chapter Ten: Children’s Picture Books

Chapter Eleven: Diaries & Dream Journals

Chapter Twelve: Writing Groups and Writing Resources

Coda: Living with Grace, Force, and Fascination

 

Find new ways to share your memories in Exploring Our Lives: A Writing Handbook for Senior Adults, available at Family Roots Publishing; Item #: SM264, Price: $14.65.

“Day of the Dead celebration grows in national popularity”

Early this weeks I posted a blog about cemeteries across the country celebrating Halloween in unique ways. Well it appears that cemeteries and many people in general are beginning to celebrate in the U.S. a similar holiday with increasing attention. November 1 is known in Mexico as Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead. The same day is also known among Catholics as All Souls Day. November 1 for many is like a second Memorial Day, a day to remember the departed. The day gives people the chance to reflect on their ancestors and the lives they led.

Studying the past, remember the dead, and celebrating the lives of our ancestors is what family history is all about. This is why we conduct genealogical research. The more cemeteries, organizations, and families celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos with a reflection upon the past the more exciting these days become. I look forward to an further increase in the celebration of these days in the future.

Here is one article I found discussing the growth of Day of the Dead celebrations in Texas:

Day of the Dead celebration grows in national popularity

Fernando del Valle

Valley Morning Star

LAS RUSIAS — For two days, Mike Salazar worked to repair the broken bricks that surround his family’s gravestones.

Monday, his wife Aurora placed flowers that fluttered at the foot of the old tombstones at the edge of the cemetery along U.S. 281.

Today, they’ll pray for their loved ones as they celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, in the historic cemetery that dates to some of the region’s earliest settlers.

“There’s a lot of history here,” said Salazar, a retired inspector for the Texas Department of Transportation. “This is something we do for those who went before us. We have to honor the dead. It’s unfortunate we only try to do something for the graves for the day we honor the dead.”

Like many Mexican Americans, Salazar celebrates Dia de los Muertos, a holiday steeped in Meso-American tradition, with All Souls Day, the Roman Catholic holy day.

Across much of the United States, the folk art and tradition that surrounds Dia de los Muertos has helped spread the holiday into mainstream America, said Melissa Tijerina, special events officer at the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg.

“The event in Texas and different parts of the country has grown,” she said. “More people are interested in the history of it.”

For eight years, the museum has staged an exhibit that’s grown along with the holiday’s popularity, Tijerina said.

Through Sunday, the museum will showcase 13 altars that area residents decorated to honor their loved ones, she said.

The altars hold mementos that the deceased treasured in life — everything from cowboy hats and tequila to mole and fresh fruit, she said.

“It’s a tradition fused in European and Meso-American traditions,” Tijerina said. “Dia de los Muertos is a sort of veil between life and death. It’s not a morbid occasion. It’s a celebration of life rather than death. We take a day to remember our passed loved ones and reflect on what they meant to us.”

SaveEveryStep.com; A New, Free Website for Saving Those Precious Memories

SaveEveryStep.com is about nostalgia. So many of us who lose loved ones only to realize you might not have known them as well as you thought. Have you said, “I didn’t ask those life questions when I should have, when I had the chance.” Site founder Helen Spencer experienced these feelings and made similar statements. When Helen’s mother passed she was inspired to help others avoid these disappointments. She put together SaveEveryStep.com.

At no cost to the user, this new website provide the means for anyone to save living memories, as they occur, or as a collection of past events. SaveEveryStep encourages mixing stories with photographs. How often have you looked at an old photograph, even one with labels identifying the people, date and place? Have you ever wondered what they were doing and how they were feeling. What is the story behind the photo. SaveEveryStep helps you record both.


SaveEveryStep make the process interesting by letting you attach your stories and media to an interactive timeline. The timelines makes finding stories both easier and fun.


The site is secure and private. There are three privacy levels to choose from. You can create a lifeline for each family member with enough space for hundreds of pictures and stories per person. You can even share stories across lifelines.

SaveEveryStep.com has made family story telling and recording as easy as possible. Best of all, its free.

Legacy Planner – from the Creator of the Franklin Day Planner

Most of us are acquainted with Franklin Day Planners – especially if we happen to live in Utah. To be seen without your Day Planner around here means you just aren’t organized. Folks live by these things. Now I see that the creator of the Franklin Day Planner has come out with a new product call a Legacy Planner. It’s immediately evident that this is an obvious spin-off from the day planner. But his planner combines family history with your finances and yes, even your upcoming death. I say upcoming because it’s not common for any of us to miss out on that important genealogical event. Following is a news release about Hyrum Smith’s new project.

Research from both academia and genealogical organizations has shown an upsurge in connecting with family history, particularly in times of uncertainty. The factors motivating this upsurge vary, from a desire to understand traditions and roots to the increased access to records provided by the internet and a realization that a legacy is more than just financial assets. The unifying element is our personal stories and memoirs.

“Discovering who we are and preserving those memories allows people to rediscover those touchstones in their lives and reconnect with what is important, their lifelong legacy,” according to Hyrum Smith, creator of the Franklin Day Planners and founder of the Franklin Quest Company and co-founder of LegacyQuest. “As we looked at the growing interest in family history, we realized there was a real need for a comprehensive personal legacy planning system that provides the guidance and support people are looking for in creating and documenting their personal legacies.”

The launch of Legacy Planner fills that need, enabling people to discover, preserve and grow their legacies. Using an innovative, collaborative approach, Legacy Planner guides users in telling their life’s story in their own way. Available in a bound scrapbook version, digital version or online, via the company’s website, the guided process incorporates sections on personal history, life story, family tree and genealogy, memories, important letters and photograph’s, insight, guidance and inspiration.

“Legacy Planner allow families and individuals to incorporate into one space the total of their relationships in personal stories, shape their legacies and move forward to reconnect with their life’s legacy with greater insight and clarity to share with those important in their lives.” Added Smith. “Our ultimate goal is to help people to give life to those legacies.”

About LegacyQuest
LegacyQuest, LLC, located in St. George, UT, is focused on the development of innovative, collaborative legacy planning systems. Created by the founder of The Franklin Day Planner and Franklin Quest along with the founder of the World Financial Group, the company has developed Legacy Planner which is available online, digital version and a bound scrapbook version to discover, preserve and share personal legacies.
For more information visit, http://www.mylegacyquest.com

From the April 15, 2011 edition of prweb.com.

Kansas African American Museum Receives $25K Grant to Collect Stories

WICHITA — The Kansas African American Museum Kansas African American Museum has received a $25,000 grant to establish a statewide history and genealogy program called “Knowing Me, Knowing You.”

The program is designed for anyone with a contribution to Kansas African American history.

The grant, awarded by the Chester and Ada Franklin Scholarship Fund and co-trustees Bank of America and Samuel L. Adams, will allow the Wichita museum’s staff to set up video cameras at six Kansas towns with important African-American ties: Nicodemus, Topeka, Kansas City, Wichita, Hutchinson and Weir.

The staff will then collect stories and other information from residents and place them into a permanent archive, which, when edited, could be made available on the museum’sWeb site for purchase, said Mark Mccormick, the museum’s director.

Read the full article by Beccy Tanner in the October 29, 2009 edition of the Wichita Eagle.