Illustrations: A Collage of Genealogical Pictorial Arrangements

gp05In regards to author Phillip M Mayer’s style, I have said before in reviewing another of his works, he likes to keep things simple. In his guides, readers are taught to use common tools and strategies in a simple, straight-forward way to produce clean, easy-to-replicate results. In his latest book, Illustrations: A Collage of Genealogical Pictorial Arrangements, he provides a “step-by-step guide to sequence family presentation.” Learn by using information and resources you are likely to already have on hand, such as memories, timelines, histories and stories, and other family information.

According to Mayer, the objective of this book is two-fold:

“The first is to teach you how to organize and put all your family information into a loose leaf 3-ring binder.

The second is to provide you with ideas to create your own presentations. Most people have little to no idea as to what and how to present.”

Whether you actually use a 3-ring binder or some other structured method to organize your papers, you can learn from Mayer some tips and ideas to keeping and presenting your family history in new and interesting ways.

The bulk of this book is in the 65 illustrative examples with informative captions. These examples don’t just show the author’s way of doing things, but also help stimulate the creative juices and thinking for doing your own presentations.


Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

  • Objective

2.0 The 3-ring Binder

  • The Process
  • Overview

3.0 The Step-by-Step Process

4.0 Information Section

  • Figure 4.1 Information Spreadsheet

5.0 File ID Section

  • Figure 5.1 File ID Spreadsheet

6.0 Presentation Section

  • Figure 6.1 Horizontal Family Tree
  • Figure 6.2 Family Tree
  • Figure 6.3 Vertical Family Tree
  • Figure 6.4 Personal Information
  • Figure 6.5 Directional Pointers
  • Figure 6.6 Conjoint Presentation
  • Figure 6.7 Timeline
  • Figure 6.8 Death Certificate
  • Figure 6.9 Personal Presentation
  • Figure 6.10 ‘2004’ Family Gathering
  • Figure 6.11 Complex Relationships
  • Figure 6.12 Name Changes
  • Figure 6.13 Unidentified Individuals
  • Figure 6.14 Citizenship Certificate
  • Figure 6.15 Death Certificate
  • Figure 6.16 Birth Timeline
  • Figure 6.17 Ancestral Bible Extraction
  • Figure 6.18 Newspaper Article
  • Figure 6.19 Snapshots
  • Figure 6.20 Memorials
  • Figure 6.21 Directional Pointers
  • Figure 6.22 Birth Timeline
  • Figure 6.23 Mixture
  • Figure 6.24 Child-Parent Connection
  • Figure 6.25  Name Tag Preferences
  • Figure 6.26 Basic Family Tree
  • Figure 6.27 Personal Presentation
  • Figure 6.28 Conjoint Presentation
  • Figure 6.29 Complex Presentation 1/3
  • Figure 6.30 Complex Presentation 2/3
  • Figure 6.31 Complex Presentation 3/3
  • Figure 6.32 Tombstones
  • Figure 6.33 Notification of a Death
  • Figure 6.34 Conjoint Presentation
  • Figure 6.35 Grave Markers
  • Figure 6.36 Memorials
  • Figure 6.37 Birth Certificate (1/2)
  • Figure 6.38 Birth Certificate (2/2)
  • Figure 6.39 Class Reunions
  • Figure 6.40 First Grade
  • Figure 6.41 1st Holy Communion
  • Figure 6.42 Many Directional Pointers
  • Figure 6.43 Personal Information
  • Figure 6.44 Family Story 1/2
  • Figure 6.45 Family Story 2/2
  • Figure 6.46 Book Photograph
  • Figure 6.47 Simple Presentation
  • Figure 6.48 Family Outing
  • Figure 6.49 Mixing Things Up
  • Figure 6.50 Birth Certificate
  • Figure 6.51 Ethnic Activities
  • Figure 6.52 Sports
  • Figure 6.53 Marriage Certificate
  • Figure 6.54 Military Service
  • Figure 6.55 Educational Certificates
  • Figure 6.56 General Information
  • Figure 6.57 Dates
  • Figure 6.58 The Personal Touch
  • Figure 6.59 First Cousin Marriages
  • Figure 6.60 Complex Information
  • Figure 6.61 Creativity
  • Figure 6.62 Personal Information (1/3)
  • Figure 6.63 Personal Information (2/3)
  • Figure 6.64 Personal Information (3/3)
  • Figure 6.65 Letters
  • Summary

7.0 Source Publications

  • Genealogy Presentations
  • Preservation is Everything
  • Indexing – Photographs and Documents
  • Illustrations – A Collage of Genealogical Pictorial Arrangements
  • 4 Decade of Pueblo’s German Club


Illustrations: A Collage of Genealogical Pictorial Arrangements is available at Family Roots Publishing. Don’t forget to check out other books by Mayer.

Showcase Your Family Tree

I met the folks from Keepsake Threads at the FGS conference in Fort Wayne this last Summer. I was impressed with their project, and wish to share the following with my readers.
The following is by Kathy Carrier, Seamstress, with Keepsake Threads.

Holiday gift planning has certainly begun now that the kids are back to school and autumn is upon us. Share your genealogy passion and research with your family by transferring your family tree to one-of-a-kind treasured gifts, including pillows, quilts, wall art and neckties.

I have always been a seamstress. I learned how to sew in Girl Scouts and am as passionate about it today as I was 40 years ago. A few years ago I was thinking and praying about new business ideas around the same time my father-in-law died. My mother-in-law made teddy bears that year for all of us out of his favorite shirts. Once I saw the impact and meaning these bears had to our family, I realized that it would also bring meaning into other people’s lives. Voila! Keepsake Threads was born to repurpose clothing, pictures and documents that people are sentimental about.

In May, the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) Genealogy Center launched an initiative to offer personalized textile products to genealogy enthusiasts. Using our company, Keepsake Threads, the Center has developed an initial product line with ideas for future product launches. These items can be ordered using the button in the top left-hand corner of the ACPL Genealogy Center website. The new product line is now “live” at:

These inspiring products will be created using your family tree, your family crest or cherished family photos. All of these items can be transferred to fabric and incorporated into the finished products. Larger, custom orders can also be placed that will utilize more complex family trees for an additional charge. Also, if you have a particular color preference for the fabric and the look of the product, Keepsake Threads will customize your order with your color preference as well.

The initiative was created with the genealogy enthusiast in mind and also to build the ACPL Foundation. A percentage of the sales from this strategy will be directed into the Foundation which was created in 1984 as a private, non-profit 501(c) 3 trust to receive, administer and distribute income exclusively for the charitable and educational purposes of the Allen County Public Library. The Foundation raises private dollars to enhance the library’s acquisitions, innovations and special projects beyond the capacity of the normal operating budget.

Keepsake threads products

These products were debuted last month at Federation of Genealogy Society conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

If you have questions, here is our email address:

Or you can give Deb McClintock a call at 877-99THREADS.