St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Monday, May 07, 2012

Should I or Shouldn't I?

Recently, one of my dear cousins was a presenter at a genealogy conference held in York, PA.  Since I was unable to attend in person (just my spirit was there), dear sweet Frank was kind enough to grab the handouts for me.  I've been reviewing these and look forward to seeing if any of the hints will be beneficial as the search for those elusive kin continues.

Cousin Frank's topic was on creating a family history book.  After reviewing his notes, I find myself wanting, yet again, to take the time to create a book that future generations can read when they have a need to find their roots.

I've been asked to do this by several kin and I just haven't done it.  The main reason is the information uncovered changes so rapidly that the alleged book would be out of date when it is published. Seems like a familiar lament in the world of publishing.

If you decide to create a family history book, please consider the following as "must-have."

  • Table of Contents with each major and minor family surname.
  • Every name index.
  • Source everything.
  • Names, dates, marriages, deaths, grave locations, all children found.
  • Add pictures of homes, people, graves, family plots, wedding announcements and obits.
  • Have an appendix with wills.
  • Have an appendix with land records.
  • Tell the story of the area(s) in which your family lived or migrated.
  • Tell the story of why they migrated.
  • Include family lore, but be sure to acknowledge whether it has or has not been documented.
  • Did I mention source EVERYTHING?
Ok, so maybe writing a family history book isn't in the immediate future.  Maybe, I'll just continue writing these genealogy tidbits which have been discovered about the family of long ago.  That way, I can entertain my readers without the standard "who begat who", and rather, focus on WHO the beloved ancestors were.  And, maybe, just maybe, I'll publish some of my favorite GeniTales for my kin to keep on their coffee tables.:)

Ahh, genealogy.  Tis always wonderful to sit and reread genealogy tales of the past.  Many times, they remind me of the next step I need to take. That is, after I say a prayer of thanks for what my beloved family did, however big or small, and for their dedicated faith in God.

©2012 AS Eldredge

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