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Some genealogical researchers ask how does one create a family history book. There are many ways to do it and here are several suggestions.


Take one of your favorite ancestors, let’s say a father, grandfather or even an uncle (and the ladies can serve equally). Locate all the data available from the vital records, the internet, military records, city directory records, business records, family records (including when his or her parents were born and died or siblings were born and so forth) and many other places. Place all of this data in chronological sequence. To this you could add such events as who was President of the United States, career facts from some of the person’s heros in life such as musicians or baseball players or other historical information. This collection of data may well be enough to create a significant biography of the person you selected. The more research you do, the longer the book.


You might use the facts collected in the paragraph above and turn your writing into a novel by adding the twists and turns a novel is supposed to take or by adding imaginary events to create suspense among the collected known aspects of that person’s life.


If you have taken your research far enough to go beyond that of your own surname, you know that for every mother or grandmother found you have obviously picked up two more surnames you are or should be researching as you have a blood relationship to them as well. For example – in my writings I have found some 57 surnames on which I had considerable data. There were probably another 57 which now represent my “brick walls” and about whom I could write little or nothing. Now you can take your 57 well-researched surnames, organize them into a logical taxonomy (such as descent to Grandmother 1, descent to Grandfather 2, etc.) and you have several books. You can avoid repetition by ending each Register Report at your own parents or grandparents.

Each of the surnames represents a Chapter. Since marriages change distaff surnames, some chapters will be short or combined with other surnames. Other chapters will be long.

Look at The Books heading on this Blog and you can see the number of surnames and a page count on the books I have written. They range from 1 surname and 178 pages to 25 surnames and 971 pages.

Each of these Chapters is created using a Register Report from your genealogical software.

A later writing here will suggest how to turn these Chapters into books. Check back.

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