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Most genealogy software will produce a Register Report, which will normally come out as either an RTF (Rich Text Format) or a WORD document. You should correct and re-save an RTF into a WORD document. If one wishes their Family History to be interesting and easily readable, there are several steps one should consider.

You may prefer that each generation start on a new page, but you should consider moving each generation closer to the prior generation if there is a great deal of white space between them. I usually leave about 3-4 spaces.

Next, if at the end of a page there is but a small section or piece of a paragraph, you should space all of that paragraph onto the next page so that the reader does not lose context upon turning the page. This thought would also apply to headings such as ” Second Generation” and “Family of John Jones and Mary Smith“. I would move those to the next page along with what follows so that context again is not lost.

Some systems present the husband and wife in a Bold type. If your system does not, I would do so as it will assist the reader in finding major information. In fact, you might consider putting the husband in, let’s say, Blue and the wife in Red. Again, this would help in identifying important information.

If there are pictures of the family in question, I would place them within the body of the writing by using the technique described in an earlier posting. If there are no pictures available and a clip art graphic is, I would use it to satisfy the thought that a picture is worth a thousand words. For example, a farmer using a scythe would create interest in a farmer living in 1760. There are hundreds of such graphics on the Internet.

If the person or family has been involved in an important historical event, or is associated with something interesting to future family members, you can copy the major sentence (James arrived on the good ship Liberty in 1723 in Baltimore), and again using the earlier posting place that sentence into a box with an enlarged font and in red, or another color as a highlight.

Lastly, sometimes the Sources are listed as End Notes without spaces between them. I would be inclined to place a space between them as some future readers may wish to write in the margin and a space would be more useful.

In the end, the objective of all of the above is to create an attractive, readable and interesting document. After all, it is your Legacy to your descendants!

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2 Responses to “More Thoughts on Writing a Family History”

  1. GAIL C. DELANEY says:

    HI CHARLIE!!

    VERY COOL WEBSITE!!

  2. Thanks, Gail. Let all your boomer friends know.

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