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A major objective one should set for performing family history is to provide a legacy for descendants.Generally this should mean creating a book. In my case I have written several books (see elsewhere in this blog) and the total pages have been about 3,000.

That probably seems like a great deal of writing, 3,000 pages. But if one uses a Register Report from within their genealogical software, that includes an index of people, a list of Sources and certain specifying data such as “Third Generation” and other such.

Now let me demonstrate why this is NOT a great deal of writing. First, one borrows with attribution fromother writings about the person or times; second, one asks living relatives to write their own biography; thirdone adds other interesting historical or similar notes; and lastly, let me demonstrate how the computer writes a great deal for you.

In the illustration below, it is assumed that a database has been created with names, date and place of birth, death and burial, as well as occupation. What you wrote is in BLACK, what the computer wrote in the Register Report is in RED.

As you see, the job of good software is to make one’s efforts easier and more useful. And to answer the initial question of how much writing for a book: A lot less than one may think.

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