Taking a look at IDG’s newest In-Brief Research Guide: “Turning Your Family Tree into a Family Treasure”

I was cleaning off my desk after the holidays. With all the baking, gift buying and decorating my genealogy research and a lot of life took a back seat. Everything got stacked on my desk to make room for holiday merriment.

Now that life has returned to a normal schedule I began to sort through the piles of papers on my desk.  A lot of it was research related and I realized I have a lot of family history information. Also a lot of it is stacked in piles. I really should do something with all this material. Try to compile it or share it somehow.

Then in one of those weird life coincidences I got the chance to review IDG’s newest In-Brief Research Guide: “Turning Your Family Tree into a Family Treasure.” This In-Brief Guide spoke to me in a big way.

Christine Woodcock is the author of the guide and outlines the situation. “As the family historian, you have collected a cornucopia of research documents: bits of scrap paper, newspaper clippings, photos, obits, e-mails and other assorted bits of research. What can you do to preserve these documents and the stories they tell for future generations?”

That’s exactly what I had been thinking!

Christine goes on to say, “Turn your family tree information into a treasured family heirloom, a family history book.”

Hmmm, I’m less enthusiastic now. I love the idea of a family history book but that’s a pretty big project. Where do I start? What family do I choose? How much of my info do I include? I don’t know how to lay out a book. I nearly talked myself out of the project before I got to the guide’s second paragraph.

Woodcock knows her stuff and answered my questions and lots more. She gives the reader detailed steps on how to put your family history book together.  Starting with choosing who the book is going to be about like, “One ancestor, one branch, one line,” to gathering the material for your book. She touches on tender subjects like “Dealing with the skeletons and scandals.”

Christine is precise and thorough taking the reader through all the steps needed to put together a valuable family history. She breaks each section down to manageable, workable segments. As I continue to read the guide I’m thinking I can do this.

The author finishes by covering publishing. She discusses hard cover books, ebooks, or photo books and how to go about using each method. There are also additional resources listed. The reader gets even more insights on writing and publishing. By the time I finished the guide I knew if I followed this outline I could put together a family history book. My own family history book. No excuses, and if I pulled out the I don’t have time cop-out, Christine provided the perfect answer in a quote from J. Jackson Brown.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

Well, if you put it that way, I can and should put together a family history book. With the help of “Turning Your Family Tree into a Family Treasure” it’s doable. You can find the In-Brief Reasearch Guide at http://theindepthgenealogist.com/product/brief-guide-turning-family-tree-family-treasure/ I think you’ll find it exceptionally helpful too.

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