Readers of the Treasure Maps Genealogy email newsletter had some interesting feedback on the "How to Easily Create Your Own Genealogy Books Using Your Computer and Your Kitchen Table" article/blog post.

I thank them again for sharing their wonderful experiences with us.

Here's What Happened When Family History Researchers Shared
their "Self-Made Genealogy Books" with their Families…

"You are SO right about the value of publishing your research in whatever form is most efficient. When my older brother got remarried after his wife died, my wife decided we ought to give her and my brother a copy of the family history, so she would have an idea of what she was getting herself into.

Almost needless to say, she and my brother loved it. My niece, who came to the wedding, read it and asked that when she got married she would love a copy as a wedding present. So this past Thanksgiving, when she got married, she got her own (and now updated) copy as well. For Christmas every couple of years, each will get new and revised pages.

Finally, getting those extra copies out there means that were someone's house ever to burn, a copy of that valuable research would not be lost." (Rich Gotshall - Franklin, Indiana)

"Hi from sunny Palm Springs, CA where the weather is almost 80 and I've just returned from the pool. I think you were in my home, looking over my shoulder last year while I created, printed on my computer, scanned pictures, collected important data and made "Family Tree Books" for each of our 6 kids. Are you sure you didn't sneak into my home???

Just as you described, I put the things together in a loose-leaf binder with the intentions that I could add or replace pages for them yearly. I used the binder that I could personalize a cover that was a great clip art tree that I expanded and put all of the family names on the tree for each one of my children.

On the family group sheets, ancestor charts, and descendant charts, I personalized each one from/to their name. I color-coded each one of the 8 great grandparents sections. I included some personal stories. I also indexed the 8 sections and numbered the pages by S-1 (Scruggs) or A-1 (Allen) etc. The children, ages 30-48, their mates, and our grandchildren were really in awe when they saw them - even those that weren't very interested before!!!" (Marie Scruggs)

"I am in the process of trying to write a family history book about my maternal grandparents and my parents. My editor/publisher is going to be a dear friend who lives in another province. As I struggle to get the chapters written, the thought has often been in the back of my mind– 'Should I do something that looks more professional?'

He has various computers, printers, and a scanner for pictures of which I have many one only copies. But your article has just reinforced that even [by] self-publishing I will have done more than anyone else in the family has done to leave recorded history for the generations to come. Thank you for being encouraging even though anonymously." (Gena Crowston, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada)

"You can also "color copy" any color OR black & white print at places like Kinko's or CopyMax for about .99 a page. I've gotten quite a few done like that–I mount them on 8 ½ by 11 paper using tape on the back of the pictures, and then I have CopyMax copy them for me. If I want to type out a caption on the paper, I can do that with and old typewriter after the copying is done; Or, I can print out the caption and cut/paste it on the sheet with the photo(s) before I give it to the copy person. I've been very pleased — very beautiful quality."
(Lori Hynd Ray, IBSSG)

"We ourselves have just finished a family history "book" (on one line of our family, from the 1600s to the present day) — over 200 pages long and with pictures — compiled and published right here in our house. And I must say that you tell the truth — It was hard work, but it was fun, and it was very, very rewarding (not monetarily!) and well accepted. In fact, it was such a good experience that we're now starting in to work on a "book" about another family line!

They loved it. There has never been anything like it to "pull our family together" before. We are a family that has gone its separate ways, and this book is bringing at least some of us back together. People are asking about others they haven't thought about in many years.

We didn't do it ourselves, of course. We convinced people to write their own biographies and those of others in their families, and to send photos, old and recent. And THEY are the ones who made it so interesting! And when they saw what they had done, they were very impressed, and they have told us it is something they will treasure and hand down. Not only that, but now that they've seen how nice, and how meaningful, it is, some want to contribute more– biographies on those who were barely mentioned, for example.

And they're looking for more old photos, as we made this easily revisable and intend to revise and add to it and make it better all the time. Some are doing more research, too, so we can add more details to the stories of our earlier ancestors — when it's all there in print and in order, then what is still needed can be more easily seen; we actually hoped for that result!
Probably the best result we could have hoped for is that our relatives now feel a part of this effort to preserve our family history!" (Barbara O'Reagan)

"What I want to comment on is about sharing our work with others. I to had to decide how to share my work with my siblings, cousins and other descendants. The information on my family was to valuable to keep to myself.

Our Rooters group had a fellow member who demonstrated to us different methods we could do ourselves of binding our publications, some rather complicated and some simple.

…I did not ask for money, instead, I thanked them for their help, even if they did not help, and said their payment to me would be their continued support, especially in loaning me family pictures that I could scan and include in future addendum's. The reaction of family members was excellent." (Eugene W. Welch)

"Enjoyed your article on doing a family book, however I took another approach when I did my book. Through the years several of my ancestors had written articles about my STANDLEY family, but because they had failed to document the facts, it was hard to tell fact from fiction.

I started by going to my FHC [Family History Center] and getting what microfilm I could find on wills, census, marriage, deeds and other actual documents. I made copies of the documents, then translated them into my computer. I then made copies of the typed document and the original document, which I inserted into plastic page savers with the original on the right and the translation on the left. I put them in a notebook and in the front of the book I put my "Family Tree" material with the documented material in the back.

I took one of the books to our STANDLEY family reunion last October and people were able to see that a lot of the history that had been handed down through the years was subject to a lot of bad memory.

The history I came up with is not as romantic or heroic as the others, but it is documented. I think documentation is much more important than some fancy family history outline. Thanks for letting me have my say," (Joe Walker - Humble, TX)