Monday, September 04, 2006

Carnival of Genealogy, 7th Edition

Welcome to the September 4, 2006 edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. The theme for this edition is Writing a Family History. Starting us off today we have a couple of bloggers who are speaking from experience. They've each recorded their family history in different ways. David has written and published his history the traditional way, in book form. Dana has chosen to record her family history digitally, in the form of an online blog. Both are excellent examples of accomplishing the enormous task of writing a family history. Thank you both for submitting your blog posts to the Carnival of Genealogy. We appreciate you sharing with us!
David Bowles presents 23 Tips for Writing a Family History posted at Writing the Westward Sagas, saying, "23 tips I wish someone had given me before I started writing my family history"
Dana Huff presents Blogging Family History, Part 2 posted at Our Family History: A Genealogy Blog by Dana Huff, saying, "Using blogging as a tool for writing the family history."

Next we'll look at some of the advice that's available to help figure out where to start and how to proceed with writing a family history.

From George G. Morgan we have Establishing Atmosphere in Your Written Family History posted at saying,

Writing a family history is perhaps the most difficult type of writing I have found. If you are a dedicated genealogical researcher, you have invested a great deal of time in researching the evidence of the family members; researching history and geography; combing through archives and libraries; collecting papers, letters, government-produced documents, photographs, family stories, and artifacts that help tell the story. [More]

From Dee Hogan we have Learn about you; write your memoir posted at Democrat & Chronicle: Essays saying,

With the success of best sellers such as Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, writing memoir has attained a new status in the literary world. It has achieved such power because it invites memoirists to select incidents in their past and interpret them with the emotional honesty and wisdom that only time, distance and maturity can illuminate.

Memoir is not autobiography, chronicling the epic of one's life and creating a genealogy. It is the genre that gives credibility to our deepest feelings. It can be one page or 100 and be as simple as a 10-year-old's paragraph on his love for his grandfather. It can also be as profound as James McBride's The Color of Water, a 314-page remembrance written from two viewpoints. [More]

From Sharon DeBartolo Carmack we have The Secret to Writing a Compelling Family History posted at saying,

Most published genealogies aren't meant to be read. You know the type. The ones with just names, dates, and places, some of them no more creatively done than printing out computer databases. Keep in mind that no one's family history is compelling and interesting, until you make it compelling and interesting.

Writing your family history so people will want to read it is not all that difficult. You can write a completely factual account of your family, fully documented, yet as readable as a novel. By borrowing techniques from fiction writers, you can turn your dry facts into a compelling family history narrative. [More]

From Annette Madden we have Writing Your Family History From Idea to Manuscript posted at saying,

The Xerox method: Print out on your computer and make copies at your neighborhood copy store. They can also do binding. 3-ring binders are great if you intend to add more information later. hiring an editor and copyeditor. You can also hire someone to do an index if your software does not support it and you don't want to do it yourself.

Copyrights cost $20 and can be obtained at: Register of Copyrights, Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20559

You can obtain an ISBN at: US ISBN Agency, 630 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974
(877) 310-7333 [More]

From Laura Young we have Are You Writing A Book Based on Your Life? Tips from an Author posted at saying,

...Then it happened. Have you ever been in the middle of telling someone a story when you realize you are heading smack in to a detail or six that you really don't want to share but are already committed to telling? Well, there I was, rolling merrily along and suddenly I realized that gaining personal power in the long run is also about all those times you lost it, or gave it away, or simply made a bad move. [More]

From Rodger L. Hardy we have Focus on people to breathe life into ancestral histories posted at saying,

Remembering ancestors can be much more than a dull list of genealogical data, family history writers Morris and Dawn Thurston say.
Families can put flesh on the bones of their forebears, the couple told attendees at Campus Education Week at Brigham Young University this past week.
"Tell a story. Keep genealogy to a minimum; keep people in the forefront," Morris Thurston said. [More]

If you find the idea of writing your family history too daunting a task, perhaps you might prefer to hire a service to either write it for you or be your editor. This kind of help is readily available at various sites on the 'net.

If you're not sure what to write about or you tend to procrastinate, you might appreciate what Michael Jensen has to say in Writing Family History is Now Just an Email Away with Family History Builder posted at

Family History Builder announced today their offering of a new service using email to help individuals and families in building a family history. Each week subscribers respond to an email containing a memory provoking question, such as "What do you remember about first learning to ride a bicycle?" and gradually start writing their own history. [More]

If you'd like to self-publish your family history, you may be interested in reading about and in , Getting published the easy way by Barbara Madaras at Times-Standard Online.

If you have a desire be in print, whether it is your next novel or collection of photos, an illustrated business or family history, a technical manual, or a marketable collection of recipes, consider using new technology that makes the publishing part a breeze (and a lot less expensive!).

Just as important, the end product is of professional quality. It can be hard cover or trade paper back, with your own cover design in either case. And, it can be assigned an ISBN, allowing it to be listed as a publication in databases, sold in bookstores, and included in library collections. You are the publisher; you own the copyrighted product.

Welcome to the world of on-demand publishing... [More]

If you're considering an alternative to the traditionally published family history you'll be pleased to know there are many available.

From Ilana DeBare we have Got a story to tell? Hire a videographer posted at saying,

David Rekart had been planning a photographic slide show for his father's 70th birthday. But he decided to go a step further and have a video documentary made about his father's life.
Rekart hired videographer Teri Duff, who shot three hours of interviews with his parents, then edited them down to a 45-minute biographical video. [More]

Maureen Taylor has her own blog, The Photo Detective, and has written a book,Scrapping Your Family History, for a photo alternative to writing the traditional family history.

From Katy Bishop we have Companies preserve personal histories posted at saying,

History Forever also aims to preserve people's life stories, but the concept is achieved online through a multimedia presentation.

"This is a new millennium scrapbook," said Fabio Tagliasacchi, vice president and co-owner of the company. "It's the same idea as a physical one, but your grandma can't lose it."

The company has hired two personal historians who make house calls to help clients who need help writing, recording and organizing their information. For technology-savvy customers, the entire process can be completed online. [More]

We've already mentioned Dana Huff's choice to use a blog to record her family history. Taking the same idea to a whole 'nother level (or should I say planet?), we have Ben Crowder's Genealogy 2.0 posted at Ben discusses the need for collaboration on genealogy research but the conglomerationion of apps he mentions would also create the ultimate recording of a family history, allowing for not just one author but many. I do believe this is the future of genealogy research folks. And probably the future of writing up the family history too.

That concludes this edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. Calling for submissions for the next edition! The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be Family Photos. What are the bloggers saying about family photos? What's your favorite photo editing software? What special tricks do you use on old photos? How can you identify the time period of an old photo? How are you preserving, organizing, and cataloging your family photos? Write an article about family photos and submit it to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using our
carnival submission form. (Or submit one you've already written, that's fine too!)

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.