This 6-part article is here to help guide you along your journey of discovery, laying a firm foundation for you and your descendants to carry on the task for many generations ahead. Part 5- explained charts and ways to visually show your family. The last part of this series, Part 6- is not the end of your journey, it is about sharing, publishing and continuing on your journey.
Part 6- How to sharing your findings, publishing your findings and traveling to walk where your ancestors walked. Since not all of us are published authors or able to travel across the world at the drop of a clue, these are not impossible tasks.
An easy way to share your findings is to set up an online family tree that can be viewed with other members of your family. There are also online companies like Shutterfly, Mixbooks.com, My Publisher, Picaboo, Snapfish, Staples, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, that will publish brief photo books with captions. This can be a thoughtful and beautiful gift especially for the older family members. Getting your family chart printed will give you a great way to mail it to family members.
If you are looking for something a bit more complete, a family genealogy and history book is the best way to contain all that you have discovered to date. Some of the computer programs mentioned in the Part 3 of this series, will have a ‘How to write your story’ built into it already. One way to help fray the cost of publishing, is a pay as you ask for it system. You print the first one for you and your immediate family. Then as family members want copies of it, they pay for the printing and if they are further away for the shipping of it. Let them know this. You have put a lot of time and hard work into creating this unique and amazing book, and you are not asking for anything for yourself. Black and white printing is less costly, if there is something you feel that absolutely has to be in color, then of course, the choice is yours to include it.
What to put in the book? The most important item is a pedigree. Start with the person furthest back in time. You can either make it more extensive and include parents, spouses and their children, or it is too herculean a task for you, keep it simple and just do a ‘who begat who’ pedigree.
A history of where your family came from, why they left and what was going on in the world at the time can be included.
If there are high quality photographs you want to include, by all means, do so. Family likes to see which relative they look most like, what people were wearing and doing or see the different types of homes they were living in. Some may include copies of marriage documents or military documents; as an example, the handwriting and use of language was very different in the 1600’s compared with today.
Planning a once in a lifetime journey to another state or another country? Prepare ahead of time what you want to see. Is it open to the public, what is allowed when viewing, are camera’s allowed, is pen and paper allowed? How much time will it take to go on a tour. Most importantly of all, be courteous at all times. Over the phone, in an email, in person. Say Thank You to the person who has taken the time and effort to help you on your amazing and precious journey. I want to Thank You, for allowing me to help guide you on your way discovering your family. Remember to breathe, take your time and Enjoy it.
More about genealogy will be added to this blog site,
Perhaps I can take you on the journey I have and am still traveling: Stay tuned for more!