The best way to be sure that your family history research will be around for future generations is to publish your work. You’ve spent years collecting volumes of information about your ancestors. Take the time now to preserve that research.
Who would be interested in reading about your ancestors? You might be surprised. By following the steps to write a family history within the context of a well-researched social history framework, your family history would be interesting reading for your relatives and your future descendants as well as other researchers.
You might choose to have your family history published into a bound volume that could be placed in a genealogical collection at a library and other historical repository. Or you might create a volume with widespread historical appeal that could grace bookstore shelves. Whatever type of family history you write, be sure to share your work with the appropriate repository. This will ensure that your years of research will be archived for future researchers and interested descendants.
Don’t plan to publish your entire family history in one massive volume. Break your writing into manageable chunks. An all-encompassing volume with every ancestor you have researched would be a monumental task and have limited appeal. Instead, publish your family history in small volumes. Each volume should have a focus. As you finish each one, publish it. Don’t wait to publish your work when all of your writing is complete. Publish as you go.
There are a multitude of options to publish your family history, from bound books to online presentations.
- Compose your text using a word processing program, then send the file to your local office supply store (such as Staples or Kinkos) for printing and binding.
- Assemble an annotated photo book through your favorite photo printing website, such as Shutterfly, Snapfish, and Blurb.
- Create a family history blog. Each blog post can be a piece of the story. Tags and categories will help to arrange your blog by family line. Blogging platforms to consider: WordPress and Blogger.
- Post pictures and family-related information from the Internet on a Pinterest board. Each “pinned” item can be annotated with a full description. The entire Pinterest board will tell the story of your family.
- There are many online book publishing companies that can create and publish your book. Many offer templates and assistance to help you get your book published. Some may be costly, but the personal assistance and step-by-step process can often outweigh the cost. A few companies to consider: Lulu, Createspace, Blurb, Family Heritage Publishers, and Higginson Book Company.
Disclaimer: I do not have personal experience with these publishing options. They are offered here as a sample of available options. There are many more available options. A simple Google search will help you find an option just right for you.
Updated July 2017