Subscribe FAQ Terms of Use
Certificates Courses Course Calendar Packages Registration Consultation Appointments
My Briefcase Help! How Do I?
Virtual Learning Room Links Forms Comments by Students
Faculty & Consultants Graduates Contact Us Our Background We Need Your Help

Writing Your Family History Book
Register (Fees/Dates)
Other Info
Recording interesting family stories is essential if you want future generations to read your family history book. This course will help you write the story of your life or of your ancestors’ lives. Techniques for researching the facts, remembering the events, writing the text, adding visuals with graphics or photographs, and finally reproducing your book will all be discussed.

Course Content

Module 1
Introduction to Writing
Techniques for Researching the Facts
The Art of Storytelling
• Family Trees versus Family Story
• Why Bother?
Organizing Your Material
• Ancestor Chart
• Family Group Sheet
• Ancestor Data Sheet
Organizing Family Documents, Photographs, and Other Items
• Photographs
• Miscellaneous/Other Items
• Genealogy Software
Twenty-First-Century Family Trees
Miscellaneous Resources

Module 2
Formatting Your Family History
Charts and Reports
Scrapbooks and Journals
Ancestor Profiles
• Sample Book
Booklets and Newsletters
Electronic Publishing
• Presentations
• Websites and Blogs

Module 3
Time Management
Writing Obstacles/Distractions
Setting Goals
• Blocking Time to Write
• In Fifteen Minutes or Less . . .

Module 4
Writing The Text
Writing from Documents
Writing from Photographs
Writing from Family Research/Interviews
• Finding and Interviewing Relatives
• Becoming a Good Interviewer
• During the Interview
• Conducting the Interview
Questioning Techniques
Transcribing Interviews
Problems with Contacting Relatives
• Obtaining Permission
• Limitations on Use
What Material to Include
• Selecting the Best Details
Inserting Charts, Graphics, and Photographs
• Linked/Embedded Objects
Putting Your Family in Historical Context
• Historical Research
• Personal Events
• Historical Facts and Events
• Using Timelines
Chapter Excerpt from Three Slovak Women
Writing Your Story
• Ready, Set, Write!
• Putting It All Together
• Reference Materials
• To Publish or Not to Publish?

Module 5
The Research is Done, Now What?
Publishing Options
Publishing Goals - Recouping Costs
Print On-Demand
• Espresso Book Machine
• Steps to Self-Publishing
• Amazon’s CreateSpace
• Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
• Barnes and Noble Press
• Blurb
• Kobo
Traditional Publishing
• Photo Books
• My Canvas
• WinkFlash
Final Thoughts on Publishing
Course Summary
Writing Exercises for Writing Your Family History
Life Story Guide
• Childhood
• Family
• School
• Work
• Faith
• Fun
• World Events
Suggested Reading

   Copyright © 1999-2023, National Institute for Genealogical Studies. All Rights Reserved.