title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Family Genealogy Book

Some people have asked me what the genealogy books I do, look like.  Debbie asked me specifically the other day to show her.  So, here ya go, Debbie.  Not very good pictures as my camera is acting up.

After I have found every tidbit of information I can find on the person's ancestor's, I print out, scan and save into photos, things like Census Reports, newspaper clippings, Town histories of where they lived--everything I can find.  Then I index the photos into two folders--one for the person's father's side of the family, one for their mother's, because it can get confusing if the scanned articles are all in one folder.

Then I find historic photos, cemetery signs and gravestone photos I can save as a photo image.  Sometimes I get real lucky and find a photo of the 10th Great Grandpa.  Birth notices, death certificates--things like that.  Also, photos my clients send me that they might have and want me to scan and insert in the book.

Then--I put all the "numbers and names" information into my Family Tree Maker software.  Making sure every birth and death date is correct and all the children are named.  This is called a Family Group Sheet.

Then, I begin the fun part of putting the book together and writing the story of their lives.
 I write it in a Word document, adding the scanned images and saved photos as I go along with the story.  Then I have to go back and read every page to make sure there are no mistakes on dates and no typos.  Then I load up my printer with a special heavier bond paper and start to print the book--reading each page again before I hit the print button.  One page at a time, most are double sided.

Then I take it to the print shop for them to put the clear plastic cover on the front and a heavy back cover.  Then, they put it in the machine a bit at a time, to punch the holes along the left side and insert a nice, hard plastic coil.  Not one of those el cheapo tab thingies, but a nice heavy coil so the pages will lay flat.

I've used my own book as an example here.  Again, please excuse the out- of- focus photos.

 I like to google a photo of the region where the ancestor's came from.

Perhaps another one of the region they settled in America

Before I put in a new family, I insert and fold the pedigree I've made on the right side of this page

They can then fold it out--no matter how many generations long it is.  To see the names and dates for their DIRECT ancestor's.  Just a simple pedigree.

 This is the family group sheet--one family and children with vital statistics

If I have photos of that family, I can insert them and then write a bit about them

Sometimes I am lucky enough to find something written about the person.  Like in the Early Settlers of New York, or micro-fische files I can look through about wherever the ancestors settle, sometimes there will be something written about them and what prominence they held in that area/town.  I also find military records that I insert in the book.

I am real keen on finding where they are buried.  I want to get a photo of the cemetery sign and the ancestor's grave marker.  One day, my client might just want to take a weekend jaunt to that cemetery to physically where the Greats are buried. 

Then I wrap the book really well, put it in a box, along with the invoice that shows my time sheet and expenses for any supplies, lay my hands on the book and pray that my client will find peace, comfort and interest in what I have found and mail if off.

Of course, with a book that is near 200 pages, there is a lot more information, but this is generally what the finished book looks like.

One thing I have to note here.  I am ONLY researching your DIRECT ancestor's.  I am not researching your aunt's husband's family or finding your 3rd cousins twice removed married name.  ONLY your direct Grand Parents and their children's information will be in the book.

Plus--I don't ever find stories about bad things in the family, UNLESS you are related to Captain Black Beard--then I might and I for sure would include that.  LOL

I keep what I find confidential and don't list any names here in this blog or on Face Book, other than to use the term "Client" and perhaps that I found 30 generations up their tree. 
Sometimes I find things that the client didn't know.  That can be a bad or good thing.  When I did my friend John's genealogy, I found a newspaper account of when his brother was killed in a paper mill.  John was from a large family and much younger than the brother.  Had heard it whispered about, but no one would tell him how it happened.  Now he knows and was very happy to find it out.

The one I am finishing up now has been fascinating.  My client, a widow, decided that she wanted her deceased husband's family history also included.  Perhaps for books for her children.  I found photos of him in his high school year book!  The sports he was in.  Also photos of where he had worked.  Amazing.  Her book will be well over 200 pages thick.  
So if any of you are interested in having your genealogy done and put in a nice book, or know of anyone that would like that, please give them my e-mail to contact me and I will go over the costs with them and what they can expect.


  1. These books are a work of art as well as information! I haven't taken time to add the younger generations to mine but that is the plan. I thank you (and love you) for all of the HOURS you put in. Worth every penny.

    Thank you for blogging MORE than once a week! Whoo hoo for me! It's like hearing from a good friend. I never want to post anything on Facebook begging you to blog ... but maybe I should email you to beg!!!

  2. I have done two genealogy books myself and know how much work they are. Did you ever get paid for the book you did this summer or hear from the client to know why?

    1. Nope. She had not paid nor contacted me. It's too bad, but I hope she has enjoyed her book.

  3. Such beautiful work you do for the client, Judy! That's amazing. I really don't know much about my dad's family other than the immediate. Perhaps one day when I can afford it, I'll ask you to make a book for us. That would make an amazing gift for my brother as he's the only one really who would appreciate it except for our Ben - he loved learning things about Dad's navy career. I don't know if you remember or if we were friends back then, but I had Dad's metals, inscriptions framed for each member of the family. Ben got tears in his eyes when he opened his. :)

    1. I wasn't connected to you when Ben died. A nice thing you did with your Dad's stuff. I appreciate all things like that and have two baseball charms my Daddy got when he was in high school.

  4. WoW judy, i am so glad i asked!!! i am a very visual person, more images, less words. i had no idea what was involved, your books are so beautiful, so detailed. the people who find you to record their history are lucky they did!!

    i especially loved the last step, how thoughtful and beautiful!!!

    1. Thanks Debbie. I do so enjoy making the best gift I can for people.

  5. It's a lot of work, Judy. I'm still doing mine. I can't imagine how much time it takes for you to complete one. I'm sure I will work on mine for a while - maybe for the rest of my life as babies are born and as the older ones die. I just keep finding things. It's so much fun.