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Step 9 Sharing, Presenting, and Preserving

Sharing with Others/Writing & Publishing

Here are some formats that may be used to present your family history to the public.

  • A pedigree chart, perhaps done with calligraphy
  • Information entered into a genealogy program that may be shared via GEDCOM. To find out what GEDCOM is, go to the GEDCOM page on Cyndi's List.
  • An attractive presentation book
  • A monograph about one person, or one line of ancestors
  • An article that may be submitted to a genealogical journal
  • A booklet to hand out to family members
  • A traditional genealogy book starting with an immigrant and working forward
  • A book of family stories and remembrances of what life was like years ago
  • A web page, compact disc, video, or DVD

Would you like some help compiling and writing up your materials? Janna and Daniela have experience with all these formats. We'll be glad to help you create an attractive, organized work, with sources properly cited.

Some of our clients prefer to give us raw material and request that as we compile it. We can analyze it and develop a plan for future research. At that point, they may choose to do the research or have us continue with it.

We have considerable experience with solving difficult problems relating to one family. We can develop a set of proofs on one line for admission into an organization like the DAR, or we can develop whole genealogies.

Help Me!  Take my information and write a book about my family.

Help Me!  Write an article about my ancestor.

Help Me!  Can you write a book about my family and put it on DVD so I can make copies and share it with all of my family members?

Help Me!  We are having a family reunion; can you make a chart with names and photographs that I send you so I can take it to the reunion?

To ask these or similar questions, click on Help Me!, fill out the form that comes up, and submit your questions.


Attractive Presentations of Your Research

When Janna first started researching, she put everything into manila folders in a filing cabinet. Soon she discovered that the folders were getting too thick to find things, and when people came to her home and asked her to show them her genealogy, a stuffed filing cabinet was unimpressive.

She found that dividing by surname was awkward. On some surnames she had many generations and great amounts of data. On surnames that were remote in time, she had, perhaps one sheet of paper copied from an ancient genealogy. When filed alphabetically, she couldn't remember how the older surnames fit into the genealogy and which ones needed research.

Then Janna found a much better system, attractive, simple to use, and easily expandable. It uses a standard pedigree chart or ahnentafel chart as its index. The numbering system for these charts is the key: The father of any person on the chart is double his number and the mother is double plus one. Therefore, if you are number one, your parents are numbers two and three. Your father's father is four. His father is eight, and so on. Do you need to know the father of number 132? Easy, it’s double that number, 264.

Janna recommends a three-ring "presentation" binder for your material. It is a snap to insert new documents and when the binder it gets full, you can easily move a section from the back into a second binder. These binders have a clear plastic sleeve in the cover into which you can insert a label, a photo, or a pedigree chart.

Your pedigree chart or ahnentafel chart goes into the front of the book. (If you have large numbers of ancestors, an alphabetical index that shows pedigree numbers may be helpful.) You will probably want to put some documents into the book in protective plastic sleeves. Since those usually stick out further than punched paper, she suggests you buy extra-wide five-tab indexes. Each couple on your chart gets one tab, as follows:

Tab 1. You (1) and your spouse. (Or you may prefer to start with one of your children.)

Tab 2. Your father (2) and your mother (3)

Tab 3. Your paternal grandfather (4) and his wife (5)

Tab 4. Your maternal grandfather (6) and his wife (7)

Tab 5. Your paternal great-grandfather (8) and his wife (9)

Do you see what happens when you start a new five-tab set? Pedigree numbers that are multiples of 10 always take the top tab in the set. Pedigree numbers that end in 4 and 5 are always in the middle. If you have a missing generation, you may leave that index out, knowing that space is reserved for it.

Behind a tab you will file the family group sheets for that couple, including biography, notes and source citations. Behind those, file your documents, photos, certificates, etc.


Preservation Considerations

Daniela would like to remind you that we should be using acid-free paper for writing and photocopying. This paper is available in reams at a paper store for not much more than regular paper and if cared for properly (not left in the sun or heat) will last hundreds of years longer than regular paper. We should use other archival materials such as polyester or polypropylene sleeves for protecting our photographs. Do not use scotch tape on anything you wish to keep for a long time. It gets sticky over time and can damage anything it touches. It is not a good idea to use glue, staples, or paper clips that may discolor, damage, rust, bend, or tear paper. Do not leave sticky or post-it notes on pages as they also deteriorate paper. Store your notebooks, albums, and other presentation folders and boxes in a cool, dry place away from strong light. A place with some air circulation is ideal.

If you have original photographs to display, take the originals to a photocopy shop and get color laser copies made which are a little more expensive than a regular photocopy. Put the originals in archival plastic sleeves and store them in a cool, dry place away from light. The copies can then be place in antique frames and displayed. You will find that a good quality copy looks almost like the original.

If you want to take the ultimate step in preserving your precious photographs, take them to a good photo studio and have an archivally processed 4” x 5” copy negative made of the image. This will preserve the image for future generations and you can make a print from the negative for relatives and children. Of course, store the negatives and original photographs in proper storage conditions. Do not store paper and photographs together as the photographs give off fumes that deteriorate paper.

Help Me!  Put my data into a computer genealogy program.

Help Me!  Create a presentation book.

Help Me!  Make my presentation book attractive by using artwork, calligraphy and borders.

Help Me!  Make a beautiful pedigree chart for my family in calligraphy.

Help Me!  Make a scrapbook of my family’s ancestral hometown or area. 

To ask these or similar questions, click on Help Me!, fill out the form that comes up, and submit your questions.