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How To Organize A Book About Family History
From scrapbooking to videography, so many families around the world are trying to document their life history before they depart from this world. But what happens when one becomes frustrated with it all, not enough time and/or money, started a project but never finished it or better yet never even began? Online experts have provided many solutions to this problem, two websites can be found at the end of this article. Let's begin with some tips from a work in progress to completion. When the goal is to create a book or video about one's past and/or family, first begin collecting information about the subject(s). Start by letting everyone know about the task you are undertaking, so that they may be able to assist you. Ask them when they would be available for an interview. Most likely, some will be a bit defensive because they may not be happy with their lives, while others will want to talk you to death. Here is just a sample of some questions to put the closed mouth at ease and control the motor mouth when asking about he or she and their grandparents: 1. What is your full birth name and nickname (if any)? (If they had a nickname, ask why they were given that name.) 2. Where did you live as a child? (If it were numerous places, just list city and state and what they liked most and least about each area.) 3. Who were your grandparents (include their full names and don?t forget the mother?s maiden name.) 4. Where did your grandparents live? (On both mother?s and father?s side.) 5. What kind of relationship did you have with both? 6. What do you remember most about them? 7. Describe what they looked like to you. 8. What kind of people were they? 9. What kind of relationship did your mother and father have with them? 10. Did you enjoy visiting them? Some of the questions you can repeat, this time asking about their relationship with their biological or stepparent. There are so many more questions to ask, but is just a start. The next task you should consider is following-up with other relatives via phone, email, party or visit with them. Find out as much as you can and take a look at photo albums, newspaper clippings, awards, etc. to add to your notes. Your notes should be very organized. Consider buying separate notebooks and label accordingly. One notebook may consist of interviews. Another may have a list of the things you may need to buy and a list of business contacts that could assist you with publishing. You may also want to include anyone who wouldn?t mind helping you sponsor the book. They may want a particular page or business card size ad for their goods, service, or charity. Designate help, someone who is reliable who can do some research, make some follow up calls and help with organizing. Don?t let any family event pass by without you being there! Family can be more relaxed and open when they get together. Bring along a cassette recorder or video camera and have your questions ready just like a journalist. Be sure to have a plan for the type of book you are putting together. If it is just a simple family tree then you may not want a coffee table book, but if it is a history of the family?s cherished last name, then you may be printing an encyclopedia, so know what you want. One you have all of your information collected, photos in possession, scan the ones as they relate to the individual or subject matter. If he or she talked about the family farm, then obviously you will want to have a photo of the family farm, if that isn?t possible, then use a photo where someone is working on the farm or use a photo of what they may have looked like at the time. Organize a table of contents page, see similar books for ideas. You should have a workspace available for your project, if not find one and fast, the longer your information sits in the file cabinet or a bag, the least likely you will want to do anything about it. Take the information you have gathered and start a folder on your computer. Name the file anything that you know you can remember like ?Family History.? Then begin to type each interview in a word processing file, one that is commonly used, this way if you should take your documents to a printing company they will be able to bring them up without any problem. Choose a simple font like Arial or Times Roman, this too will eliminate any potential problems. Leave space on each page to include a photograph or any other item you would like to include. Later, you will go back to those empty spaces and upload those photos from your computer. Once, you have included all the information, be sure to have someone proofread and check over any historical data. Make necessary changes and go back to include photos. Once again, have someone review the layout and possibly add designs, color and other creative input. Lastly, put the file on cd and have a hard copy of your document. If you follow these instructions, you should have at least a near finish or completed product. The following sites are helpful if you choose to put your history online or if you are looking for a much needed family member or friend to complete your story: Part of a hot new category of social networking sites, OurStory helps users Collect, Share & Keep the memories and moments from life's journey in a permanent, secure online archive. Each entry is organized by date, place and topic on your personalized timeline. Many customers use OurStory as an online journal, online diary or as a blog. Reunion.com has over 28 million registered users and everyday, we help people find family members, classmates, forgotten friends, lost loves, old business contacts & so forth! Click the links attached to this article.