Including digital media with your printed book provides the best of all worlds: you get the low-tech, easy-access, leaf-able beauty to put on your coffee table; and additional digital files that can be easily shared and replicated for other uses.Read More
We have helped people of all ages to record their life stories. But to be honest, life story writing is more often done by those "of a certain age." Why?Read More
My favorite way to spend a day -- when I get to take something boring and turn it into something beautiful. So when we got a call from this client, we were excited about the challenge she offered.
Our client had hired a professional genealogical researcher to research her family lines. As far as I could tell, the data was sound and the researcher had done a great job of sleuthing out some interesting facts. But the research was presented to the client in a series of word files with a few photocopied documents attached. Great stuff, but not so much to look at.Read More
There is nothing more heartbreaking for us than to talk to a client who has spent hours and dollars digitizing their photo collection, only to find out that the files are too small or too low-quality for archival purposes. They may look fine on Facebook, but when printed in a family history book or newspaper article, they will look blurry or pixelated. In many cases, the originals have already been sent back to their original owners or worse, destroyed, making proper re-scanning impossible.Read More
It was a red-letter day for us in our career as personal historians: last week it was our great privilege to interview Stephen Rockwood, the brand-new CEO of FamilySearch International.
The idea of interviewing the leader of the largest genealogical organization in the world might have been just a teensy bit intimidating, but Rockwood immediately made us comfortable with his warm smile and easy manner.Read More
This morning, Tom and I bundled up for our morning walk and headed out to the beautiful cemetery overlooking downtown Salt Lake City. As we walked around the veterans' portion of the park, I was struck by the precision and order in the arrangement of the markers.Read More
Party time! At our house, Family History Month is a time to celebrate (and an excuse for me to stay up way too late messing about in Ancestry.com.) October is a great time to do a little bit of something toward preserving and sharing your family's history. Here are a few ideas:
1. Trace an ancestor's journey on Google Maps.
I have heard my whole life of the journey of my colonial pioneer ancestors, Thomas and Alice Armstrong, and their journey via flatboat from Pennsylvania to settle in the Ohio Territory about 1799. But I didn't have a sense of how far it was, or how long it would take. So I used the Create My Map feature in Google Maps, where you can make custom maps. Imagine how shocked I was when I realized that they would have floated right through downtown Pittsburgh (a thriving metropolis of 1,000 in 1799), where my daughter is living now. Just a year ago I stood on a bridge overlooking that exact spot, at the confluence of the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, with no idea they had been there over 200 years earlier.
My issue with this exercise is not the time limit imposed. (In fact, I think forcing oneself to complete something staggeringly complex in a very small amount of time has a laser-focusing effect that can be very helpful, whether your destruction is imminent or simply postponed.)
My problem with this particular exercise is what it tells you to write about in that hour.
Really? You only have an hour to speak (or forever hold your peace) - and you're going to list the names of your elementary school teachers?Read More
If you are in the process of gathering images to supplement your life story writings, you will generally be using photos from your own life.
But don't feel you have to limit the images in your book to what you have on hand. If you want to fill in some holes or jazz up the visuals in your project, there are a lot of places to get great images that are free, high quality, and don't trample on someone else's copyright.Read More
From our keynote speech at the Riverton Family Search Center today: we are talking about ten of the most common obstacles people have when it comes to writing their life stories, and how to get around them! In a nutshell:Read More