Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Friday, February 04, 2011

Exemplar: An Artful Family History Book

One of the best things about print-on-demand books is that you can create a family history book that doesn't have to be all things to all people. You can tailor a book to a specific audience, and later make a different book for a different audience. Marilyn Ramer Burroughs and Kathleen Ramer Harden created Cousins Remembering with the younger reader in mind. Marilyn brought her skill as an artist to the project, and the result is a great example of how art can replace photographs as a way of illustrating family history. A book like this one would be visually appealing to family members of all ages, and particularly to younger readers who might be less attracted to a book illustrated by old photographs. I enjoyed the text as well. This book will be a Ramer family treasure for generations to come.

To view the book full-screen, click on the little square next to the Blurb logo.

  • Before even beginning to make a book, think about its potential readers and how best to engage their interest. For whom do you want to make a book? What material do you have, and who might be interested in it?
  • Consider whether co-authoring with another family member would result in a richer book.
  • Consider whether your own art skills or those of another (willing!) family member could be used to enhance the book you're thinking of making. 
Reader, what ideas do you get from this book?


    Michelle Goodrum said...

    What a beautiful book! The illustrations are gorgeous and I particularly like how the photo of the grandparents was transformed into the colorul illustration of them.

    I have written so many stories of this and that over the years. I can see now how they could be combined into an interesting book.

    Thank you for sharing!

    T.K. said...

    You're welcome, Michelle. I had to do this Exemplar series--it amazes me to see some of these really creative ideas that other people have for making a family history book. I hope some of their creativity will rub off on me... but if not, maybe at least I can 'borrow' some of their imaginative ideas!

    Blog Archive


    Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

    • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
    • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
    • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
    • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
    • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
    • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
    • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
    • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
    • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
    • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
    • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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