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, April 29, 2011

Exemplar: Leaf by Leaf Through a Family Tree

Those Who Came Before Us by Researched and Written by Maggie and Ed Stokes | Make Your Own Book

This great idea is so simple and straightforward, I'm surprised I didn't think of it. Authors Maggie and Ed Stokes did a beautiful, elegant job of it!

  • Create a family history book by writing a short biography/character sketch of each person in your family tree. Whether a few paragraphs or a few pages, try to focus on the whole individual, not just his or her role in the family.
  • If available, choose a few good photos of each individual at different ages to illustrate his/her story.
  • Try to make the narrative warm and friendly, not clinical and detached!
Reader, what ideas do you get from this book?


Nancy said...

I have to admit I'm just a little envious of all the beautiful photographs. They did a very nice job on their book. I'm glad you posted this because I've been considering how to organize one. Very helpful post. Thank you.

T.K. said...

You're welcome, Nancy. That's exactly why I started doing the Exemplar series... so many good ideas that I want to keep in mind for my own future books. I learn so much from seeing how others work with their material.

I agree about the photos in this book... they're fabulous, and the simple, consistent style of the layouts really helps unify the book.

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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