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    « Editing Your Memoir or Family History Book | Main | Stories Come First in Memoirs and Family History Books »

    Types of Family History Books - A Wide Variety

    When you set out to create a family history book you have a lot of options. There is no fixed model for what a family history should look like. Here are a few common types:

    • Pure genealogy combining pedigree charts, family group sheets and other forms to document the family’s vital records.

    • Photo books which trace the family history through photographs providing biographical information of ancestors and details of events in photo captions.

    • Collections of letters and documents provide details in brief notes much as captions do with photo books.

    • Family cookbooks recording favorite recipes often interspersed with stories.

    • Family diaries or journals speak for themselves and require little more than transcription with an occasional explanatory detail.

    The two forms that we favor are, not surprisingly, story intensive. We like them because we feel they tend to be more interesting to readers.

    • Combination Memoir and family narrative usually going back a generation or two and summarizing the lives of family members, but focusing primarily on the authors own memoirs.

    • Family narratives telling family stories over multiple generations. These often effectively combine features like photos, documents, letters, and recipes to enhance the narrative.

    The one that you choose is strictly a matter of personal preference. Sometimes that preference is determined by the family artifacts you want to preserve. Others the choice is shaped by the availability of stories you want to include.

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