Publish Your Family History, Before It's Too Late

Publish Your Family History, Before It's Too Late

by Dale Lee

More than thirteen years ago one of the members of my Mother's extended family wanted to collect the life stories of the families that descended from my Grandfather. Unfortunately they weren't able to get enough interest in the project to make it happen.

Then about three years ago one of my cousins, now a Grandmother herself, took up the project, fearing that soon many of our Aunts and Uncles would not live long enough to recount their stories. This time she had quite a bit of success and was able to collect many histories that would have been lost forever without her patience and perseverance. We had a treasure house of information on the extended family!

But I didn't understand how much of a treasure I really had until the day I started a new project to publish the loose-leaf information my cousin had put together.

I wanted to work on another project about the same time, that of putting together a Family Tree of the extended family. Now, as I typed the Family stories into the computer, I was able to collect a very large portion of genealogical information and store it in my Family History program. I got two projects for the price of one... the Family Tree, and the Family Book!

However, the extent of the treasure I now had at my fingertips didn't just stop with the Family Tree, it also enriched my understanding of people and families I had lost contact with long ago. As I typed, I read of people in the US, in Canada, in Mexico and other countries. I read of families that had adopted special needs children, families that had been involved in numerous Church positions, individuals that had traveled to foreign countries and even one individual that had been a hippie.

One of the most interesting Family History was an account of a couple that bought a trimarand, a boat much like a catamarand, and sailed around the world for an extended period of time, ten years. They recounted in great detail the experience that ended the joy ride... a storm off the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Their experience was fascinating. They recounted how they encountered the storm, how the waves, which normally drive in one direction, seemed to come from all directions giving them no clue as to how to position the boat to avoid problems. They told how they waited for a couple of days of continually battling the elements before putting out a "May Day". But even after help was sent, the waves were so tall, they couldn't line up their smaller vessel with the ship that was trying to save them. Finally they were able to get help from another ship, but as they were rescued, their poor boat was damaged beyond repair against the side of the ship saving them and they had to abandon it altogether.

Treasures like these and many others could have been lost forever by simply not taking the effort to share life experiences by contributing to a Family History Book of the extended family.

Don't let life get in the way of sharing your experiences. Organize your Family and encourage them to share their Family Histories with the extended Family! Since starting the Family History Book at least two of my Aunts have died. I'm so very glad my cousin took the effort to collect the treasures before they disappeared forever!

Copyright © 2002, Dale Lee

About the Author:

Dale Lee is a computer consultant who has been involved in Genealogy for over 12 years. For information on how to publish your own Family History or book manuscript, visit


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