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You Can Write Your Family History
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You Can Write Your Family History

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  11 reviews
There's no reason a fully documented family history can't read like a page-turning novel. In this concise and accessible book, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack shows genealogists, history buffs, and writers at all levels exactly how to record the fascinating tales of their ancestors. Based on her own extensive experience writing family histories, the author shares her best methods ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published March 20th 2009 by Genealogical Publishing Company (first published 2003)
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I found this book (with a different cover than the one in the picture!!) at RootsTech 2012 - a genealogy and technology convention that was held here in Salt Lake in February.

This book is going to change my life!! Well, at least my life of trying to write yet another family history. I have written a poor one for my dad's family in 1998, then with my cousin a better one for my Mom's side of the family. Now, I'm going to write a NARRATIVE!! And this book is going to hold my had while I do it.

I h
Wayne Groner
"I believe practically everyone has the potential to write a family history,” writes Carmack.

She turns her extensive experience as an author, instructor, speaker, and business owner into a no-nonsense, uncomplicated, system to writing your family history. It’s much like baking cake—follow the recipe and you’ll get a cake. Follow her recipe and you will get a family history manuscript you will be pleased with and proud to share with family and friends. She also shows how to turn your manuscript i
I credit this book (along with a certified genealogist cousin who showed me the work she did to get certified) with lighting a fire under me.

I'd collected some work on my father's Smith family (helped along by my uncle's work in the 1970s and the trees he mapped out on butcher paper). Finding this book in 2005 helped me to organize it all, create a framework for it, and begin inserting into Framemaker. My daytime job as a technical writer helped with tweaking the bits into something coherent.

This is the most comprehensive book I've read on the subject of writing a family history.
This is a great resource with practical examples.
Keith Kendall
A year ago (March 2010) I checked out a bunch of family history books from the city library. Many of them I found interesting, but stopped reading them about 1/3 of the way into them. This one held my interest so much that I wanted to buy 10 copies and hand them out at the upcoming family reunion. Alas I still haven't bought even one copy, but it is that time of year again when family reunion season is coming up and I wish I had gotten that book order placed.
This is a terrific book.

Written in an easy, descriptive style it does not just tell you various ways of writing a Family History, but provides concrete examples, background tools and tasks and alternative sources to use.

In short: The Why is important, but the How is essential. This book has them both.

I borrowed this book from the library, but will be buying a copy for my shelf to keep as a touchstone and reference that is always at hand.
This is a well written step by step guide that will actually make you want to write. I've never had so few excuses to get started and make something beautiful. She also recommends other books to look into about specific topics. Read this with Bringing your Family History to Life through Social History by Katherine Scott Sturdevant.
Quite a thorough book about writing your family history. Though I want to write a fictionalized version of some of my family history, and this book was definitely not aimed at that, it was still helpful in thinking about all the angles of research, etc.
Jan 29, 2011 Denise is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I need to get started writing. Anything really, just do it!
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