How to put together a family history book

By Bonusprint on 9 September 2021

Would you like to know how to put together a family history book? Welcome to our guide to researching your ancestry and creating a book that documents your family’s heritage.

Remember being in school and drawing a family tree as homework? This guide inspires you to take that long-forgotten project to the next level with bonusprint and create a unique photo book.

Starting a family history project

Thanks to the wealth of historical records available online, it’s never been easier to research your ancestry. Creating a well-researched family history takes time, effort and planning. You may need to visit archives, libraries and relatives to get hold of information. Sourcing historical details could lead to surprises about your ancestry. Maybe your family has ties to places you didn’t anticipate or ancestors who participated in events which shaped the world?

Documenting your findings in a family history book makes the information available for future generations. Compiling a family history is also an opportunity to learn. At the same time, it’s a chance to express your creativity and have fun. Get ideas on the best genealogy websites to visit, why it’s worthwhile involving family members and searching archives in our post on the best place to start making a family history book.

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Where to find all the information?

Start your research using your phone or laptop by visiting websites such as Ancestry, Family Search and My Heritage. You may choose to subscribe to one or more of the websites that help in understanding ancestry and family heritage. Asking family members for help is also a good starting point. Perhaps one of your relatives has information you can build upon? Your relatives may also be able to supply photos, letters and personal memories that will prove useful.

Archives, libraries and old newspapers may add to the data and insights at your disposal. But why ignore the obvious? Google and other search engines mean you may be able to find unexpected facts from the comfort of your home.

Additionally, taking a DNA test may reveal people with common maternal or paternal ancestry that you can’t find via archival research. Simply swab cells from your mouth, post the sample to a lab for analysis and receive insights into DNA matches. Asking other relatives to take tests might help confirm people with common ancestry. Maybe you could even include photographs of relatives taking tests and first meetings with people with whom you share a common heritage in your family history book?

Click through to our blog post entitled how to find information for your family history book to learn more.

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What can you include in the book?

No book about your ancestry is complete without a family tree. Of course, there’s much more that you can add to a family history beyond names and dates of births, deaths and marriages. You can be as creative as you like. Poems, recipes and maps are just some of the things likely to inform and engage readers.

Don’t miss opportunities to record notable achievements by members of your family. Were they presented with an honour, medal or highlighted in a newspaper report? You might want to set their lives in context by providing information about the time and place in which they lived. Did they have to work long hours in a factory or field? Maybe they survived a siege or plague. For people alive today insights into their everyday life may prove fascinating. Why not visit where they lived and worked and include photos of how those places look today?

Old photos illustrate how people looked. It might be fun to recreate old photos and compare faces from across generations side by side. It’s up to you to get creative. Find more ideas in our blog post on what to include in your family history book.

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Tips for creating the perfect family history book

Creating a book from scratch can be intimidating but it’s very much achievable. Our tips on how to create your family history provides easy pointers for you to follow. Scanning documents and old photographs helps provide a wealth of material to potentially include. Don’t forget to add a family tree, a glance at its branches will make anyone understand the relationships within your family.

Our range of photo books allows you to choose a size and layout most suited to your project. You can add pages and customise the layout using our easy-to-use editor suite. You have the option of using our photo editor, adding a cover photo and reviewing the book before placing your order. Making a photo book about your family can be fulfilling, lots of fun and allow you to express yourself.

Get more inspiration in our blog post detailing practical tips for creating the perfect family history book. We hope you’ll enjoy creating your family history book.

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