Family History: Sharing your history

Family History: Sharing your historyBy Barry J. Ewell

Throughout the preparation of your history, keep your eyes focused on the completion and distribution. The following are a few ideas to consider:

Publish several extra books for future generations. Posterity should have easy access to your history.

  • Sell it.
  • Donate copies to libraries or other institutions.
  • Post it on the Internet.
  • Donate a copy to the Salt Lake Family History Library.
  • Give permission to microfilm using the Family History Library’s “Permission to Duplicate” form.
  • Send a letter of permission with your manuscript.
  • Send an unbound copy as it’s easier to microfilm.
  • Plan ahead for the publishing and marketing of your book.
  • Be alert for contacts and opportunities for promotion as you research and write.

Keep good records of anyone who has been contacted or helped with the book. You will be able to contact them as potential buyers or persons who will be able to help publish and distribute the family history book.

When I first started researching and writing a personal history—be it my own or about my mother, my family, or my ancestors—I wanted to record the profound and thought-provoking experiences that could last for generations. Instead I found the history to be about life and how choices determine our course and how our course provides us an opportunity to become the individuals we are and to create the legacy we leave with our ancestral lines. No matter how great or small, every story has value because a life was lived, and every life is a gift. The story is what we did with the gift.