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Earlier lessons discussed choosing a format for your family history, using software to generate text, and numbering systems. In this lesson, graphics copyright issues, indexes, and publishing your work will be explored. Although I am published in both non-fiction and fiction, and have self-published a book, I don't profess to be an expert on publishing a family history. I do hope that my experiences and the hints and tips mentioned in this series of lessons will give you an idea of what to expect should you choose to create a family history book.


If you look at family histories from the last century, you'll notice that most of them were very limited in the amount of illustrations included in the book. Some books had a portrait of the progenitor featured at the beginning of the book, or a photo of an ancestral home, etc. But on the whole, photos, graphics, illustrations, maps, sketches, and other types of images were not included. While the book may have been informative with regards to the material, it was also pretty boring.

My belief is that graphics add life to a family history. Photos give your reader a chance to see what your ancestors looked like. Maps show towns and homes in relationship to other localities of importance. Scanned images such as signatures give interest to the details about people's lives. Pictures of towns, locations, houses, etc. enhance the experience of immersing the reader in your ancestor's lives.

If you have family photos, that's wonderful! The photos should be included. If you are using a genealogy database to generate your book, most likely you will be able to include photos in many charts and reports. Many programs also have a photo album capability, which allows you to create an album of photos with captions or descriptions for each individual.

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