Review: How to Finalize your Personal History for Printing and Sharing

Genealogy educator Thomas MacEntee reviews How to Finalize your Personal History for Printing and Sharing by Hilarie Robison of Legacy Tale – a must have!

Review: How to Finalize your Personal History for Printing and Sharing

[Editor’s Note: How to Finalize your Personal History for Printing and Sharing is available in PDF e-book format from Legacy Tale for $7.99 USD (click here). Use promo code FINALIZE at checkout and save 20% – your final price is $6.49 USD]

Robison, Hilarie Hicks. How to Finalize your Personal History for Printing and Sharing, Legacy Tale, 2016, 40 pages.

I’ve personally helped clients and friends produce various types of family history books and I know the process can be daunting. I’ve done print, print-on-demand and even ebooks and let me tell you, there are so many details to remember! If you want a guide to the family history book process you can’t do much better than How to Finalize your Personal History for Printing and Sharing by Hilarie Robison.

The crux of the book is the use of a “three-part process” which includes 1) editing and finalizing text; 2) focusing on layout and design; and 3) handling printing preparation and making decisions on options.

Why I Think How to Finalize your Personal History for Printing and Sharing Works

One of the areas often “rushed” or “overlooked” is the proofreading and editing process when producing a family history book. Robison reminds us that this entire project is an investment and you are leaving a legacy . . . so why not put the proper effort into it?

Robison’s formatting tips are solid and spot on; she stresses various options that are easy-to-use and that I myself have recommended to clients and colleagues. Robison also reviews options for additional sections that you may not have considered: appendices with letters and diaries, pedigree charts and more.

The printing process is probably the most confusing and vexing for most family historians. Robison covers all the bases and answers questions about printing options, how many copies to make, how to provide copies to family members at prices ranging from free on up, and more.

Finally, there are some EXCELLENT tips throughout the book in the sidebar! These are coming from an expert who has produced many family history books so Robison knows all about printer deadlines, layout and more.

Conclusion

In How to Finalize your Personal History for Printing and Sharing, the author Hilarie Robison provides a well-conceived three-part plan for you to finally produce that family history book! With valuable tips and practical (and proven) advice, you could easily have your book ready for Mother’s Day, a family reunion this summer, or as gifts for the 2017 holiday season!

About The Author: Hilarie Hicks Robison, M.A.

Hilarie Hicks Robison is a third generation native Las Vegan whose professional career spanned roles in government agencies, education and non-profits. After graduating summa cum laude from BYU and earning a Master’s in Ethics and Policy Studies, she published and presented widely on a variety of topics throughout North America, receiving multiple awards for publications and innovations. A teacher and writer at heart, she loves helping people recognize how history has shaped their lives, and how making and recording your own history shapes the future. Hilarie and her husband, Ben, are the owners of Legacy Tale, where they provide tools and services for capturing, preserving and sharing family legacies.

* * *

Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Review: The Family Tree Historical Atlas of American Cities

Genealogy author and educator Thomas MacEntee reviews The Family Tree Historical Atlas of American Cities – a valuable reference resource for researchers of American genealogy!

Review: The Family Tree Historical Atlas of American Cities, 1800-1920

[Editor’s Note: The Family Tree Historical Atlas of American Cities is available in print (click here) as well as in e-book format (click here). You can also pre-order the Kindle version at a 51% discount by clicking here, only $16.99. Right now, Shop Family Tree has both the print and e-book versions on sale with a 29% discount and FREE SHIPPING]

Dolan, Allison and the Editors of Family Tree Magazine. The Family Tree Historical Atlas of American Cities, Cincinnati: F+W Media, Inc., 2017, 224 pages.

* * *

When researching your ancestors who lived in some of the historically large American cities, it helps if you can get a picture of how and where they lived. What was the city like during their lifetime as opposed to today? What landmarks and services were near their residence? Did the city experience a major disaster (as in The Great Fire of Chicago in 1871) and how did that impact your ancestors? Were street names changed over time and how can you tell?

Asking yourself these types of questions as you explore your roots will help you document your ancestors more thoroughly and go beyond mere “names and dates.” The Family Tree Historical Atlas of American Cities is the perfect reference book for American genealogists seeking such information.

Usage Experience: New York City

Most of my immediate ancestors came from the New York City area, with my second great-grandfather Gustave Henneberg arriving in 1891. So I set out to see how I could incorporate the maps and other information in The Family Tree Historical Atlas of American Cities as part of my genealogical research.

Many of the maps used throughout the book are part of the David Rumsey Map Collection, the collection at the Library of Congress’ Geography and Map Division and the New York Public Library Digital Collections. Using the various New York City maps, especially the Manhattan and Bronx examples, I gained a better understanding of where my ancestors lived. And using a list of addresses from various federal and state censuses, I could see how they migrated from the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1890s to The Bronx in the 1920s.

In addition, the Index of Maps at the end of the book is very useful and allows the reader to search for specific maps online or at a repository in order to view more detail. In addition, this information could be useful for source citations.

At the end of each city section, there is a helpful guide for genealogy research outlining specific types of vital records and how to access them.

What’s Inside

The Family Tree Historical Atlas of American Cities features:

  • 130+ full-color historical maps of sixteen important cities, including New York, Houston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles
  • Timelines highlighting the most important moments in each city’s history
  • Lists of city-specific genealogy websites and resources (such as directories) that will aid your research
  • An index with instructions on finding online versions of each map, allowing you to view the maps in more detail or use them in conjunction with programs like Google Earth

Contents of The Family Tree Historical Atlas of American Cities:

  • Baltimore historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Boston historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Charleston historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Chicago historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Cincinnati historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Cleveland historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Detroit historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Houston historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Los Angeles historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • New Orleans historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • New York City historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Philadelphia historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Pittsburgh historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • San Francisco historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Louis historical maps, timeline and resource list
  • Washington, DC historical maps, timeline and resource list

Conclusion

The Family Tree Historical Atlas of American Cities can really help you better understand how and where your ancestor lived in any of these 16 major cities. While I reviewed the e-book version, I think the print version would be preferred and easier to use for most researchers. The timelines, maps and research resources all make for valuable reference information that every genealogist with American ancestors can put to use.

* * *

Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Review: The Complete Guide to Google Photos

The Complete Guide to Google Photos: The Fantastic Free Tool for Curating Past and Present Pictures

Review: The Complete Guide to Google Photos: The Fantastic Free Tool for Curating Past and Present Pictures

[Editor’s Note: The Complete Guide to Google Photos is available in PDF e-book format from Legacy Tale for $11.99 USD (click here). Use promo code 20OFF and save 20% – your final price is $9.59 USD]

Robison, Ben. The Complete Guide to Google Photos: The Fantastic Free Tool for Curating Past and Present Pictures, Legacy Tale, 2016, 68 pages.

One of the topics that I’ve been pushing in the genealogy community over the past year is the concept of photo preservation and digitization. So when I heard about The Complete Guide to Google Photos by Ben Robison I knew I had to take a look. To be honest, for a tech guy I’m not too verse in Google Photos so I went into this process of using the guide as something of a “newbie.”

And what did I find? Well, in genealogy we have a saying: “How do you know what you don’t know?” Basically, you need a good, easy-to-use guide book like The Complete Guide to Google Photos to get you started.

Covering All the Photo Curation Bases

If you were to inherit a huge collection of family photos, would you know where to get started? Perhaps you would have some misgivings about your abilities to digitize and catalog the images. Or you might not be sure of some of the technical issues involved.

Robison has all the bases covered here and helps ensure that you only take on a photo project once so you can move on to other family history projects such as preserving family stories.

Chapters covered include: 1) Why Google Photos?, 2) Installation, 3) Basic Navigation, 4) Gathering Photos, 5) Curation and 6) Extra Features.

What’s Inside

The Complete Guide to Google Photos features:

  • Easy-to-read text and compelling graphics. Some may want more of a “technical manual” but for the everyday non-techie, I think it works to have more of a “picture book” approach to inspire people to get started on curating their family photos.
  • An overview of the best reasons why Google Photos is best for photo curation including grouping and labeling features.
  • Information on the free vs. “fee” version of Google Photos and why free works for most family historians.
  • A review of various platforms for using Google Photos including iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices.
  • A solid recommendation on what Google Photos settings to use for the best results.
  • How to tackle large photo projects and why digital photos come first vs. print photos. Robison also provides great advice on scanning print photos using both a flatbed scanner and mobile apps.
  • And I LOVE THIS: a section on information and privacy and how Google tracks users! Robison lays out everything needed for you to make an informed decision.
  • Amazing review of advanced features including Albums, Events and even Facial Recognition – who knew this was available in Google Photos?

Conclusion

I’m an author who tries to break down complex concepts and programs into useful information for users, especially those who tend to be technically challenged. So I love it when I see other authors try to do the same and succeed! If you’ve ever wanted to get a jump start on that daunting photo curation project, get The Complete Guide to Google Photos and then get started on preserving an important part of your family history. This is your guide for photo curation success.

About The Author: Ben Robison

Ben Robison is one of the founders of Legacy Tale. He has almost 20 years of experience in the IT industry where he spent much of his time making sure that computers did what people needed (rather than betray and/or antagonize them).

He believes that using technology can be a tremendous aid in the preserving and retelling of family and personal histories, and helping people to understand and use those technologies is something he enjoys.

* * *

Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.