2013-02-24 14.02.24 editedYour family history can be written up and published in a book. Your family history is a story, and writing the story and printing it in a book is the most satisfying outcome of all that research. There is nothing like being able to hold a book in your hands and flip through the pages, and to find your own name inside!

The book on the left is my thesis for the Diploma of Family Historical Studies at the Society of Australian Genealogists. It’s a hardbound book of 20,000 words with index and appendices and charts and bibliography and much more, with the title on the spine and front cover. Many, many hours went into the research for the thesis, and many more hours went into formatting it (in Word) into book form. It is an extreme example of what can be achieved.

A book can have a hard or soft cover, have mostly photos or mostly text, have a casual, informal style or be very formal and footnoted. It doesn’t even need to be printed. Any book will be greatly enhanced with the addition of photographs, old letters, certificates, maps and charts to give the reader a better sense of the people they are reading about.

Here are some examples of pages from my own family history:

Eason family history chapter 1

Eason land

This book is fully footnoted (footnotes not shown). Footnotes tell the reader where the information came from, if they care to read them, without requiring jumping to the end of the book for endnotes. A list of sources can also be included, as can many different types of charts.

Eason descendant chart

An alternative can be more like a photobook. Each person can have a page, or a chapter, to tell their story. This example shows the same couple at different periods of their lives, with some text to explain briefly who they were and how they lived.

Eason Family Photo Book pp14-15


There are many possibilities between these two extremes. A book can be whatever you want it to be.