Family History Month – Part 4

As Family History month continues you may be starting to think about what to do with the information you have collected. Here are some resources on caring for your family papers, information, photos and memorabilia. We also have some ideas and examples of how to present or publish your family history information.

LOOKING AFTER YOUR HERITAGE ITEMS
Inheriting family photos, documents and other treasures is a family historian’s dream come true. But deciding how to deal with the ‘archives’ can become a nightmare. Organisation is key and lots of strategies are collected in Denise May Levenick’s book:
Syndetics book coverHow to archive family keepsakes : learn how to preserve family photos, memorabilia & genealogy records / Denise May Levenick.
Baby Boomers are coming of age, the age of inheritance. How to Archive Family Keepsakes will help anyone who has inherited their family treasures whether they are a few trinkets or a house filled with antiques. This step-by-step guide will lead the reader from chaos to calm. Part one offers specific advice on sorting and organising inherited items.

This guide sets out clearly how to:
• Organise the boxes of your relatives’ stuff you inherited
• Decide which family heirlooms to keep
• Donate items to museums, societies and charities
• Protect and pass on keepsakes

Levenick also has a blog on the Ancestry website, which you can access at any branch of Wellington City Libraries: This blog summarises many tips on topics like organising and preserving photo collections.

Syndetics book coverHow to trace your family tree (and not get stuck on a branch) / Janet Reakes.
“Janet Reakes has compiled sample birth, death and marriage certificates and pedigree charts, family record sheets and other blueprints to make laying out the family history an easy, methodical task.” (Syndetics summary)

WRITING YOUR FAMILY HISTORY
When you’ve gathered lots of details, documents and photos, and got them organised, the next step is to write up your family’s story.
The library has some good resources (see the 929.1 section on the 2nd Floor) to help you move beyond the masses of facts to present them engagingly.

Syndetics book coverWriting a non-boring family history / by Hazel Edwards.This book “will help you craft the history of your ancestors in an interesting and rewarding way that others will want to read”. It is packed with practical advice, with checklists of questions to consider – including who your target audience is, costs, collaboration, editing, format, publication, shaping your story – and when to stop researching!

Syndetics book coverWriting your family history : a New Zealand guide / Joan Rosier-Jones.
“A guide for the writer of a family history, focusing on the actual writing and production of the book, rather than the background research. The book includes choosing material for the book, writing style, editing and revision, getting feedback, and production and marketing. An appendix of samples and a bibliography are included. The author teaches courses on the subject.” (Syndetics summary)

Family histories in the NZ Collection
To get some ideas on how to present your research, look at some of the many published family histories in our NZ Collection and , like these:

Virtue leads, fortune follows : a short history of the Shand family from Scotland to New Zealand / compiled and edited by Ann Green.

Syndetics book coverPassageways : the story of a New Zealand family / Ann Thwaite.
“Thwaite, a biographer, offers a history of her family that is drawn from family papers and unpublished memoirs, chronicling the story of both sides of her family, from her great grandparents who settled in New Zealand between 1858 and 1868 to her family’s move to London, where she was born. Her parents founded and ran the New Zealand News there. She also recounts her childhood in England and schooling in New Zealand. Photos and documents are included. Distributed in the US by ISBS. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)” (Syndetics summary)