Thursday, January 2, 2003
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Welcome to this edition
of "Family History Help & Product Review". I
am hoping that you will enjoy what you read
and find it helpful in your individual family
The sole reason for this newsletter is to
make preserving your lifestory, and that of
other family members, fun and exciting through
the use of all that there is out there in
the way of software, books and web resouces.
If you have feedback to share with the whole
group or something just for me, I hope you'll
send it to me. Send it to:
Inside This Issue
Free Download: Family History Jumpstart e-Book
Product Review: "All They'll Need to Know"
Article: "Personal and Family Year in Review"
Article: "Family History Activities for 2003"
Activity: "Your Writing Assignment"
Quote of the Day --
"It's Better to do something imperfectly than do nothing flawlessly".
I think this quote has particular meaning to us as family historians.
Family History Product Store:
Tools to make family history preservation easier on you!
Memorygrabber - A 150 page downloadable life story workbook
with over 800 ways to spark your distant memories. It's fill in the blank
format and self-interviewing style, makes preserving a life story a much
less daunting task.
Family Picture Calendar - Create a Family Calendar! Enter events and
family photos once and produce beautiful calendars for years to come.
Family Picture Calendar
Free Download! To
show my appreciation, for subscribing to this
newsletter, I am providing a download link
to my e-book "Family History Jumpstart".
It is a collection of inspirational family
history articles written top family history
writers. You'll find all the inspiration,
motivation and instruction you'll need to
keep on going!
Click Here to Download Jumpstart
All They'll Need to Know!
by Joyce Pierce
"All They'll Need to Know" will help your
loved ones to make decisions according to
your wishes if you are not there to advise
This 32 page e-book contains forms for
providing vital statistics, professional
and military records, funeral instructions,
names of those to notify, as well as financial
information regarding checking and savings
accounts, location and contents of safe deposit
box, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds
and mutual funds, savings plans, retirement
programs, trust accounts, real estate,
loans payable and receivable, insurance,
and even information on your automobiles
and credit cards.
One book is designed to accommodate personal
information for a couple, so only one is needed
If you're not the one who handles these
matters in your home, it is important for
you to have this information completed now
so you will have all the answers when you
need them. If you are the one who handles
them, can you think of a better way to let
your family know you care about them than
to guide them step-by-step through the
process of managing these important
Typical concerns of family members surviving
the loss of a loved one, but questions
often asked too late are:
How will we get enough cash to live on until
the estate is settled?
Are there insurance policies and bank accounts
I don't know about?
What should we do about the funeral and
"All They'll Need to Know" provides the forms
to help you discuss and settle these issues
. . . before it's too late.
"All They'll Need to Know" will open doors
for your family to discuss matters that are
all too often considered private and personal.
It's a great opportunity to share your love with
your family as you instruct them on the things that
are important to you.
Once you look through the book, you'll see
how the forms simplify the process of
recording this valuable information.
To have more detailed information emailed
to you or someone else, click here and send
a blank email. It will be delivered to the
mailbox you designate. Don't forget parents and other family members!
Don't leave your loved ones guessing...guide them now.
[My Review and Notes: This is a very impressive compilation of
forms and information that will save a lot of time and grief
later on. The forms are simple to fill-in. As I worked
through the forms, I kept thinking to myself that I never
would have thought of creating a record of such information...
imformation that will be so valueable to my children.
"All They'll Need to Know", just like it's title,
takes you beyond nice to know information and constructs
a volume of "need to know" information that will help
you organize your life and will give your family the
information they'll need in the event you aren't there!
You may want to put this on your goal sheet for 2003!]
CLICK HERE to get your copy of the e-book for a special price only for subscribers of this newsletter.
Personal and Family Year in Review!
by Michael R. Boyter
As is tradition, the end of one year and the beginning of another prompts us
to review the year past.
Keeping family memories and stories alive is very important to aid in the
cohesiveness of family and to instill a nurturing sense of belonging for your
children. Plus, it can be a very rewarding experience to look back to see where
we were and how we’ve grown over the past year.
It is far better to keep a daily, weekly or monthly journal throughout the year,
but often times, we don’t keep up with one, so follow these easy steps and reminders
to help you do your personal and family year in review.
Get Ready to Begin.
Start by breaking down the year into parts, such as: months, seasons or major milestones.
Health: If this category doesn’t jog a memory, then it is probably a good thing.
Occupation: Write about changes and highlights in your career. Tell about awards
won, promotions received or interesting happenings around the office or on the job.
History: Write about “This time a year ago…”
Those who Passed On: Write about those who passed away this year. Include family, friends
and, if there was a well-known individual that also passed, tell about it.
Travel and Moves: Where did you travel to this year? Who did you travel to see?
Who in the family moved closer or farther away? Why did they or you move this year?
List your major purchases throughout the year. What prompted their purchase?
Children: Don’t forget your children. What were some of the milestones in their lives this past year?
Places to look to assist you in remembering the past year: Look for scribbled-in writing on your wall calendar and don’t forget to look at bank statements and checkbook ledgers
to help jog your day to day happenings.
Time keeps marching on and the years blur together as it does. Even if it is a slight
struggle, put in the effort and time to make a record of your family’s past year’s events.
Time is no friend to the procrastinating historian!
A copy of Memorygrabber can help you remember
family events in 2002 and every year with nearly
900 memory prompts and ideas.
CLICK HERE to Get Memorygrabber
Family History Activities
by Dale Lee
Family History has become the number one
Hobby in the United States..Why is this so?
Because it touches so many areas of our
lives we might want to remember.
How can you get involved in Family History?
Well, there are actually many different
activities you can become involved with,
spanning all but the youngest age groups.
The following is a sample listing. Remember,
Family History is not just about old, dead
ancestors, it is also about documenting the
thoughts, feelings and activities of your
life for future generations.
- Keep a diary.
- Keep a family photo album (scrapbooking).
- Create a Family Organization.
- Have Family Reunions.
- Publish an Annual Family Newsletter.
- Collect Family Histories from the extended
Family and publish in a bound Family History volume.
- Create a Personal Family Crest.
- Create a Personal Family Flag.
- Read your ancestor's journals to your children.
- Collect antiques from your ancestors or relatives.
- Video tape your Parent's life stories before they pass on.
- Play a family remembrance game:
Every member of the Family must relate a story or anecdote
before continuing to the next member in a circle. The member
with the best story wins.
- Tell the kids something about their early lives they may not
remember. If they don't remember, they are "it" and have to
relate something they think another member of the family
- Have family members tell a story about themselves that
really happened, but put it in a very different setting,
such as on the moon or in Midevil times.
- Visit the cemetery an ancestor was buried in and make a
charcoal sketch of the gravestone.
- Write to distant relatives and ask them what they know about
- Hold a Family History Fun Night with fun activities for all
ages, labeled for a genealogical theme.
- Visit websites that offer advice for beginning genealogists,
such as www.LeeSysInfo.com.
- Solve Family History puzzles, such as those found at
- Use Family History search engines, such as
- Collect information on your ancestors into a Pedigree Chart.
- Collect information on the descendants of a common Ancestor
into a Descendant Chart.
- Keep in touch with the extended family through e-mails and
- Put together a Website of Family History items and digitized
- Put together a virtual Website of Family History items on a
CD and give a copy to each member of the family.
- Hire a professional genealogist.
- Join a Family History Mailing list for people interested
in research in a specific geographical area of the world.
- Join a Genealogical Society.
- Become a certified genealogist.
- Collect letters of importance to a relationship.
- Earn the Family History merit badge (for those in scouts).
- Visit a Family History Library and ask for a tour.
- Study the history of an area in the world your ancestor
lived in. It will help to answer why he or she did what
they did during their lives. For example, many people
migrated to the United States in groups and settled in
the same cities as the other members of the group.
- Use internet portals to search for your ancestor. Family
Organizations post their genealogy on the internet in hopes
that others having done research will see what they have
and contribute to their knowledge. For example, by using a
search engine from one of the portals such as Yahoo or
Dogpile, I found that there are five different major lines
in the US having my last name. Of these, I believe all can
be found on a Family organization's website.
- Let others know you are interested in Family History. Other
members of the extended family which are not interested may
give you information and old books of interest because they
know you'll take care of them, while others may not.
- Visit your State library and/or county recorders office.
Records such as birth, death, marriage, wills, deeds,
business partnerships and etc. can offer glimpses of
information you might not find elsewhere. For example a
birth certificate may contain the names of the parents and
their birth States.
Hopefully this sample list of Family History activities has
perked your interest. Family History can be fun as well as
Copyright (c) 2002
About The Author:
Dale Lee is a computer consultant who has been involved in
Genealogy for over 12 years. For information on how to publish
your own Family History or book manuscript, visit
Family Historian Activity:
Reading how to do something is one thing, actually getting
started is quite another.
With this in mind, The Family History Help and Product
Review Newsletter will include a writing assignment/activity
in each issue!
The writing assignment comes right out of
my lifestory workbook
Here's how it will work.
I've set up a "classroom" (message board)
exclusively for this purpose. You'll find
the link below.
I'd like to ask each of you to answer or
write about the life story topic on
the message board. It can be done
anonymously, if you wish -- just put
in a fake name. You can be as brief or
lengthy as you wish in your message
This will help each of us in several
1. It will get us in a habit of regular
2. You'll be able to see that you're
writing is just about as good as anyone
elses. Help you get over the fear of
3. What others write will sometimes
spark your memory as well.
4. If writing about your life is one
of your goals for 2003, this will help
keep you going and on track.
Once you type your entry on the message
board, be sure to print it and put it in
your life story folder at home. See, you're
off to a great start already!
Here is the first topic:
"List 10 things, or more, which you
plan to do/accomplish before your life is over".
So there you have it! Click the link below to
go to the special "Share a memory message board"
and complete your assignment.
Your Writing Assignment
The message board is also available here:
Thanks for being a subscriber to this
newsletter. Please remember to forward
it to those on your e-mail mailing list.
On a personal note, my family and I wish
you and your family a Happy and prosperous
Until the next issue....
Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.