The Family History Help & Product Review Newsletter
Toy & Inspiration for Family Historians
to this issue of Family History Help &
Product Review Newsletter. I hope that it find you
in good health and spirits.
I wish to especially welcome those new subscribers. We
welcome you sincerely. I am Michael Boyter, publisher of this
I have another exciting issue for you,
... before you dig in -- please do your friends and
family a favor and forward them a copy of
this newsletter/e-mail or send them this link so they can
I want to apologize for the delay between last issue and
this one. I was in Japan for awhile on business and I wasn't able
to stick to my normal publishing schedule.
Share this Newsletter with a Friend Contest This
newsletter has been growing leaps and bounds and that's great! The
larger we are as a group, the more we can learn from each other.
I'm asking you to forward this
newsletter to all those on your e-mail lists that you believe would
enjoy and benefit from reading this newsletter.
Once you do this, simply e-mail me
and tell me that you've forwarded this newsletter to at least one other
person. (DO NOT send me any of their e-mail address. That's
not what I am asking for)
Upon receipt of your e-mail,
I will be sending you a copy of the "All They'll Need to Know"
e-book. Everyone, who sends me such an e-mail, will receive
a copy of this great 40 page e-book that I think everyone really needs.
you will be entered to win your choice of any one of our 5 products
in the "Tools & Toys" section of this newsletter (see
Your e-mail message to me, will be your entry in the
contest. I will announce the winner on 21 April
Do you and your friends both a
favor and enter today.
Oh, also point out to them the
link to the Back Issues
link at the end of this newsletter.
In This Issue....
News: New Look to
the Web site.
Back to Look Forward
New Product: The
Journal w/ Memorygrabber Module: The Journal lets one combine
your writing with photos, short video and audio clips and more into a
highly organized journal, diary or life story project.
Tips & Tidbits: Working
with Unwilling Parents
Life Story Writing Exercise:
Items from your Childhood
wealth of the planet is in our cemeteries. You'll find all books
never written there, all the music that was never played."
News & Happenings
A New Look for the Web
If it's been a while since you last visited the www.FamilyHistoryProducts.com
Website, go take a look! Allan Abrams at SiteSell.com
some of his time to give my site a face-lift. I appreciated his
help on that.
Tools & Toys for
the Family Historian
There is more than one way to preserve your family
history/stories. At FamilyHistoryProducts.com, I am continually adding
new "tools and toys" to help you get the job done. My
objective is to make the information gathering process easier, quicker
and way more enjoyable!
Considered, by many, to be the best journal writing
software available anywhere. Combine your typed text, family
pictures, sound to a highly organized way to gather together your
personal and family memories. Try it Free for 45 days! Click
Here . Memorygrabber is built-in to this newest version!.
- An unrivaled fill-in-the-answer life story workbook and life story
interview "script". Nearly 900 memory prompts, lists,
activities and web resources. Trial Download
Video DVD Cookbook -
Turn those dusty family video tapes into a brilliant family DVD library.
Picture Calendar - Get rid of those generic calendars on
your wall and replace it with your "official" family calendar.
Distribute to family via e-mail. Trial Download
They'll Need to Know - Record and preserve vital information
your family will need to know, when you aren't there to give it to them.
Looking Back to Look
I think one of the things we all have in common is our
sense of restlessness. No matter where we are in our lives,
of how good or bad things may be for us at any given
seems we are forever doubting or at least questioning ourselves, our happiness, fulfillment, and where we're going.
is true, at least for me.
Over the past several months my wife, Diane, and I have
a great many changes in our life together. Although
these changes were designed to improve things, and ultimately will,
this reorganization, if you will, did get me thinking about
many aspects of my life.
I have to admit that this
caused me some
personal anxiety, even mild depression. I guess I
got too caught up in
looking at my current situation and contemplating my
the benefit of considering the past.
I found that by examining my life as it is right now
without taking into
consideration the past - all those things which led me
to this point, it was
very easy to become dissatisfied.
I began to
question if I was really
satisfied with who I was, where I was in my life and
career, and the
direction my life was headed. Slowly, this led me
to become moody,
ill-tempered, and sad.
Then something happened
which helped me to gain a
more positive perspective. Something which left me
feeling very fortunate
for where I am in my life and for all the things which
fill my life.
I was cleaning out the attic and found an old box of
memorabilia I had
collected and saved over the years. I never
realized what a pack rat I was.
I blew the dust off the box and dumped the contents out
onto the floor.
I sat down and one by one carefully examined each item. There were some
things I couldn't remember why I had ever saved in the
first place; an old
movie stub, a bottle cap, a fountain pen. But
there were many others, which
held great significance and which brought back a flood
which, when combined, made a path of sorts leading me to
where I am now.
I found an old high school report card, which reminded
me, just how lucky I
was to ever have graduated, considering my low marks,
let alone to have gone
on to finish college.
There were a few items from
some of my first jobs. I had to laugh when I thought of just how many really lousy
jobs I had held over the
I had completely forgotten, or perhaps
blocked from my memory, the fact
that at one time I sold insurance, door-to-door no less.
I shook my head in
disbelief thinking of that skinny kid fresh out of high
school dressed in a really bad
suit knocking on the doors of strangers trying to
sell them some insurance policy they didn't really need. I remembered how much I
hated that, and other such jobs,
but realized how much each of those experiences had
I found a picture of the first house my wife and I
bought right after we were
married. I remembered my mom almost cried when she
first saw it. I guess
she, unlike Diane and me, couldn't see the
"jewel" that was waiting to be
discovered beneath its pink paint and dirty green shag
carpeting. I recalled
how hard Diane and I worked on that old house and the
pride we felt when it
I also remembered that it was
through fixing-up that old house
which taught us early in our relationship the importance
of having common
goals and working together as a team.
There were many cards and letters from Diane, which I
had saved in the box.
Some funny, some silly, and others so touching they
brought tears to my eyes.
As I sat and read these, each one painted a picture.
Some brought images of
two young kids struggling to figure out what life and
love were all about.
Others reminded me of how lucky we were to have made it
through those first
several years together - through all the problems and
hardships we faced
In the pile of memories I found old newspaper clippings
announcing the births
of my children. I remembered how nervous I was at
the prospect of becoming a
father, but how that all disappeared when I held my
child in my arms for the very first time.
There were countless drawings and
notes my children had given
me from Birthdays and Fathers' Days of years gone by.
But the most precious of
these were those notes of love that were given for no
reason at all.
I spent a long time going through the contents of that
box, reliving moments
from my past. I could now see much clearer the
path I had taken to get to
where I am now. I also understood how important
each step along that path
Rather than continuing to question how
satisfied I was in where
that path had led me, I was thankful for having been
allowed to make the
journey at all.
It's good to examine our lives and ourselves now and
again. But when we do,
it's important to retrace the paths we've taken to get
to where we are now -
remembering the struggles we've encountered, the hurdles
and the love we've found along the way.
About The Author:
J.T. Winslow: Passing Thoughts is a syndicated column published on
quality web sites, in electronic magazines and various print media around the
world - read by millions each week. You can get Passing Thoughts
FREE each week by email - subscribe at http://www.taddgroup.com For
reprint information or to contact the author write to email@example.com
years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do
- Than by the ones you did not". --
Working with Unwilling Parents
some point...you may have to do it yourself"
Some of us have parents that are a bit stubborn and
somewhat resistant to sitting down and telling about their life on
tape. They may not be great writers, so getting them to write
these stories down, is also out of the question.
Despite our pleading, they continue to be resistant
to the idea of putting their memories down on paper, tape or otherwise
for future generations of the family.
At some point, it gets pretty
obvious. If we want
memories and stories from their lives preserved for our own children and
grandchildren, we're going to have to do it
It's usually not a problem getting them to
talk In fact, most people like to talk about themselves and do it quite
often. It's just when you put a notebook and pencil in front of them or
a microphone, that they clam up.
Opportunities abound, when we really listen and then,
within a very short period of time, record what we were told. Here are some
tips for parents who you know will never sit down and preserve memories
from their lifetime.
Create a list of questions; questions that you are
really curious to know the answers to. Make it a point to work
one or two of those questions into your conversation. For
example, a young mother, in a moment of desperation may ask, "
How did you do it mom"? Be ready to really listen! Again,
write the stories and memories they tell down.
Volunteer to help mom clean out her closet or an old
"junk" drawers. Wouldn't it be better to go through these
drawers now, with your parent, than to have to go through them
later, without them? Items found will spark many memories and
as your mother or father reminisce, listen and remember the
stories. Again, write them down later that day, while the
stories are still fresh in your mind.
a Little: Have your children coax
some memories out of your parents by asking their grandparents what life was like when
they were the respective age of your children. Many times,
children will ask great questions on their own, but you may need to
"coach" them a bit..
Listen real close to the answers your children receive.
Use some or all of the ideas mentioned above to finally
begin putting stories from your parent's life down on paper. After all, if you don't do it, who will?
Don't let any excuse in the world, allow your parent to
take all their stories with them, even if it means that you have to
write them down yourself!
New Products at FamilyHistoryProducts.com
The Journal: Electronic
Software For the
Serious Journal and Life Story Writer
Six months ago, software creator David Michaels,
contacted me about working together on a project that would include my
e-book, Memorygrabber, into his superb electronic journaling program, The
I had been aware of The Journal's outstanding abilities
and reputation, on the Net, for some time, so I was very excited about
David's proposal to combine the two into a hybrid tool, of sorts.
Many of you, over the past two years, have asked for
the ability to answer and do the things laid out in Memorygrabber,
right onto the computer screen.
Until now, the only alternative, was
to print out all of Memorygrabber and then "write"
the answers onto the limited spaces, that the printed page provided.
Now, from inside the opened Journal program, simply
click the Memorygrabber Tab and you are all set to begin typing in your
answers, inserting pictures and more. Nearly everything in the
original Memorygrabber e-book is now entry-enabled...the cursor is
blinking....and waiting for your answers and information! This
is the perfect way to finally get started on your life story.
Here are the key advantages to using The Memorygrabber
version of The Journal over a paper journal...
Type right onto the screen
Create instant backup copies
Unlimited pages to tell about your life
No more worries about messy hand-writing or misspelled
Keep it ultra-organized with unlimited folders,
sub-folders, sub-entries etc.
Find old entries with quick-search features -- no
more flipping through the pages to find an entry
Load it on your laptop and do your work no matter
where you are
Add short video and audio clips
Print in "book" form right from your
...and much more!
family trees bear an enormous crop of nuts.
Life Story Writing
List creating is a powerful, yet easy way to keep a
journal, write your life story or whatever you wish to call it.
In this writing exercise, I'm asking you to write a
list using the following prompt:
that's all for this issue of the newsletter. Please submit comments,
feedback and suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, keep preserving those memories,
because it's work that needs to be done, it's enjoyable and above all
else, it's worth it!
I wish you and your family the best.
Michael R. Boyter,
remember to forward this e-mail to anyone you know that values the
family and the the memories they create.