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So you want to be a personal historian


Social Smarts Strategies That Earn Free Book Publicity: Don't Pay to Market Your Writing - Anne Hart



Photos and books by  Anne Hart.


What Subjects Are Most Popular to Teach Online in the Family History, Personal History, Social Issues, Culture, Medical family health history, and Genealogy Fields?


1. Practical time management for genealogists.
2. Managing work projects.
3. How to produce quality genealogy client reports. Different types of
family history reports and how to prepare them. Tips for creative, practical
reports. Techniques of writing a genealogy report.
4. Standards in genealogy publications.
5. How to make time capsules for future generations.
6. DNA-driven genealogy--where history records end. How to open a DNA-driven
genealogy reporting service. Include family medical histories and time capsules.
7. How to do record searches, lineage construction, and problem solving in
family history projects.
8. Billing issues for family historians.
9. How to educate clients online in genealogy/family history. Listing
objectives. Communication is sharing meaning.
10. Enhancing the working relationship between client and genealogist.
11. How to read Census reports and information.
12. Investigating adoptions and the genealogy of orphanages and orphan
13. How to set up speakers panels on family history for conventions,
meetings, and conferences. Planning events for family historians.
14. How to plan reunions online, in person, and by satellite networks.
15. Teen or senior citizen genealogy camp. Creating a family history
computer summer camp for researchers.
16. Schooling, certification, and professional standards for genealogists
and family historians.
17. How to handle clients, peers, vendors, and suppliers in the genealogy, family history, and DNA-driven genealogy fields. How to motivate suppliers. 18. Getting credibility, responsibility, and respect in your field from peers and clients. How to negotiate and how to bargain, the difference. 19. Handling client's demands for specific research answers. Dealing with rush orders when you need time to research.
20. Taking clients on genealogy tours where records are available. How to plan a tour and include yourself free.
21. Unclaimed property searching. Missing heirs and adoption research. Finding heirs for unclaimed property. Fee structures, what to charge, and
what the competition is like. How to network and work a room.
22. How to write for scholarly journals and popular magazines on different aspects of genealogy or family history. Slanting to the publication. The different ways to write for scholarly journals vs. popular publications.
23. How to be a Personal Historian or Oral Historian.
24. Transcribing oral history tapes or audio files.
25. Releases and legal forms you need to obtain before interviewing people
and recording them.
26. Marketing genealogy and family history research, writing, and speaking.
27. How to become a professional public speaker on genealogy or family
history, oral history, and personal history topics.
28. Marketing plans, priorities, prices and billing, niche and atypical markets, hidden markets for genealogists, packaging services, and labeling services. How to set up a family history business online. Inventor taking
of your skills and defining goals.
29. How to teach genealogy online and where to find jobs or set up businesses and find clients. Handling contracts and fees. Your expenses. Using financial software, and running your genealogy business. Your
genealogy business plan.
30. Publicity for genealogists/family historians. How to use TV and radio publicity to charge higher fees. How to design flyers an brochures, get speaking engagements, and position yourself as number one in demand. Where to get your own expertise, portfolio, and reputation or credibility enhanced in the media. How to mentor others and what professional growth is available for you.
31. Self publishing through print-on demand publishers.
32. What genealogists need to know about written agreements, fees, terms, confidentiality, and publication. How to estimate the magnitude of what
you're researching. What to look for in agreements with sub-contracts. For genealogy writers, what you need to know about copyright and writing for publication.


You can actually teach a branch of medical anthropology as medical family history or personal history using family medical histories going back generations to give to future generations of relatives in a time capsule. Take admixtures for example. Is admixture an almost universal force shaping human population? It is, according to the new "Genetic Atlas of Human Admixture History."


Modern genetic data combined with appropriate statistical methods have the potential to contribute substantially to our understanding of human history. You can check out that atlas to see how the authors have developed an approach that exploits the genomic structure of admixed populations to date and characterize historical mixture events at fine scales.


The researchers used this to produce an atlas of worldwide human admixture history, constructed by using genetic data alone and encompassing over 100 events occurring over the past 4000 years. Researchers identified events whose dates and participants suggest they describe genetic impacts of the Mongol empire, Arab slave trade, Bantu expansion, first millennium CE migrations in Eastern Europe, and European colonialism, as well as unrecorded events, revealing admixture to be an almost universal force shaping human population.Check out the Genetic Atlas of Human Admixture History.


You may be interested in customizing family history maps to trace migrations

Another way of collecting or customizing family maps is to trace migrations in various countries during specific periods of time. A family migration map or social history atlas also can show immigrations, migrations across various cities, or where old houses used to exist on streets in different countries.


An article appeared a few years ago in a copy of the extinct Everton Genealogy (magazine) on how to family history customize maps. That article appeared in the January/February 2007 issue of Everton’s Genealogy Helper on page 76. The article on family history atlas creation also reviews Family Atlas software, if you can find the article or the 2007 issue. Perhaps some genealogists have a collection of the magazines from those years.


You might also check out the site, Everton Genealogy - Everton.Archives.com to see whether there's something relevant there to our needs. Since the magazine is no longer published, you might search at Everton Genealogy - Everton.Archives.com. Or check out the site, Everton's Genealogical Helper - Family History & Genealogy.


Unfortunately, Everton's will no longer be publishing the Everton's Genealogical Helper in either print or online format. Online access to four of their past issues is available for some issues. Click here to access the full-text of the 2009 Jan/Feb Issue, Click here to access the full-text of the 2008 Nov/Dec Issue, Click here to access the full-text of the 2008 Sept/Oct Issue, or Click here to access the full-text of the 2008 July/August Issue.


Family history niche areas as social issues or cultural anthropology media


If you want to specialize within a niche area of genealogy or family history, you can create a small home-based online business where you design for clients customized family maps in a variety of graphics formats, such as a PDF file.


Your client’s or ancestor’s time capsule or map may be customized to show names of nearby locations. You can convert coordinates, such as listing a place and showing events and matches for that event, place, or location. The tools of this type of software are very powerful for making databases, listing events, and matching locations to events.


Another way of customizing old family history maps is to put markers on the map that are easy on the eyes


For example, create time sliders. The Family Atlas software lets you turn on a Time Slider to filter markers based on event dates. In this way, you can easily create an animated view of migrations. The software runs under most of the Windows formats currently in use (Windows XP, 2000, ME, and NT.) Contact the company if you have Vista to see whether it also runs under Vista.


The whole point of making and customizing maps in genealogy or family history research is to make research more visual—closer to a “mind-mapping” experience instead of text only. Genealogy presentation and journalism is moving toward multimedia—combinations of text, sound, imagery, and touch or scent as would appear in a time capsule.


In two dimensions, text, sound, and imagery are possible in genealogy—from animation to memorabilia, video, and audio. To combat technology become obsolete, print is always in vogue. Your print will last longer on vellum and/or other acid-free papers.


A lot of church records are online


For example Swedish church records and genealogy materials have gone from microfilm to online. Genline, in Sweden presents digital images for tracing Swedish ancestors. Instead of being on microfilm in various family history libraries, the church records that were on microfilm are now on the Genline Web site.


If you decide to customize family history maps as part of a time capsule or alone, the type of records might include immigrations, church or other house of worship records, a knowledge of handwriting from historic times, migrations records, parish records, a browser capable of seeing images, a knowledge of how the original records were put together, and basic words used in the country’s genealogical records. Records usually are cross-referenced.


If you’re going to use Genline, the image browser is called the Genline Family Finder.


For other countries, you can open a business transferring genealogy records from microfilm to digital images and create your own databases. You can choose a country or city to begin with and focus on serving the needs of a specific community or ethnography by transferring materials on microfilm to an online database or a database on a CD or DVD or similar digital device or disc.


An excellent genealogy Web site that has many links to family atlas-type maps is the Farhi genealogy website. Or check out the map of old Smyrna or Manisa images at: the Farhi site. There’s also a graphic (images) listing (French) a few names from the “1941 Farhi surnames in Alexandria, Egypt Telephone Directory” online. This Web site is an excellent example of showing a world perspective of customized family history/genealogy maps and text material showing how the scholarly Farhi family migrated at different times from various Middle Eastern cities such as Alexandria and Damascus to cities in Europe and the USA during historic times.


The first known 12th century Farhi moved from France to Spain. See the websites or the other Farhi website, and the Farhi.org site. A Farhi migration occurred from Arles, France to Florenza, Spain in 1215. Another migration took place in 1357 when a Farhi descendant moved to Palestine after being educated in Montpellier, France. The Farhi genealogy continues, emphasizing maps of the Farhi family after moving to various Middle Eastern countries. There are maps on the genealogy Web sites.


A notable map is the old Damascus Farhi house map at the Farhi.org site. The map on the website shows the family houses as they existed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Even if you aren't researching this surname, it's good practice to know how such migrations are traced.


You can make a map of your own ancestor’s homes and streets in the towns in which they lived


Let's take, for example, tracing old house maps in faraway lands in the Middle East to find genealogy clues. According to the Farhi house map website, “In 19th Century Damascus," Raphael el Muallim Farhi lived in a one of the most opulent houses of Damascus.”


The Farhi Web site Documents/Farhi_Houses.htm shows a map of the old walled city in Damascus and displays “three Farhi houses (119, 120 & 277), the Liniado (268) and the Lisbona (4941).” According to the Farhi map Web site, “From this city plan, the Muallim Farhi house was indeed the largest of them all.” Note that some of these names represent the main Sephardic migration/diaspora from Spain and Portugal or Italy to Damascus centuries ago. How it's relevant to creating your own family history is that you can design family history maps, medical history maps, old houses and streets of the past, and trace ancestries.


When you develop world view family history maps, you are changing the perspective from family to social history, from local to global view.


What you can do is focus on customizing maps or other detailed accounts of the methods used by genealogists. When you write any work of genealogy journalism or customize visuals to create family maps or atlases, you are making an enquiry encompassing centuries.


Anything you create should be on the type of acid-free paper or other medium such as vellum that can be read without the use of technology because technology changes rapidly. There’s no way to play a record if the record player can’t be found. At least languages can be translated for more years than technology allows recordings to be played. You might also have the materials transferred each generation to a new medium to keep up with the changes in recording and playback devices.


With languages, you can always have your relatives with each generation do a deed in memory of the original ancestor by transferring or translating old family atlases, maps, and text or multimedia recordings to the newest form of presentation.


If you customize maps, include place names, family names, house locations, street locations if the houses don’t have numbers


If the streets are not named, insert latitude and longitude locations and other markers of where the old houses were located. Indicate if the homes are still standing or what they became in recent times. Maps of schools, cemeteries, houses of worship, and family gathering places may be included in a family atlas.


Another graphic project in addition to a map or atlas would be a decorative family tree. You can specialize in genealogical clip art or other family tree designs. Highly recommended to learn this are the books Paper Trees: Genealogical Clip-Art, by Tony Mathews, available from Genealogical Publishing Company, and the book titled, Creativitree, by Tony Mathews, from Clearfield Company, Inc.


Another business or family history you can create includes legacy guides that offer the social history surrounding your ancestors or your client’s ancestors

Whether you're tracing health trends of any given family or your own, you also can create a book or time capsule on any ancestor’s life by writing detailed descriptions of the local environment or even the entire world in which that ancestor lived. Include time lines of what happened nearby as well as internationally at the time of a particular ancestor’s life span.


It’s taking social and/or medical history and using events and historic issues in the news to expand the life of an ancestor of a family living at that period of time


You might also include the ancestor’s wishes, plans, highlights, accomplishments, or collected wisdom, proverbs, slogans, and quotations. If you want to create a legacy book, then highly recommended as a guide is the Legacy Guide by Carol Franco and Kent Lineback, published by Penguin Group, Inc. 2007. Use all these resources to help you put into perspective the various possibilities you can offer to clients when you start a genealogy and personal history communications business.


You not only want to capture maps or make atlases, but you also can include facts in addition to memories. The goal is to share with others the meaning of life. These recommended books all offer frameworks for capturing personal history as a documentary.

Keepsake heirlooms as part of a medical history time capsule of each family

These keepsake heirlooms are more than albums or time capsules and more than gift books or diaries. The books guide you to weave personal history into turning points. Life story highlights are milestones. These events shape worlds as well as families.


The whole idea of a book, a database, or a customized map of migrations and locations of ancestral homes preserves legacies for generations. Having speaking experience in genealogy actually is teaching experience. Starting a genealogy speaker’s group helps to add to your experience. Target extended study courses open to all ages that charge a fee per course. The facilitator or instructors in these types of courses are paid a percentage of the fees charged to the students.


Join Historical and Genealogy Associations


Take online courses offered by the historical and genealogical associations. Join one or more of the genealogy specialties associations. In addition to the Association of Professional Genealogists, there are associations for genealogy writers such as the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors. You can join the Historical Novel Society, and the Genealogy Speakers Guild.


To make contacts with oral historians, start with the personal history libraries situated on university campuses. One great oral history library, the Bancroft Library is located at the University of California, Berkeley.


The oral history libraries are where you make contacts, network, and find clients. The Association of Personal Historians, and The American Historical Association also may be of interest to you if you enjoy researching or writing about personal history or family history health trends.


For recording oral history, try the Oral History Association. It has an excellent pamphlet titled, Oral History Evaluation Guidelines. The association publishes the Oral History Review. Some of these professional associations offer classes, such as the Association of Personal Historians.


*Source: Association of Professional Genealogists.