Publish your family history

Provides advice and resources for publishing your family history.

Structure guidelines

It is important to develop a clear structure for you publication so that readers can easily understand and enjoy your family history.

These guidelines list the components of any clearly structured publication. While not all of these components are mandatory, you should include all the items that are relevant to your family history:

  • Title page
    Choose a title that accurately describes the work. Keep it relatively short and use a sub-title, if appropriate.

  • Reverse title page
    List some or all of the following: copyright statement, editions, reprints, IBSN number, as well as publisher’s and printer’s details.

  • Acknowledgements
    Thank people who have contributed material or helped with your publication. You can include individuals, families or groups.

  • Contents page
    Give the reader an outline of your publication, listing chapters or sections.

  • List of illustrations
    List all images in you publication as a contents page.

  • Introduction
    Introduce your family story and establish the context for the lives of your ancestors. You may also explain why or how the publication was created.

  • Conclusion
    Summarise the publication.

  • Glossary
    Define unfamiliar words and include abbreviations, if necessary.

  • Genealogy charts
    Include pedigree, family group drop-down or other family history charts.

  • Footnotes or endnotes
    Use one of these citation styles to refer to sources of facts or quotations that you have included in your story.

  • Bibliography
    List all sources that you have used for your research and suggestions for further reading.

  • Appendices
    Attach information that is too long to include in the main text (for example: wills, birth certificates, etc) at the end of your publication.

  • Index
    Create an alphabetical list of names, places and subjects included in your publication that gives the page number(s) for each entry. Indexes have categories and sub-categories and are essential to locate specific references. You may even create separate name (surname, first name) & place indexes.

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