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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to Create a Family History Book

Joan asked
I am at a point where I now feel I have enough to publish my family's history. I am only looking to have something made up that I can give to family members, nothing fancy. I was thinking of a scrapbooking software program that would allow me to design interesting pages, something I don't think the family history software programs allow as well (or do they?) I prefer a software program rather than an online service. Could you recommend a program that would me to digitally create a nice family history book?

Hi Joan. Congratulations! What a great feeling to be at the point where you are ready to compile and publish a nice family history book. I actually use a software program that allows me to create a scrapbook type book. I love it and have created several.

I can insert graphics or text quickly and easily. I can resize and crop or edit photos right in the program rather than ahead of time. I can stack the photos, partially covering one with another to give it that scrapbook type look and feel. I can change fonts on text, put borders around it and so on. You can see a sample page from a book I created with this program at From England to Arkell: The story of two pioneer settlers, Lewis & Thomas King who left Suffolk England for the Wilds of Upper Canada in 1831

The bad news on this is that the program I use (Microsoft Picture It! Publishing Gold 2001) is very old and I don't know if there is a newer version! I will have to leave that to you to find out. Perhaps readers of this blog will have their own favourites. I'd like to update mine and look forward to hearing reader recommendations.


  1. For family history books, I have used Ancestry's My Canvas (back when it was the Publish feature) on the website. It was easy to use. I blogged about my experience here:

  2. Thomas, William, David, James and John are family King names that I have known all my life. The first four were brothers who migrated from Ontario to Sonoma County, California, during the 1870s. There must be a relation here to the people in the book you wrote. Their predecessors indeed came from the British Isles during the 1830, though not from England but Castleblaney Ireland.

    I would like to know about your book, and your connection to this story, before spending thirty dollars.

    Thomas King