As genealogists, most of us have stacks and stacks of papers related to our family history. Vital records, census records, pensions, land grants, ship manifests, immigration papers, old photographs, and other treasures—all of these pieces of information give us the essential data to create a family tree.
At some point, we always plan to publish our findings, whether it’s just within immediate family members or to the world at large. Here’s some incentive to get you started:
- Doing research with the idea that you're going to publish an article or book helps you to focus the direction of your research.
- No one can make more sense of your research than yourself, regardless how neatly you've arranged your file folders or family history charts and how accessible your databases are. So collecting dead relatives isn't enough, you have to tell their stories and publish their lineages.
- You'll feel a sense of accomplishment when your article or book is in print, above and beyond any money you make off the deal.
- Researchers will quote you in their footnotes and bibliographies!
- You'll find other people related to your family lines, and one of them may have the long-sought-after family Bible, photos, or other precious memorabilia to share.
- Your new-found relatives may have different hypotheses or additional information about your lines that will further your research.
- If you submit your book for review, you may learn ways of improving it for the second edition.
- You can submit your work to win an award. (For example, , , and awards)
- You'll have a published article or book to pass on to future generations.
- You're not getting any younger!