Saturday, September 7, 2019

FYI: Sharing Genealogy Research

I have been working with genealogy for well over a year and a half, and it's time to share what I've found.

My current interest started in 2017, when I bought a DNA test. I was curious about what I would discover, but I mostly bought it because it was on sale. 😎

Results from a DNA test do not come back for up to six weeks. I wanted to learn more about how to interpret/use DNA test results. While I was waiting, I discovered that Pinellas County, and the Largo Library in particular, had extensive genealogy resources.

From that little spark of curiosity, I eventually:

  • ...became a member of the Pinellas Genealogy Society (PGS)
  • ...explored the Jaggers tree on
  • ...joined the PGS Board as their Technical Director
  • ...downloaded and installed genealogy software on my local PC
  • ...added 1,200 names to a Jaggers tree that I created on

My 2019 Epiphany:

I am more of a story-teller than a researcher. I like finding the context around a set of facts.

For example, thirty years ago, a cousin sent a copy of her research. It listed the Jaggers' family tree with the usual dates (born, married, died). That somehow seemed incomplete to me. I added some context by updating the facts into something like this: "(relative) was  28 years old when he married (name), who was only 16."

The Question For Today 

How do I share my experience about genealogy research and tell stories about the Jaggers family?

My research led me here:

Sharing Genealogy

One website, listed "25 Ways You can Present and Share Your Family History." Here are some of their suggestions, with my thoughts:

Genealogy Blog

(Grinning as I type this) Lonetester's first recommendation was a blog. You are reading a blog, now. I consider this a way to tell my progress, then provide links to the finished products.

Genealogy Book, or Memoirs

This suggestion has a lot of potential! I have already helped publish my mother's memoirs ( Today, eBooks can be published cheaply, then made available on Amazon. Paperback books can be printed (on demand) for anyone who wants to build a physical library.

I have in mind the name for a whole series.

Penny Stratton (Writing and Publishing Your Family History) talked about this, and she provided links that explain how to publish properly. Well, I'm more interested in telling stories than producing reference materials.

Damon Hostetler is the Historian for the Pinellas Genealogy Society. He said that a Library of Congress number should be requested before publication, and that's different from an ISBN. Research, biographies and memoirs can be classified under "Genealogy," and that's where my mother's book would have been found in the Library of Congress.

Online Family Tree

That's exactly what the Internet needs: another genealogy website. RootsMagic software already allows me to publish that based on the research I compile through their software program.

I hide my work behind a password because I cannot vouch for 100% accuracy. There may be a few branches that came from me chasing "bright shiny objects" at 2:00 in the morning. Just contact me for access. (

RootsMagic Genealogy Software

I use RootsMagic (RM) on my PC as a repository for my online research. RM will create multiple reports, including calendars, scrapbooks, charts and posters suitable for framing and hanging on the wall. Check out the pull-down menu on the left! These are all suggestions from the Lonetester website that prompted this blog post.

I see two interesting options in the RM pull-down menu: Narrative Reports and an option to print large charts (! The former will augment writing books about the Jaggers. 

Lonetester also suggested a photobook or a photo wall, mugs, and a rather artsy version of a "Family Birthday Board" available from Etsy.

Genealogy Videos

I wrote about creating a YouTube channel Rick's YouTube Channels (for fun and profit).

One tidbit I heard repeatedly by successful producers was to focus on one topic.

Genealogy for my topics?  Yessss!

Now, how to set that up.....?!

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