Westfield Genealogy Society Presentation by Robert A. Mayers

Writing and Publishing Your Family History

Bob Mayers is a dedicated and proficient genealogist. He portrayed his family’s history in his book The Portrait of an American Family Allison-Mayers Family History. This published published narrative goes back 600 years and 19 generations. The work spans medieval England, the Puritan migration, the Revolutionary War and the Industrial Revolution. The book is used as a template for others seeking to tell the story of their roots and has been selling successfully worldwide for over ten years.

Whether you are just starting your research or wrapping up years of genealogical investigation, you’re probably thinking about how to share your findings with family, the genealogical community, and future generations . If you don’t record your findings, the product of your hard work will likely be lost when you are gone. Consider writing a book. Bob Mayers will give an overview of the key steps to writing, publishing and selling your family history by sharing his personal experiences with us. He will address these and other issues:

  • Family Tree vs, Family Story-avoiding chronological boredom.
  • Blending backdrop of local and world events with family stories-Site visits
  • Research-somebody in the past may have already done a lot of work
  • Forward-Preface- Start with the story of your search
  • Tracing more than one line in the same book
  • Finding a style, formatting your book and using images, Indexing
  • Register Number Formating
  • Write! Get Going
  • Traditional and self publishing- unpublished manuscripts- $ Your Budget
  • Marketing your work to the world
  • Sharing and enjoying your creation

The Bob Mayers combination of talents also serves him well as an author and historian. The War Man, released in 2009, is a biography of his direct ancestor Corporal John Allison, who fought all eight years of the Revolutionary War. His book The Forgotten Revolution depicts battlefields, encampments and sites of many critical events of the American Revolution that have been lost or neglected by history in the northeast. Searching for Yankee Doodle is a study of the common soldiers of the Continental Army and linking ancestry to them. His latest book, released earlier this year, Revolutionary New Jersey-Forgotten Towns and Crossroads of the American Revolution has received stellar reviews and was endorsed by 14 of NJs most prominent historical public figures All of his works are available online or in bookstores.

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