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Ask-the-Pros – Question and Answer – How to organize genealogy for a reunion


We have gathered a treasure of family information for our family reunion in July. I have been given the job of organizing it all with genealogy, some pictures and stories. I want to do an extremely good job but am at a loss even though I am a pretty creative person. Do you have some ideas that I can use?


The are many answers to your question. If you have entered all of your genealogical information into a genealogical database program, such as Celebrating My Family Tree and Me and other such programs, you can organize all of your family information in one place and then use the features of the program to create a family presentation that you can distribute to family members, either in paper form or on a CD or FlashDrive. All of the photos, stories and other information can be incorporated into the file and attached to individual ancestors. The members of your family will not need a copy of the database program to see the report or view all of the resources.

If you decide to incorporate all of your information into a digital file, you will need to scan all of your certificates, photos and documents to use as attachments. However, the cost of doing this is much less than printing and publishing a paper book of the same information.

Even if you decide to organize the information in another way besides entering all of the items into a genealogical database program, you can still organize the material by individual ancestor. There are several programs available that will provide the structure for making a family presentation or even put the information in book format. One good resources is Phillipp M. Mayer’s book, Genealogy Presentations. You can see his website at Presentation is Everything.

In addition to having the information organized in either digital or paper format, you may also wish to have display charts of the family for people to view during the reunion. Family History Expos has a variety of formats of charts that can be used for displays. You may also want to check out various genealogical chart publishing companies that can take your genealogical database information and turn it into an outstanding chart. Do a Google search for genealogy charts.

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