Self-Published Family Histories

Check Who Else Might Have Published in the Past

Many people as ask, "now that I've traced my roots, what am I supposed to do with all the information?" not realizing that the goal of many genealogists (both past and present) is to get their family history printed to preserve it for posterity. By overlooking this fact, many researchers end up re-discovering facts already documented by genealogists in the past. Genealogy Today has partnered with various publishers to give researchers easy access to these resources - some online, others reprinted on demand.

One of the largest sources of these publications is the Family & Local Histories Collection from Ancestry.com. You can learn more about your family's background in rare manuscripts from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. You'll find more than 20,000 titles along with journals, atlases, and military records - many from as early as the 1700s. Ancestry.com obtained these histories from rare manuscripts, journals and other publications housed in some of the world's finest libraries - among them the Newberry Library in Chicago, the New York Public Library and Harvard University's Widener Library.

While this is an excellent source, many researchers will want to get an actual copy of the publication. The original copies of these genealogies were usually printed in small editions - sometimes, only two hundred copies or less - and they are now very rare and extremely difficult for you to obtain for research, or to pass on to your children and grandchildren as precious family heirlooms. Fortunately, there are companies that produce reprints on demand of these publications. You can search the collection of over 6,000 books that can be purchased in the Genealogy Today Marketplace.

But, if you're determined to find an original copy of a particular book, we recommend checking Abebooks. They make it simple and safe to find and buy - or list and sell - new, used, rare, and out-of-print books online. They offer over 60 million books offered by more than 12,500 booksellers.

And it is always a good idea to setup a favorite search at eBay, where you can get an email sent to you whenever someone puts up the book(s) that you are seeking for auction. The automatic email option (which is located on the page when you save a favorite search) is one of the best (and commonly overlooked) features of eBay. Rather than have to check everyday (or week) to see if someone is listing an item, eBay will send you an email when they start the auction!

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