My Publications

I enjoy writing. Journals, personal histories, family histories, articles for family society newsletters, and historical organizations are just some of the publications I enjoy writing. I've kept a journal for most of my life, but sadly some of my journals were lost in the moves over the years. As a result of losing some of my own journals, I've looked for ways to preserve both my own journals and also those of my family and ancestors. I created this page to share the following information:
  1. My publications and the stories about them.
  2. The classes I teach at family history and genealogy conferences about writing a personal history and new ways to publish a personal or family history.
  3. A list of resources that might be helpful in writing a personal history. Plus a list of resources for publishing.
My Publications

A Dream Fulfilled, (Murray, Utah:CherishBound, Inc., 2005, 51 pgs). My mother loves to write poems and has always dreamed about being a published writer. One year for Mother's Day I took her poems and added pictures about the subject of each poem. Uploaded everything to an online book publisher and a week later the book was delivered to my door. She was so surprised when she opened her gift to find her own poetry in a book!

Benjamin Kingman Curtis: History of Service in the Civil War (Michigan 5th Cavalry, Company B) (Sandy, Utah: self-published, 2000, 23 pgs). I created this booklet for the family reunion we held at his grave site in Preston, Idaho. During the reunion we added a new headstone to his grave that detailed his dates of service in the US Civil War. Descendants came from several states and everyone brought photos and other items that had been handed down in their family. The booklet was updated and republished through in 2010.

Benjamin Kingman Curtis: His Civil War Service and His Family, (Sandy, Utah:, 2011). Every year I learn something more about Benjamin or about his children and grandchildren. The booklet that I created in 2000 was eleven years out-of-date and needed my attention to get a reprint completed. I updated the information about the family members, added new photos that I had found in the past 11 years, and both improved and updated the citations. This time, instead of printing my own paper copy, I decided to print a hardback book to preserve the history of Benjamin's military service and the brief histories of his children. This is not the end of my publications on Benjamin and his family. I will continue to add more details to the history and do another reprint some day.

"Blogging Your Ancestor Can Help in the Search: Benjamin Kingman Curtis," Curtis/s Chronicle: The Newsletter of the Curtis/s Family Society, Vol 32, No 4, Dec 2008, p7). As a member of the Curtis Family Society, I submitted an article for the newsletter about using social media, particularly Blogs, as a way to reach out to others who are searching the same line.

Celebrate 5 . . . Five Reasons to Celebrate, (Lehi, Utah: CherishBound, Inc., 2005). Our daughter announced to her husband that they were expecting their third child in one of the most cleaver ways that I have heard. The announcement was a story in-and-of itself, and definitely worth the extra effort to save. After she told me about the story I offered to put it all together in a little book. The result was this 25 page soft cover book.

Disneyland, May 2007, (Sandy, Utah:, 2007). I was invited to go with two of our daughters and their sons on a trip to Disneyland. I haven't been there since our own children were young and that was a long time ago! It was so much fun to go back and even more fun to watch our grandsons having the time of their life, pure joy! We made it a two-day event, so we walked and walked all day for two days straight. My feet were so tired, but it was worth it. I love Disneyland!

George and Rebecca Hartley: A history of their family and their ancestry, (Lehi, Utah:CherishBound, Inc., 2007, 422 pgs). This publication includes a family history of George and Rebecca Hartley, their son Andrew and his wife Hannah Wadsworth, and their eight children. In addition, the ancestry of George and Andrew Hartley, Rebecca Richards, and Hannah Wadsworth, including collateral relationships of cousins, aunts, and uncles. There are 307 photographs and 199 images of family artifacts included in the history. Restoration work was completed on all images by the author.

The Curtis Family Album, (Sandy,, 2010, 100p). This is a full reproduction of the Curtis family antique photograph album that originally belonged to Mary Lavantia Curtis 1871-1958. She was the daughter of Benjamin Kingman Curtis and Sarah Lavantia Card.

Jacie Lee Kemp, our little bundle of joy, (Murray, Utah:CherishBound, Inc., 2004, 55p). A book that celebrates the first year of life for one of our granddaughters.

Love in the 50's, (Lehi, Utah: CherishBound, Inc., 2008, 25 p).  I invited my parents over for dinner one Sunday afternoon, but there was a catch. I told them that I was going to do something special with both of them after dinner and that it would take about a half hour. My dad teased me about it and knew I had something up my sleeve. After dinner I sat at the head of the table and I had my mom and dad sit on my right and left, across from each other. I gave them both a booklet and a pen so they could write. Then I asked them a question and gave them both five minutes to write down their answers. Then I asked another question, ending up with about five or six questions. Dad joked several times about the questions and said it was so long ago that he couldn't remember. Love in the 50's is a result of that interview. The book was organized as a "He said, She said" with mom's response on one page and dad's response on the next page. I added to the story with some of the sentiments they wrote to each other when dad was in Korea, which was before they were married. The book of their love story is a treasured story in our family today.

Mommy and Me: a photographic history, (Sandy, Utah: My 2009, 100 pg). The first page of this book begins with a letter from our grandson to his mommy, written from the sayings he often said, for example, "I love you more, more, more, more, more." With almost 500 photos documenting the first five years of his life, mother and son like to "read" the book by looking at the photos and talking about the memories they have of the event pictured in the photos.

My Sister, Juliane Johansen Raleigh, (Lehi, Utah: CherishBound, Inc., 2005, 35 pg). I created this memory book for my sister and gave it to her for a birthday present. We are over ten years apart and I am the oldest. Consequently, there are a lot of family memories that I have that she either never experienced because she was born after they happened, or she was too little to remember. I remember when my mother was expecting her, we didn't even know if it was a boy or girl. The whole family was part of the discussion about what the child's name should be if the baby was a girl. That story, along with many others were my gift of memories that I gave to my sister on her birthday. Needless to say, she loved it.

Our Family, September 2010. We try to have a big family photo taken every year. Sometimes we can make it work with all our different schedules. Other times, we just decided to wait until next year. Our photo in 2010 was actually three years after the one we had done in 2007. Marriages and more grandchildren made everyone feel the need to have the photo taken again. We just don't like the family photo on the wall when there are missing family members! After our photo was taken I decided to create a memory book of all the photos and snapshots that were taken that day. We gathered at Wheeler Farm in Murray, Utah for the photo, so the kids had fun walking through the farm and seeing the cows, horses, pigs, chickens, etc. There was a playhouse in a tree that they enjoyed climbing up to. Lots of fun candid photo shots! We brought a picnic dinner and enjoyed our meal at the picnic tables provided on the farm. The family photo appointment turned out to be a family event, not just a photo shoot!

Our Little Red Dresses, (Sandy, Utah:, 2007). My mother likes to crochet. One of her signature projects is a dress. Today she makes the dresses completely by memory and adjusts the size for whatever is needed, all without looking at a pattern. Her friend taught her the patten a long time ago, back in the 1970s. For Christmas in 2007 she decided to make red crocheted dresses for all her great-granddaughters. During our extended family party that year, mom gave all the little girls their gift. She was thrilled to watch them open their gift and try on their dresses. I captured every moment that I could and created this book to preserve that special event in our family.

Samantha Mitchell: All Star Karate 2001-2005, (Lehi, Utah: Cherish Bound, Inc., 2007, 69 pg). Our granddaughter participated in karate lessons for a number of years. At the end of the season each year she participated in the competitions all over the country. Each year she came home with several awards and trophies for all the competitions she won. She had so many awards and trophies that they had to be boxed up instead of hung on the wall or displayed on shelves. There simply was just not enough room in the house and not enough wall space to display her awards. I felt bad about that and decided she needed a way to look at her awards and trophies, even when they were boxed up. I asked to borrow all her awards so that I could take pictures of them. Several boxes were brought to my home and I started the photography project. There were more that I thought. I did some personal history interviews to ask about her memories and feelings about the awards she had won. I also asked her several questions about all the hours and days of training and practicing. The end result was a complete history of her karate training, awards, and trophies. We are so proud of all that she's accomplished!

Savannah Elaine Jensen: My Blessing Day, (Provo, Utah: Heritage Makers, 21 pg). My mother crocheted her white blessing dress and her other grandma crocheted a white blanket for her special day. I thought that there was something that I could do for her special day by creating this book of memories.  During the day I took a lot of photos and interviewed family members. It was a beautiful day and she looked so beautiful in her new white dress and white blanket. She was wrapped in love that day and I hope the book captures those special feelings.

Steve and Crystal, 16 August 2007, (Sandy, Utah:, 2007, 27 pg). I created this book for our son's wedding day. It was the signature book, but a whole lot more. The book was filled with special photos that captured the special memories they had of their dating, engagement, and also their wedding. Some of the events for their wedding we knew ahead of time and their anticipation of those events is what I captured for this book. The end result is a signature book that is also a book of memories for their special day.

Steve and Crystal: Our Engagement Story, (Sandy, Utah:, 2008, 100 pg). I interviewed both Steven and Crystal about their engagement. Much like the interviews I did of my mother and father, these interviews ended up being two entirely different sides of the story. I had asked the same questions of my parents, but too many years had passed and they couldn't remember the actual story of their moment of engagement. So when our son got engaged, I decided to capture their memories before they were also faded and gone. I'm so glad that I did that and wished that I had done the same thing for our other children when they were engaged. Steve did the planning and the popping of the question, so his story is a lot longer. Crystal was the recipient of the question, so her story is one of anticipation and hopeful dreams, then pure joy when the question was asked. This was a fun book to do and also a learning experience for me. I didn't expect their stories would be so different, but they were. It was fun to weave their stories together to see how life played out for both of them.

"The History and the Future of the FamilySearch Research Wiki," Crossroads, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah Genealogical Association, March 2010, p. 167-170). I was invited to write an article about the Wiki for the UGA publication. I had been involved with the development of the wiki from the beginning and capturing the history in a written publication was a good exercise to do. Without taking the time to write down the history of anything we do, the actual events and milestones are quickly forgotten.

The Two of Us, (Lehi: Utah: Cherish Bound, Inc., 2007, 25 pg). My husband and I sat down at our kitchen table to record our memories of our dating and engagement. Much like the interviews I did of my mother and father for their book, Love in the 50's, this time I asked myself and my husband the questions and we took five minutes to write down the answers to each question. I created the book the same way I did my parent's book, in a "he said, she said" format. I am so glad my husband puts up with me and participates in memory gathering activities like this one. He's a good sport!

Through the Years: holiday memories, (Murray, Utah: Cherish Bound, Inc., 2008, 25 pg). This is a little book that captures a specific holiday memory on each page. The memory on each page was built into the template, so all I had to do was find a picture that represented each typical holiday memory and add a caption to share more details about the family memories. This was a fun and easy book to create. The ease of this project taught me how important it is to capture all our small memories because they collectively weave a full story for us to enjoy and pass on to the next generations.

Timpanokee Campground, July 22-24, 2005, (Sandy, Utah:, 2005). We reserved the large multi-family campground. This was going to be a big event for our family, everyone planned to be there. Eight families, including all the grandchildren, grandparents, and great-grandparents converged on one of our favorite places to camp. Everyone was in a tent. We planned the meals so that each family had a turn to be in charge of either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Foil dinners, roasted marshmallows, and s'mores are among our favorites. We brought games and activities for the children and enjoyed hikes up the mountain, the back side of Timpanogas. The event was so fun that I couldn't resist saving all our memories in a book.

Tina the Turtle and other stories by Logan Ballard, (Provo, Utah: Heritage Makers, 2008, 25 pg). During Logan's second grade at school he learned to write stories. He wrote and illustrated several stories that year in school. One day while visiting at their home, Logan was proud to show us all his stories and pictures. I asked if I could borrow the stories to scan them in and make a book out of them. This was such a fun project to do. Some stories were about friends or family members. I gathered pictures of each person he wrote a story about to include in his book. When the book was finished I personally delivered it to his home. We sat down on the couch and he opened his present, his own published book of stories and illustrations. Logan beamed, she was so proud of his book. Watching him beam with pride is the best gift in return. I couldn't ask for anything more.

My Presentations about Writing and Publishing

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