Review of Family Book Creator, Plugin for Family Tree Maker

I have put together many family history books for various clients. It has always been a tedious task done with Microsoft Word. I created chapters for the various lines of ancestors, annotating them with their family group, residences, occupations, census data and various photos or maps. When I was told about Book Creator for Family Tree Maker, I was intrigued but a bit put off by the price – $59.95. This Christmas though, I decided it give it a go and create a book for my sister.

I used my William J. Smith line; he is my Irish grandfather. My first attempt I just entered that starting person and hit create. The resulting book was very nice. It had a great title page, table of contents, and fascinating introduction which gave some overall facts about this line. However, it was an onerous 138 pages, a bit much for my sister. The length was primarily due to the citations. Knowing she wouldn’t care about them; I found the somewhat hidden option to not include citations. That brought the page total down to 38, much more manageable. That option is under the Preferences tab, in the general section. There is a pull-down menu with four options, one of which is “Do not insert Source Citations”.

To me, the best feature was the family charts. For the starting person, it showed two generations of their ancestors and their children. For subsequent generations, it showed the descendant and their spouse and two generations of their ancestors and their children. Optionally, you can include the thumbnail pictures in the charts.

Other features include a bibliography, an index of places, and an index of individuals.

. I followed the installation directions provided at https://www.familybookcreator.de/en/menu-support-en/menu-faq-en/156-faq-en-howtoinstall and had no problems with the install.

Overall, I liked Family Book Creator for a quick family book or to get a family book started. I would love to see saving the book in html as an option.

Finding my Irish Grandfather’s birthplace

I start my #52ancestors with the first “across the pond” ancestor that I found – my grandfather William J. Smith. He was born November 3, 1871 in Baltrasna, County Meath, Ireland. His parents were Nicholas and Mary (Gillespie/Glasby) Smith. He was my father’s father.

I found him on various census, but the most important find was his marriage to Margaret Carolan. The marriage certificate had critical information: his parents’ names and his birth location. The birth location helpfully had the Irish county, Meath, in which he was born.

Searching Griffith’s valuation on AskAbooutIreland.com for Gillespie or Glasby in County Meath, only 7 records were found. Searching for the Smith surname, 1110 records were found. So, the Gillespie surname was rare. Whi

When I was doing this research, the Irish birth and baptismal records were not available online, but I had bought a CD set with the “British Isles” BMD data. Using both Nicolas’ and Mary’s names, I was able to locate the birth record for William. I was able to obtain an “original” copy, that is with the stamp. The birth was not registered until 26 April 1872.

In 2003 I was able to visit the Townland of Baltrasna. Using an ordnance survey map I had bought, There were not many buildings, even though the acreage is 270 acres and as we drove up the indicated lane, we met the current owner of Baltrasna and he said to go on up to the house, his wife was there. We did and she was very friendly, told us how the house had changed over the years.

We toured the small town of Moynalty and it was very an amazing feeling knowing that I was walking on the same grounds as my ancestors had trod.