I did give myself plenty of time, but I must say it was a larger task than I expected. If it hadn't been for my Family Tree Maker software I would have pulled out all my hair.
With Family Tree Maker I was able to design a book of all the information and differnet charts and reports I wanted in it. Though the first task was to make sure I had all my notes entered and that everything was correct.
I quickly discovered the the information I had recently entered was not on this computer. I had entered it in my laptop which was with my husband (a truck driver). Since there is no telling when he will be home, I knew I couldn't wait around and throw it all together when he got home from that file. All I can say is it sure does pay to keep written and printed notes of your genealogy research.
So I set out to get the first task accomplished. Adding all my notes, finding the source records, attaching them to the appropriate family member, and double checking all of it. Then I was ready to build the book. It was actually very easy to use their program to add the charts and reports to the book. I created a different chapter for each line of the family (since it's not to large yet).
It's all done. All the records are correct, the latest research is added, everything organized and proff read. As I'm scrolling through making sure everything looks correct I come to the last page. Page number 200 ! Oh my I can hear my printer screaming at me now "you want me to print WHAT!" Well after running out of ink, half way through, and reprinting that section their family BOOK is done! Now I've just got to three whole punch it and put it in the binder. Not a big deal right? Wrong! My three hole punch decides now would be a good time to fall apart, half way through a book. Just great! Now I've got to get my hands on another one so I can get all of this in a binger.
In the next couple of day I just need to do one small little report of the kinds of information they can gather at the reunion and the places they can go to find information that might aid our search further. But that won't leave my printer screaming at me. Boy am I glad the book is done.
Here is a great idea for other family historians. At the next family reunion. Ask every family member to bring a few photos with them of ancestors (leave originals at home, make copies), especially those that have a great story with them. Then have each person share the photos and the stories with the group. Make sure to record this on video. Make copies of the video for each member. Also have one person in charge of running down and making copies of fronts and backs of all photos (WalMart is great, one CD is $3, or do it from a family members home near by) Make copies of the CD for everyone. This not only shares the stories and photos with the family, but it's also another way to insure their continued existance. If the originals are ever lost, there will be at least one family member with a copy ready to give it back to you.
So in the middle of all this I've learned something new about genealogy. I LIKE THE RESEARCH MUCH BETTER! But unfortunately like everything else, with the fun comes the work. Genealogy reports are a must. If they are not created the lineage of the family is lost on the reader.