Writing Your Family History Series


The California Genealogical Society will present an encore of our popular series Writing Your Family History online via Zoom. By the end of the course, you will be ready to start writing, or will be already writing, a family history with confidence and style!

Eight Sessions on Tuesday Evenings (Fee)

August 4 & 11 (two parts), August 18, August 25, September 1, September 8, September 15, September 22

7 pm – 8:30 pm PDT (some sessions may end early depending on content)

Who Should Take This Course?

This course series is for genealogists and family historians who are ready to transform their research into a quality family history.

The course will be lead by a team of dedicated volunteers – Matthew B. Berry,CG, Jennifer Dix, Lois Elling, Lisa Gorrell,CG, and Stewart Traiman – who have different and complementary skills.

The sessions will take place via Zoom. If you join, please sign in early to make sure you are able to see the program. We will send you instructions the night before, and a reminder shortly before the event, which will give you access. All times are Pacific Daylight Time.


4 Aug & 11 Aug 2020

Writing Stories

presented by Lisa Gorrell, CG

This two-part online class will cover defining your writing project and how to create time to write and avoid distractions. Also discussed will be what makes a compelling story, and adding historical and social context to your story. This online course will include in-class discussions and writing prompts, as well as a between-class writing exercise. Enrollment includes both sessions of this class.


18 Aug 2020

Writing and Editing with Style

presented by Jennifer Dix

This class will discuss style: why writers need style sheets, and what style decisions need to be made. Also discussed will be how to edit your writing: who should do it, when to do it, and what to look for. ________________________________________________________________________________

25 Aug 2020

Genealogical Numbering Systems

presented by Matt Berry, CG

This class will address the preferred approaches for organizing genealogical information in written form. Topics will include Register and NGSQ formats, the Sosa-Stradonitz (or Ahnentafel) System, and Multi-Surname approaches. ________________________________________________________________________________

1 Sep 2020

Citation: Easier Than You Think

presented by Stewart Traiman

This class will be based on Tom Jones’ Mastering Genealogical Documentation. We’ll break down all 17 chapters to make them more easily understandable, and provide exercises for each. Attendees will leave with much more confidence in how to craft their own citations for any source.


8 Sep 2020

Making Your Book Look Good I: Type & Graphics

presented by Lois Elling

This class will cover how to add visual interest to your narratives and present a professional-looking book. Topics will include: typefaces, graphic elements, and photographs. Parts I and II of this course are designed to be taken together, but may be taken separately if desired. ________________________________________________________________________________

15 Sep 2020

Making Your Book Look Good II: Page Layout and Software

presented by Lois Elling

This class will continue to cover how to add visual interest to your narratives and present a professional-looking book. Topics will include: design basics, construction considerations, software, and going to print.


22 Sep 2020

Creating an Effective Index to your Family History Book

presented by Matt Berry, CG

This class will teach how to create an effective index for your family history book. Most people don’t read genealogies from cover to cover, the first thing a potential reader wants to know is whether their family is covered in the book, so they turn to the index first. Help your readers out by creating a useful index to your book.



 Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited so register early to confirm your spot.

 CGS members enjoy reduced admission, $10.00* per session.

 Non-member admission fee is $30.00* per session

You can purchase a $45 one-year CGS Basic membership when you check out. To sign up for other membership options go to our web page: CGS Membership application


Credit card payments will be processed by Eventbrite.

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