Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Many Families, Issue No. 4

I've been following progress on Tad and Terry Findlay's project to produce magazine format books on their family histories. The first issue came out in 2015 with the objective of producing one a year. Three came out on schedule, No. 3 in June 2017. Then life got in the way!

Last weekend Terry slipped me a copy of No. 4 which I insisted on paying for, they're that good. The contents in this issue are 11 articles on the Mason and four on the Girling families, 12 on the First World War and nine on Researching. That's 36 articles in 144 pages. About half the space is taken up with photos, maps and other visual material so the average article is two pages, many in the Research section are just a single page. Even with much white space narrow margins means there's no skimping on textual substance.
Some of the longer articles are: No Ordinary Story, Fraternal Societies in Early Ottawa, Go West Young Man, Canadian Expeditionary Force: A Primer, He Never Talked About It (26 pages including images), The Raid That Saved His Life,  Casualty Evacuation: From the Western Front to Blighty, 1918, Writing about Ancestors with Unknown Military Service, He Fought at Passchendaele.

In posts on previous issues, I've commented on what I like, and that hasn't changed:

The articles are a model of research and writing;
The thrill of discovery is shared;
The layout is superb, an inspiration;
The content is more than just about the families.

In reading some of the articles on the Mason family I was struck by how there was more than one instance where no conclusion about a genealogical fact could be drawn. Many of us would be deterred from writing, insisting more research is needed. Terry demonstrates the thrill that draws readers in is the chase.

Another thing demonstrated near the start of the volume is that the very best way to find an error in your writing is to publish. It's minor but would grant someone an extra two months or life.

Posts on the previous issues are:

Comments and queries to Terry and Tad at

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