What good is all the researching, collecting, and storing and all the time and money spent if we never share the history, stories, or photographs with our extended family? This is the place where I share all the best tools, ideas, and techniques that will make it possible for you to preserve and share you legacy for extended family members and future generations. ---Robin


 Story Map

The following is a story map which is the most efficient way I have found to preserve
oral history and family history and stories. Short stories with photos capture the interest of even the very young. You can receive free help with assembling these storybooks and preparing them for print. You just need to provide the story and photographs. Please take a moment to review final copies on display.

This Story Map will help guide you as you write and preserve your most precious
memories. As you combine stories and photos you’ll create a valuable treasure that can
be shared for many years to come.

Step 1. Read through the following questions and answer them. You may need to involve
others with interviews and gathering information, or just answer the questions on your
own. You do not need to answer each question or even use each theme; these are meant
merely as guidelines. As you answer the question(s), your answers become the story.

Step 2. Get your photos scanned and uploaded into your Free Studio account.
Step 3. Start creating.
Your book will have 21 pages.

Front Cover Image Title Author

Page 1 Image Title of book Author You may also use this page for a special dedication,
quote or poem.

Pages 2 & 3 Theme: Family History As an introduction to the person’s life story, this is
a great place to include something about their own family history.
1. What is the person’s date of birth?
2. Where was he or she born?
3. What are the names of the person’s parents and siblings?
4. Is the person the oldest, the youngest, or middle child?
5. Where did the person’s family come from?
6. What is unique or special about the person’s background?

Pages 4 & 5
Theme: Childhood This is a great place to tell any fun, interesting, or humorous stories
about the person’s childhood.
1. What was life like for the person as a child?
2. Where did the person live as a child?
3. Does the person have any special childhood memories? What are they?
4. Did the person ever get into mischief as a child?
5. Who were the important people in the person’s life, as a child?
6. What interests and talents did the person have early on?

Pages 6 & 7 Theme: School Days Here you’ll want to include specific experiences
school years.
1. What was school like when the person was younger?
2. What was the person’s favorite subject?
3. What did the person want to be when he or she grew up?
4. Are there any funny school-related stories to share?
5. Who were the person’s favorite classmates?
6. What school(s) did the person attend?

Pages 8 & 9 Theme: Interests and Hobbies Here you may showcase the person by
focusing on the hobbies or interests that he or she enjoyed.
1. What interests did the person have?
2. Did the person collect anything?
3. What extracurricular activities did the person participate in?
4. What responsibilities did the person have at home or in the community?
5. What books did the person like to read?
6. What did the person enjoy doing in his or her younger years?

Pages 10 & 11 Theme: Young Adult Experiences This is a great place to talk about
experiences such as college, military service, religious service, sports, dating, etc. Really,
anything interesting that happened in the young adult years.
1. When did the person first leave home?
2. What goals did he or she pursue at this time?
3. How did the person decide which path to pursue?
4. What were some of the challenges he or she faced?
5. What were some of the triumphs that he or she experienced?
6. How did the person serve others at this time?

Pages 12 & 13Theme: Friends and FamilyTell about any of the special people
that shaped the person’s life.
1. When did the person fall in love?
2. What was the courtship, engagement, and/or wedding like?
3. What was life like for the young couple?
4. When did the person have children? (Give names and birth order of children.)
5. What did the person like to do with his or her family?
6. What close friends did the person have at this time?

Pages 14 & 15 Theme: Homes, Careers, and Interests Here you might emphasize the
person’s career and personal achievements.
1. What special awards or recognition has the person received?
2. What strengths does the person show in the home or workforce?
3. What special interests does the person have as an adult?
4. What talents and skills did the person acquire as an adult?
5. Did the person ever change jobs?
6. What are the person’s goals as an adult?
Pages 16 & 17 Theme: Holidays and Vacations This is a great place to recall any
memorable vacation or holiday stories and traditions.
1. Where is the person’s favorite place to visit?
2. What is it like visiting his or her favorite place? How does he or she get there?
3. What holiday traditions carried over from the person’s childhood?
4. Has the person had any adventures as an adult?
5. If the person doesn’t travel, does he or she have any dreams of traveling?
6. Has the person had any special reunions with family or friends?
Pages 18 & 19 Theme: Family Life/Fond Memories Here you might want to emphasize
the important family accomplishments of the person. If the person does not have a
family, emphasize other important aspects of their life, such as nieces, nephews, pets,
special friends, or co-workers.
1. What strengths does the person have as a parent?
2. What does the person enjoy most about being a parent, aunt, uncle, friend, etc.?
3. What does he or she enjoy doing with family and others?
4. What was life like while raising a family?
5. Is there a funny or special story that occurred during the person’s adult years?
6. What are the person’s thoughts about being a grandparent?

Pages 20-21 Theme: Leaving a Legacy This is an opportunity to share the important
advice the person has for his or her loved ones. If writing a memorial, celebrate the
lessons that were learned from the person’s life by preserving them on this page.
1. What has the person learned from his or her life experiences?
2. Is there any advice the person is known for giving?
3. What special phrases does the person say?
4. What advice does the person have for his or her posterity?
5. What kind of legacy has the person created?

Back Cover Image Quote or Message

You may also want to include…
Finishing Touches (optional):
•Family Tree
•Collage of photos (with or without quotes)
•Letters from loved ones

     Researching over the past 25 years has brought me much success.  I have found many treasures that tell about "Who I Am" and "Where I Come From."  I have discovered that truly, the apple does not fall too far from the tree.  I owe a great debt of gratitude to my ancestors.  I have recognized many traits and ambitions which they have passed on to me.

     I feel an obligation to preserve this legacy for my posterity so they will not have to search for it has I have had.  I have been publishing storybooks to preserve our history and photos since 2007.  I design them myself and they short enough to hold interest from cover to cover.
    As I have shared these storybooks with friends, many have asked to be able to have access to them.  I am happy to see others finding value in them....but I am most happy to see others create storybooks for their own families and future posterity.

Three of my most popular storybooks are linked below.  Please allow time to load, and then you may use the magnify options to read them online. 


(Heritage Makers pre-designed template)