M. Carolyn Steele


Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations

Contact the author for ordering

Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations
ISBN: 978-0-937660-15-7
Binding: 6x9 paperback
Price: $14.95

Awarded 1st Place at the Heartland New Day Bookfest, 2010

Whether you have simply picked at the threads of a story handed down through generations or you’re an accomplished family storyteller, Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations by M. Carolyn Steele, is written to help you safeguard those ancestral stories for all time.

Both novice and experienced genealogists or writers will find this book an informative aid in bringing family histories to life. Chapters are filled with examples of story elements such as how to set the scene, create dialogue, or build a visual image of a long-ago ancestor. Learn the value of era research, the sensitive handling of family scandals, and the various methods of self-publishing.

By using Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations as a guide, anyone can make their family legends unforgettable, and in the process, save them from being lost to the ages.

Make the past come alive and introduce your children or grandchildren to their ancestors…

Often the value of history is under estimated, especially the history of our ancestors. Deep down, each of us possess the curiosity of a past we can never touch and the people whose bloodline we share. Recording the stories of their struggles, successes, and failures gives them voice again and reacquaints each of us with our roots. What a wonderful way of introducing your children and grandchildren to their distant ancestors.

Click on photo at right for the Table of Contents and a three-page excerpt from Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations.

What reviewers have to say

Family researchers like to tell their ancestor's story. Carolyn's book is an excellent guide to take it a step further - create and publish a compelling family history for future generations. - Janice Meredith, Professional Genealogist, Tulsa Genealogy Society

"As a full time educator and novice genealogist, I can appreciate Carolyn Steele's no-nonsense approach to researching and writing about one's family history. Her instructions lead the reader step-by-step through the often confusing terrain of family trees, reliable search sites (both on land and in Cyberspace) and validation of documents. Illustration from her own eloquently written accounts of her ancestry ensures that even beginning genealogists never make a misstep in their efforts."
-Carol Johnson, M.A., creative writing teacher and author of Autism: From Tragedy to Triumph and Everlasting

Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations is filled with helpful tips and examples that will allow even the novice writer to record the stories of their ancestors in an entertaining manner.
-Judy Howard, author of Oklahoma Centennial Projects, Heavenly Patchwork I and II, and Centennial Stitches. | www.buckboardquilts.com and www.HeavenlyPatchwork.com

Every family has a story to tell. But not many families make the effort to ensure that those stories are properly preserved so that the generations to come can enjoy and learn from them.

Tulsa writer M. Carolyn Steele has written a book designed to show how -- with a little creativity and understanding of modern publishing technology -- families can go about Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations. Steele has had several stories published in regional anthologies, including one put out by Tulsa's Hawk Publishing, and her current book grew out of her interest in genealogy.

"For years I was content to gather dry facts about long-dead ancestors from the usual sources," she writes in the introduction, "assemble neat files, print out charts and fill notebooks. Then, when I delved into the life of a grandmother I never knew, I realized this person deserved more than a line on a genealogy chart.

"Research into the era and the events of their lives put meat on old bones, made them living, breathing people again for the reader to know and enjoy. This book, I hope, will convince you to do the same with your ancestors and family legends."

Steele includes tips on genealogical research, how to use the techniques of fiction to better tell the story, dealing with old photographs, and even a lesson to two on grammar, along with suggestions for self-publishing the finished work. - James D. Watts, Sr., World Scene writer

M. Carolyn Steele has written Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations (Roots and Branches, $14.95). I only wish I’d had this concise guide when I found, in my mother’s attic, letters, receipts and other primary material circa 1850 from my ancestors. You can benefit from her expertise by reading and heeding her lessons, presented in an entertaining format, for preserving family stories. - Angie Jackson, Worth Reading Column, Tulsa People Magazine, February 2010, Tulsa, Oklahoma

As someone who is increasingly intrigued by their own family ancestry, I have recently had the pleasure of discovering a book that takes a unique approach to genealogy and which I would recommend to anyone interested in the subject.

Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations (Roots and Branches, 2008) by Oklahoma author M. Carolyn Steele, approaches the subject of personal genealogy from the perspective of preserving family history by writing semi-fictionalized stories based on the best information the family historian can obtain. Steele’s personal preference is for short stories, but she also discusses novel-length stories and even provides an entire section on self-publishing, largely for the purpose of creating custom-made booklets suitable as gifts for interested relatives.

While Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations is very encouraging and instructive, it is also frequently entertaining. Steele includes a number of samples of her own writing, for example, which relate stories about an ancestor who escaped an enemy firing squad during the Civil War and a somewhat risqué grandmother who was murdered by her fifth husband at the age of just 29! - Michael J. Varhola, Editor, lecturer, and author of many books, including Everyday Life During the Civil War. Visit Michael's blog

Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations is a great resource, and reading it has renewed my desire to bring my family’s ancestry to life. I want future generations to know their rich history and this book made me anxious to get started. - Sharon Douthitt, Vice Regent, Verdigris Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Claremore, Oklahoma

Our Southwest Tulsa Historical Society members thoroughly enjoyed Carolyn Steele's presentation on preserving family memories! She has been one of the most talked about speakers this year. I've heard from several people who read her book and used it to jumpstart their own work. That is something I have tried to do for years." - Roy Heim, President, Southwest Tulsa Historical Society, Tulsa, Oklahoma