Book Review: Family Tree Workbook by Brian Sheffey

Detail generations of your family’s unique history in one convenient workbook

Organizing your genealogical information is a snap with the Family Tree Workbook. This versatile workbook assists you in your research by providing a variety of forms, charts, and worksheets that help you categorize and track critical information. It also suggests ways to expand on the ancestral information you have already uncovered.

The companion book for Practical Genealogy, the Family Tree Workbook is also suited for your own independent investigations. Featuring everything from pedigree charts and DNA trackers to marriage records and family lore sheets, this family tree workbook offers an expansive approach and unmatched versatility when it comes to recording your family’s history.

The Family Tree Workbook includes:

  • Worksheet variety―Discover dozens of different ways to expand and explore your family tree―including forms that help with bookkeeping and managing your research.
  • Special documentation―This workbook is inclusive of all types of family histories thanks to specialty forms, migration maps, and blended family worksheets.
  • Treasured keepsake―Create a comprehensive history of your family that will make a wonderful and heartfelt heirloom for future generations.

No matter how your family tree has grown, this workbook will make it easy to trace your family’s growth.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read Practical Genealogy a couple of weeks ago and was excited when I was able to get the Family Tree Workbook by the same author. One of the things mentioned in Practical Genealogy is being organized, something I realized I need to do, and that’s exactly what the Family Tree Workbook does!

The workbook has over 30 worksheets for organizing information found about ancestors, notes, list of sources used, and much more. The worksheets are adaptable to fit individual needs. At the end, there’s a section on suggestions for when you’re stumped on an ancestor. I read through it, but I haven’t used it yet. I do have an ancestor that I’m stumped on, so I’m going to see if I can use these suggestions to find out more.

If you’re serious about working on your family tree, this workbook can be one of the best resources you use to help you stay organized. Believe me, organization is very important in genealogy!

About the Author

“I am the child of European royalty, America’s founding fathers, Native Americans, and enslaved Africans. The American chattel slavery system is literally encoded in my DNA.”
– BBC 2 Interview

An engaging and thought-provoking public speaker, Brian has expertise in DNA, mid-Atlantic & Southern research, with an emphasis on the intersection of white, black, and Native American genealogy. He has used his knowledge to solve cases of unknown parentage from Colonial America to the present day utilizing DNA and paper trail evidence.

Brian’s passion for genealogy was initially inspired by his father, and his father’s drive and desire to discover the story of his family. This understanding inspires his work to help others uncover their own ancestral stories. He combines years of experience in marketing research and academia with a passion for genealogical research – and a unique ability to solve seemingly impossible cases. His primary research interests include cases of unknown parentage, such as identifying the white progenitors of mulatto family lines; and triangulating answers to tough genealogical questions using traditional records and genetic evidence.

Behind his passion for research lies the belief that genealogy is an opportunity to connect with Americans from different backgrounds to enable them to connect with each other – and make connections around the globe.

Book Review: The Hand Lettering Workbook by Amanda Kammarada

A hands-on workbook for the art of hand lettering

From original wall hangings to ornate invitations, hand lettering―or the art of drawing letters―allows you to slow down and get creative by crafting elegant works of art with your own hands. Perfect for letterers of any level, The Hand Lettering Workbook is your how-to guide to hand draw letters, showing you how simple and calming lettering can be.

An easy-to-follow overview explores the core principles of hand lettering, including some need-to-know typography terms. Each section takes you step-by-step through forming upper and lower cases of a variety of alphabet styles and hand-lettered fonts, as well as plenty of useful practice pages.
Then, you’ll pull it all together with a helpful chapter on connecting letters to form words and adding embellishments to create something inspirational and whimsical.

The Hand Lettering Workbook includes:

Pen to paper―Step-by-steps and fill-in practice sheets take you from A to Z through 7 different alphabet styles, including hand-lettered fonts.
Connect the dots―Practice connecting letters and making words, along with embellishments like bounces, ligatures, flourishes, and more.
Artist toolkit―Learn about the right tools for hand lettering with advice on the difference between monoline, brush, and water pens, and a dive into the types of markers, chalk, and pencils.
Add some elegance and creativity to your words with the unique and beautiful art of decorative hand lettering and calligraphy.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I’ve always admired those who could write fancy lettering, so I jumped at the chance to get this workbook to learn hand lettering. It was a good choice.

Before starting, chapter 1 explains the different types of lettering, writing tools to use, and definitions of different parts of letters. The Hand Lettering Workbook has step-by-step instructions and plenty of practice sheets to try the different letter styles. Once you learn the basics, you can add embellishments, many of which are here for you to practice on. Once you’re finished with the workbook, you should be able to make some amazing projects!

I am not artistic at all but I’m slowly going through this workbook. I’m learning to relax and let the letters flow. If you’re a beginner looking for something to help you learn fancy lettering, this is a good place to start.

About the Author

Amanda Kammarada is a hand lettering artist and mom of two, residing in Tampa, FL. She is an ambassador for Tombow USA and a designer for private clients, who include Mixbook and Denik, in addition to her online shop. Since 2017, Amanda has taught in-person brush lettering classes that give students the skills to get started and the confidence to continue learning.

Amanda uses her lettering to inspire positivity and promote self-love and kindness. When you learn to letter, you unlock the magic of lettering. Words are powerful. Words can inspire, motivate & encourage us. The possibilities are endless and lettering is great for your mental health.

When she isn’t lettering, you can find her at the Florida theme parks on weekends living out her magical dreams or at home snuggling her dog Luna. Amanda is a Hufflepuff, lover of chocolate and coffee, yoga and spending time with her family.