~ First edition is currently available on Amazon.com

or from the author. Second edition is in progress. ~

Cocoa Beach, Florida


Ch. 1. Getting Started

  • Setting goals and making it happen
  • Getting organized
  • Fill in what you already know
  • Begin with the clues you already have
  • Time for a recap

Ch. 2. Using the Computer

  • To keep files organized
  • Internet resources

Ch. 3. Useful Information

  • Ancestry vs. Nationality 
  • About Surnames
  • Locating the ancestral village
  • The cousin connection
  • The history of the postcard

Ch. 4. General Research

  • Getting the facts 
  • Local research
  • Lifestyles of our ancestors

Ch. 5. Research Through Government Agencies

  • Military
  • US Census
  • Social security administration
  • Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration
  • US port of entry
  • Ellis Island Foundation

Ch. 6. Researching Obituaries and Cemeteries

  • Using obituaries for leads
  • About cemeteries
  • Some background on cemeteries
  • Understanding symbolism in cemeteries

  Ch. 7. Networking

  • Posting queries
  • Getting and staying motivated
  • Whom to interview
  • Interviewing our elders
  • Interviewing siblings
  • Making connections        

 Ch. 8. Handling Sensitive Information

  • Changes and confidentiality
  • Family secrets
  • To know or not to know

 Ch. 9. Journaling

  • Factual data journal vs. the memory journal
  • Create a timeline diary 

 Ch. 10. Types of Journals

  • From this day forward journals
  • Individual personal journals
  • Past memory journals
  • School memories
  • Not for women only

 Ch. 11. Preserving our Heritage

  • Choosing the format
  • Themes for heritage albums
  • Recommended tools
  • Elements to use in heritage albums
  • Including memorabilia
  • Recording family secrets
  • Tools for advanced memory books
  • Note to the men

 Ch. 12. Photos

  • Preserving old photographs
  • Post-mortem photography
  • The importance of all photos

  Ch. 13. Leaving a Legacy

  • Legacy writing
  • Questions for legacy writing
  • Example of a cover page
  • Creating a time capsule for our descendants

  Ch. 14. Our Values and   Traditions

  • What will matter
  • Counting our blessings and sharing our traditions
  • The gift of parents
  • Setting goals for a new year
  • The changing times




Table of Contents


The following is a preview of 

Heritage Quest, Uncovering Your Roots

And the point is...
          As we reach 50 plus, if we haven’t already done so, we examine our life and wonder if we have made a difference, and if our descendants will know whom we really were.
          It all began as an idea to make a ‘heritage’ scrapbook for each of my adult children and soon turned into a quest to locate and document our roots. When I realized I had very little data on our lineage to add to it, I knew I had to do something to make it meaningful. But what were the facts and who was alive that would have known them? Sadly, there are not many depending on how far back you wish to go.
           In researching, I realized that unless you were someone famous, seldom is anything written about you to give any insight into the person you were or what you were about. Imagine how wonderful it would be if every person had left a bit of a legacy recorded for the generations to come.
          This book is about learning to help each other do so. Its purpose is to offer ideas and tips to assist you in your quest to uncover the past. It will also offer you creative ways to preserve the information you uncover.

The why of it…
          Genealogy (literally meaning the study of one’s genes) is meant to be a recorded history of a person’s lineage. Those who do not understand its purpose may see it as unimportant or as a way of living in the past. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When working to preserve your heritage, it is important to see what you can uncover about your family tree. What you may find will both surprise and delight you. Generations to come will be grateful that you cared enough to preserve it for them.
          Whenever possible, it is important to know something about our history from a medical standpoint. In addition, it can help us to understand genetically how we have come to be the person we are. When we don’t understand the why of it or the source of certain traits, it can be very difficult to move forward. It is also helpful to know if any of our ancestors faced similar issues and how they handled them.

          Knowing who we are and where we came from is only the first benefit of genealogy research. More importantly, as you research, you will become aware of relatives, no matter how distant, that you didn’t even know you had. New relationships with family are built through research, contact and networking. You never know who will come into your life; some maybe for just a little while, others will stay a lifetime. New friends will be made with others who have a passion for research and networking. These friendships too, can last a lifetime.

           Yes, life gets in the way and work responsibilities take over our lives. A lot of the household chores simply have to be done eventually. All too often relationships are put on the back burner, because everyone is busy and time goes by. Soon the time comes when it’s too late to ask the questions we wanted to ask or visit the people we wanted to know better. The longer we wait, the more faded their memories become, and the more difficult it is to get accurate information. It really is true that time waits for no one.
           Grandma knew what she was talking about when she said, “It’ll still be there when you‘re dead and gone”. She couldn’t have put it any plainer that what we think matters, matters little in the overall scheme of things. It is the quality time we spend with others that lasts and teaches us life’s lessons.
           Therefore, I cannot stress enough the importance of not putting off getting to know extended family. Interview them now for their point of view on the family heritage. Many of them have forgotten more than we ever knew about our own lineage. With a little memory jogging and the right questions, it is amazing what comes back to them. Each person you interview will offer a different perspective.
           Yes, it can be time consuming, but it needs to be done now before it’s too late, and while there are still living contacts, that you can build a relationship with. Whether you are a senior wanting to live life to the fullest, someone pursuing a career, a busy mom, or somewhere in between, this book is dedicated to helping you make the most of the resources and time you have. The biggest cost IS your time and I promise, you will be so glad you invested in it. It is part of the legacy we leave for future generations.
           I am often asked, what is the point if I have no children to leave it to? If you have no heirs, give it to other family members. Otherwise, donating it to the library or local genealogy society is the ideal place for such a journal to leave your mark on history. And so the quest begins… revisiting the past through genealogy…enjoy your journey.

Uncovering Your Roots

Heritage Quest

Jami's first book takes the reader on a journey back in time. It not only profiles the importance, but the how-to of Genealogy Research;  from the getting started phase, through a step-by-step research and networking process, the reader will uncover fascinating facts to record.
          Unlike other reference books in its genre, this one includes instructions on different formats of fun and creative ways to preserve the information you find. Detailed instructions are given for creating either simple journals or elaborate memory books that will become legacy keepsakes. Techniques for including the memories that will become the human-interest stories are also profiled. Emphasis is placed on recording details of our own life stories now, in order to leave a legacy for generations to come. The goal is to help you "Uncover Your Roots."

​​​​​Jami Lynn Sands

It is my hope that you have enjoyed this preview of Heritage Quest, Uncovering Your Roots, and that it inspires you to search for your roots and the relationships that it will guarantee.

You may contact Jami with questions or comments at:

jami@jamilynnsands.com   or  jamilynnsands@yahoo.com