Give Your Family
A Gift That Money Can't Buy

Give Your Family A Gift That Money Can't Buy is a program that encourages everyone, especially senior citizens to preserve their family's history. It is also the perfect starting point for anyone wishing to research his or her family's history. There are also many ideas for those with some research experience.

It grew from the handouts for Jeff's beginner Genealogy classes into a 40 page booklet.

Several versions of the booklet were produced and over 650 copies were sold at lectures, by genealogy vendors, and several genealogy societies.

In 2007 it became a book and a popular lecture program.

An article giving an overview that was published in Everton's Genealogical Helper November/December 2007, page 54.

Jeffrey A. Bockman - Give Your Family A Gift That Money Can't Buy (

4th Edition

In 2007 a 64 page book (4th Edition) was published under Alenjes Publishing and over 2000 copies were printed and sold

Give Your Family
A Gift That Money Can't Buy
Record & Preserve Your Family's History
- 4th Edition 2007

Jeffrey A. Bockman

ISBN 978-0-9795173-0-0
Library of Congress Control Number: 2007928065

It had a similar format to the 5th Edition except that it had more blank forms (7 Family Group Sheets, 3 Ancestor Charts, 2 Timelines, and a Notes page) that were replaced by the three new sections and an enhanced research section.

It was very well received and could be found in over 150 libraries

It was sold in many independent bookstores, Library and Museum gift shops, several genealogy booksellers, and by several genealogy societies.


    • March 2010 - John Phillip Colletta

It’s a splendid introduction to genealogy for people who have toyed with the idea of getting into it. The book itself is very nice—layout, colors, etc.

    • Spring 2008 FGS Forum - Reviewed by Paul Milner

"Here is a slim, inexpensive, practical book aimed at the person who wants to get started researching their family history. It is very appropriate for resale by a society or library and can be purchased in bulk... "

"This slim but informative book begins with an overview of the genealogy research process...

The meat of the book follows when Mr. Bockman talks about writing the family stories—going beyond the names and dates in a family group sheet and getting to know our ancestors as people.

Give Your Family a Gift That Money Can’t Buy provides the impetus to start writing. His techniques are based on sound genealogical research principles. He identifies a variety of records that are useful when building our family’s history."

"I saw a really good guide at the FGS Conference. It's a new book and very inexpensive (only $7.95) Author: Jeffrey A. Bockman, Title: Give Your family a gift that money can't buy, record & preserve your family's history. It is easy to follow - has alot of fill in the blank charts and gives a basic overview of what is possible - and where to start... It's soft bound - attractive cover & graphics - about the size of a Time magazine. I'd recommend it."

    • 12/14/07 - MB, Ohio (letter)

"I did not order enough copies of your book. I am sending you a check for another six copies. I am enclosing them with Christmas presents. .. You did a great job with this book, Thanks, MB"

    • 12/9/07 - GG, New York City (voice mail from an old family friend)

"Jeff, I read your wonderful book and what a beautiful thing you did... I think this is a very worthy project and everyone should, everyone should be aware of it, and I loved your wonderful story about your dad and the sunsets."

    • 11/21/07 - VF, Illinois Librarian (letter)

"I was glad to purchase two copies of your recent book and have added one to our circulating collection. We gave one of your books away as a doorprize at our last After Hours Genealogy Workshop: to a new family history researcher!"

    • 11/8/07 - SB, Illinois

"My husband and I still talk about how beautifully your book is put together.. you did a great job with it."

    • 3/14/08 - Vender, IN

"I had an order two weeks ago from a lady who used to do a lot of genealogy, but has slowed down recently, she's 80 years old. She purchased 5 copies and will be giving them to her grandchildren as Easter presents."

After the 4th edition sold out. It was revised in 2012 and a 5th Edition was published in a joint venture with Family Roots Publishing. About 1,000 copies have been sold so far.

5th Edition

Give Your Family A Gift That Money Can't Buy
Record & Preserve Your Family's History
- 5th Edition 2013

Retail Price: $8.95

ISBN 978-1-933194-88-X

Library of Congress Control Number: 2012954733

Published by Family Roots Publishing LLC in a joint venture.

This revised 64 page edition has an expanded Research Section that includes three new articles:

      • Didn't Find it in the Index? - Hints for searching both online and physical reference materials

      • Genealogy Travel - More than just records with examples of "Walking in my ancestor's footsteps"

      • Case Study: Finding Alvar - A not so great Dane - the 22 year search for my grandfather.

    • Using a combination of basic instruction and personal examples it covers:

      • FAMILY FACTS: Filling out the basic forms with what you know (blank forms included at the end of the book)

      • HOME SOURCES: Saving the important documents

      • PHOTOGRAPHS: Identifying the people in family photographs

      • PRESERVATION: Basic techniques and products

      • FAMILY STORIES: Encourages telling those stories that make your family "Your Family"

      • FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH: Explaining the basics of

        • How to Start Researching Your Family

          • - Vital Records

          • - Wills & Probate Records

          • - Cemetery Records

          • - Newspaper Obituaries

          • - Census Records

          • - Other Records

          • - Immigrants

          • - Didn't Find It In the Index

          • - Genealogy Travel

          • - Case Study: Finding Alvar A Not So Great Dane

      • Blank Forms: 3 Family Group Sheets, 1 Ancestor Charts, 2 Timelines, and a Notes page

      • To Download forms

About the Author

Jeffrey A. Bockman,, was a contributing editor for the former Everton's Genealogical Helper and was a feature writer for the former Heritage Quest Magazine. He has had articles published in the Digital Genealogist, the FGS Forum, Family Tree Magazine (UK), and Missing Links. Many of them are or will be available at Genealogy According to Jeff.

His speaking engagements have included the 2010 and 2008 Ohio Gen Society Conferences, 2007 BYU Family History & Genealogy Conference, 2006 NGS Conference, the 2003, 2001, and 1998 FGS Conferences, the 2006 & 2000 Polish Genealogical Society of America annual conferences, and numerous DuPage County (IL) Genealogical Society and other regional conferences.

You can Purchase a copy from

Family Roots Publishing

Jeff's lecture A Gift That Money Can't Buy has been well received by boomers & seniors who are just starting to think about recording what they know or want to start researching their family, as well as by genealogy & historical societies. It has also been presented at civic organizations and society lunches or dinners. The lecture can be tailored to the audience.

He was a Road Scholar for the Illinois Humanities Council for several years doing programs on the book.

See Jeffrey A. Bockman - A Gift That Money Can't Buy