In the last post we talked about creating a story book about your ancestors, starting with yourself (or your subject) as number one and going back in time.
You can also create a descendancy book: start with an ancestor a few generations back and movie into the present time, highlighting each of his/her descendants.
For this descendancy book, created for a client, we started with man and his wife about five generations back and included all their descendants to the present time. In this case, we told the story of the initial couple: their lives, their photos, their migration pattern. Then we highlighted each of their children and their children's descendants in a series of chapters, in birth order, using previously-written histories, letters, and obituaries to provide the narrative.
This chapter highlighted child number two. At the beginning of her chapter, we displayed a descendancy chart of her children. After telling her story, we then subdivided her chapter into the stories of her children and grandchildren, up to the present time. (Because we were dealing with descendants rather than just direct-line ancestors, this book ended up being rather long, so it was all the more important to have the book well-organized.) Some of her children had many descendants, so for those larger families, we used a circular fan chart to display them.
We also used an abundance of photographs and documents to help augment their stories.
As you can see, using the "natural math" of genealogical material can provide a perfect jumping-off point for organizing your material. Whether you start from the present and move backward in time, or start in the past and move forward, the important thing is that you preserve these stories and share them in an enjoyable way!