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Self-Publish Your Genealogy: A Panel Discussion with Authors

Tuesday, October 24, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET

Presented by Jenifer Kahn Bakkala, Mary Gilchrist, and Anne Hanson, moderated by Sharon Inglis

Self-publishing your genealogy is a fantastic way to preserve your family history for future generations and to share it with family, friends, and wider audiences. However, self-publishing is no simple task! We all know that researching is difficult enough, and to self-publish you’ll also need to spend time and thought on planning, outlining, writing, creating citations, editing, finding a printer, and so much more. Join us for an engaging panel discussion with three authors who have gone through this difficult but rewarding process—Jenifer Kahn Bakkala, Mary Gilchrist, and Anne Hanson. They’ll share their varied experiences and strategies with you in this discussion moderated by American Ancestors Vice President of Publishing, Sharon Inglis.

Jenifer Kahn Bakkala is a professional genealogist and author who specializes in a biographical narrative approach to family history. Her experience in writing and publishing spans the gamut from private desktop printing to professional publishing with NEHGS’s Newbury Street Press as well as Genealogy House publishers. Her most recent publication, The Maynard, North, and DeForest Families: A Story of Immigration, Industry, and Community, was the 2023 winner of the National Genealogical Society’s Award for Excellence in Genealogy and Family History. Jenifer works as a freelance writer for the Newbury Street Press and is also a proofreader for the NEHGS Register and American Ancestors magazine. Website: Email:

Mary Gilchrist is a Microbiologist with a doctorate who practiced in hospital laboratories for two decades before directing public health laboratories in the states of Iowa and then Massachusetts. Beginning her search for her ancestry in 1983, her work spanned the time that the field progressed to become internet based and added DNA technologies. In the mid-20-teens, Mary enrolled in a webinar series with NEHGS and took to heart the advice that genealogists must abandon their quest to fill each branch of the tree with ancestors and begin to write, then publishing two books. The Rendleman Family Tapestry, on the ancestry of her father, was published in 2017 and The Parker Family Tree, on the ancestry of her mother, was published in 2021. Both books place her ancestors in time and place, including regional history and geography in an attempt to tell a story about their lives. An ardent traveler, Mary focuses much of her travel on natural history with an emphasis on the origins of mankind and the archaeology of ancient civilizations.

Anne Hanson, an inveterate explorer of the unknown, has always followed when her curiosity beckoned. She crossed the ocean for her African Studies degree, and as a reporter would drive endless miles across town to get the story. Finally, when investigating her grandparents’ secrets, she journeyed into a bygone century, her vehicle painstaking and detailed research. Anne has written for the Boston Globe and numerous newspapers, as well as for corporate publications and the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s American Ancestors magazine. She lives with her husband in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Sharon Inglis, Vice President of Publishing for American Ancestors, has developed, edited, and directed the production of hundreds of books on a wide variety of subjects in over 35 years in the publishing industry. At American Ancestors, she uses her editorial and project management experience to publish Newbury Street Press genealogies, study project compilations, research handbooks, and other titles of special interest to family historians.

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