Monday, November 5, 2007

Your Name In History

BookSurge ('s Print-on-Demand service) has partnered with Ancestry to produce 277,577 books in a series entitled "Our Name in History". Each volume costs $29.95. Collecting the whole series would be expensive, but most people wouldn't want the whole series. They'll only want the volumes on their various surnames of interest.

This PR-Release says 90% of all names in America are covered. A quick search told me there wasn't a volume on the Dudelsacks, Cruvants or the Van Everys, but there was a volume on Denyers, Newmarks, Deutsches, and Blatts, as well as Vaneverys, and Kruvants. (So when searching, remember to enter variant spellings.)

Here's their standardized 'Product Description'. The only thing that varies is the surname:

The Newmark Name in History is a customized book offering a unique blend of fascinating facts, statistics and commentary about the Newmark name. The book is just one of an entire series of family name books in the Our Name in History collection. Each book in the collection is printed on demand and is compiled from hundreds of millions of records from the world's largest online resource of family history, This particular book follows the Newmark family name through history and makes the perfect gift for your family members and anyone interested in the Newmark name. In the book you'll find out about where people with the Newmark last name originated. You may discover the countries and ports they left behind, the ships they sailed and more. You'll get a better idea of where people sharing the Newmark name settled and where they may reside today in the United States, Canada, England and other countries. You'll get all this information and much more in your Newmark family name book. If your last name is not Newmark, then check out our collection of nearly 300,000 family name books to find other available names in the series.

The entries at I looked at (just a handful) seem to range between 80-98 pages. The announcement was today. I don't have a copy to review yet. Should have one by Wednesday.


Janice said...

I'd be interested in learning what those books have to offer.


Anonymous said...

My suspicion is the contents have to be such that it could be created by a computer program. The similarity in length -- between the Smith and the Newmark volumes for example -- supports this. I can't see them creating 277,000 truly distinct individual works.

I also suspect it's going to be put together in such a way to entice the reader without a subscription to Ancestry to subscribe. One page might have a list of individuals with the particular surname who fought in WWII -- with a note that their registration forms can be found at Perfectly understandable from a business model, but I hope the advertisements from Ancestry aren't too overdone.

I doubt there will be much specifics about individuals. However, with their databases, they could still produce a volume with significant data of interest.

I decided I had to order at least one volume to see whether more volumes would be worthwhile. Amazon's been pretty reliable in the past. I expect to receive my copy on Wednesday as they claim.

Anonymous said...

Well. It's now 28 December. Did you receive your copy and what are your deeper thoughts on the contents?

Anonymous said...

Here's the full review I wrote.