Scattered Leaves Press

170712-11c01 Peden book cover image RESIZEDThe Pedens of South Carolina, Volume One:  John Peden and Margaret McDill and Their Descendants in America, 2013, 425 pages, hardcover, $62.50 plus $3.99 shipping
Edited by James Mark Paden

The Pedens of South Carolina: John Peden and Margaret McDill and Their Descendants in America, Volume One, is a completely new book, based on recent research and analysis, expanded records access, and DNA testing. It details the first five generations of the family with the sixth generation descendants listed as well. The title change reflects the descent of these families from the Pedens who settled in colonial South Carolina, as opposed to unrelated Peden families that settled in colonial Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina.

The new book begins with six chapters that narrate and document the story of the family’s origins in Scotland and Ireland, their emigration and settlement in South Carolina, participation in the American Revolution, the early ties with Chester County, and the settlement of Fairview in 1785 and 1786.

One chapter for each of John and Peggy’s ten children follow. Each begins with a narrative of the early history of that branch with full documentation. Extensive research in original documents (land grants, deeds, wills, census) has greatly expanded and improved the accuracy of that history over the earlier books. The bulk of each of these ten chapters is a listing of the descendants of that line through the sixth generation. A simplified descendant numbering system has been utilized that makes it much easier to follow the lineages. The book’s every-name index includes more than 8,000 individuals.

The Pedens of South Carolina reflects the contributions of dozens of descendants who shared information, and years of research and work by the historians of the individual family lines: James T. Hammond, Barbara McDaniel Ray, James Mark Paden, Bruce Price Reynolds, Monya Fillinger Havekost, and Sharon D. Peden. Mark Paden’s dedicated leadership, sound judgment, and persistence as author of the narrative historical chapters, and as the editor, is reflected throughout the book. Peden descendants have a heritage, and a record of their family, of which they can be proud.

Hardcover, 425 pages, 8-1/2″ x 11.” Published 2013 by Warren & Carmack Publishing.


NOTE: To order multiple copies shipped to one address, email for instructions.

Cover Draft #03-68 Corrected for DMT  16Feb2016   front cover JPEG FRAMED  01Mar2016 copy
Tell It Short: A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief, 2016, 142 pp., $15 plus shipping

Does the thought of writing your family history send you straight back to bed to hide under the covers? You’re not alone. Most family historians agree that they enjoy research the most. What if there was an easier, more manageable way to share your family history, while telling the life stories of your ancestors in an interesting and factual way? There is.

Tell It Short: A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief comes to the rescue, guiding and inspiring you to craft family history essays—the nonfiction version of the short story.Tell It Short gives those interested in writing their family history an alternative to the all-encompassing book by exploring the creative nonfiction essay form. This guide will show you how to share the stories of your ancestors’ lives in a completely factual yet compelling manner. You will learn about

  • key elements of effective nonfiction storytelling
  • ways to put ancestors into historical context without fictionalizing
  • methods for using appropriate speculation
  • several categories of family history essays: memoir, personal, humor, travel, food, and literary journalism
  • strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading

Tell is Short contains helpful instruction, examples, and ten sample family history essays by Dinty W. Moore, Rebecca McClanahan, Sonja Livingston, and more. This guide will help you take your family history writing beyond the traditional begats into short works your family will enjoy reading.

Review: Tell It Short — A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Betterway Genealogy Books

The Elements of Genealogical Style: A Simplified Style and Citation Manual for Writers of Genealogies and Family Histories, 2017, 46 pp., $5. Ebook as a PDF will be emailed to you within 24 hours after purchase.

Table of Contents


How to Use This Manual

Part I: Style Guide  


Relationships and Proper Nouns





  1. Commas
  2. Quotation Marks
  3. Apostrophes
  4. Hyphens and Dashes
  5. Semicolons
  6. Colons
  7. Brackets
  8. Ellipses

Additional Styles

Specific Words


Poor Word Choices

Verb Tense

Passive Voice and Use of First Person

Quoting and Block Quotes

Bulleted and Numbered Lists


Part II: Citation Guide  

Footnotes or Endnotes?

Why Do I Need a Bibliography?


  1. Book by One Author
  2. Book by Two Authors
  3. Book by Multiple Authors
  4. Book with No Author
  5. Online Books


  1. Article in Print
  2. Article Online
  3. Article No Author

Record Sources

  1. Censuses
  2. Cemetery Records and Tombstones
  3. City Directories
  4. Land Records/Deeds
  5. Military Records and Pensions
  6. Newspaper Articles
  7. Obituaries and Death Notices
  8. Online Databases without Images
  9. Passenger Arrival Lists
  10. Personal Knowledge, E-mails, Letters, Oral Histories
  11. Vital Records
  12. Wills and Probate


A: Sample Notes

B: Sample Bibliography

C: Proofreading Checklist

D: Numbering Systems, Creating a Style for Children Listings, and Sample Genealogy

E: Elements of a Formal Essay

F: Genealogical Case Study/Proof Argument Outline

G: Elements of a Research Report


Guide to Genealogical Writing, by Penelope L. Stratton and Henry B. Hoff, 2014, published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 195 pp., $19.95 plus shipping.


Using examples from NEHGS’s award-winning publications, Stratton and Hoff show you how to write your genealogy clearly and accurately—from building a genealogical sketch to adding images to indexing. The book also deals with how to include adopted children and stepchildren, aspects of double dating, and other issues faced by genealogical writers. 

Coming Soon!

  • Inheriting the Gordon Hips, a collection of humorous essays by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack