Scattered Leaves Press

Scattered Leaves Press is an independent, full-service, nonfiction publishing company, owned and operated by James W. Warren. We publish high-quality family histories, memoirs, biographies, essay collections, guidebooks, and more in hard or soft cover and as ebooks. (Click here for our services.)

Click here for more books published under the Warren & Carmack Publishing imprint.

Coming Fall 2024

The Bestselling Guide Revised, Updated, and Expanded

with Additional Sources, New Case Studies, and Annotated Writing Examples

female book cover

Discovering Your Female Ancestors

Special Strategies for Uncovering Information and Writing About Your Female Lineage

by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

 ♦ ♦ ♦

Madame Restell Cover draft #29a IMAGE 04 jpeg FINAL AMAZON SIZING DONE 230902 am 1158

Madame Restell: The True Story of New York City’s Most Notorious Abortionist

Her Early Life, Family, and Murder

by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, MFA, CG

At 8 a.m. on the first of April 1878, the chamber maid found Madame Restell’s nude body in the bathtub, her throat cut. The coroner ruled it a suicide. But is that what really happened?

Madame Restell was New York City’s most notorious abortionist of the nineteenth century. Some claimed she was an evil presence, but in reality, she was “a necessary evil.” At a time when there were no reliable means of birth control, procuring an abortion was common. Madame Restell capitalized on her career as a “female physician” and “professor of midwifery,” helping hundreds of women and men for nearly forty years while amassing great wealth.

Part of her downfall was in flaunting the wealth she attained from catering to New York City’s elite by constructing a mansion on Fifth Avenue, driving around in elaborate carriages, and wearing diamond jewelry and stylish silk dresses. At her death, she was worth millions and her notoriety made her a stain on the city.

So who was the real woman behind the persona of Madame Restell? Much of what’s been written, past and present, has spun mistruths about her. There is another side to the story of her death and much more to the story of her life.

Based on decades of meticulous research and never-before-published primary source materials, Madame Restell: The True Story of New York City’s Most Notorious Abortionist, Her Early Life, Family, and Murder offers an investigative study of American’s most infamous abortionist. In this riveting hybrid monograph of biography, family history, and true crime, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack chose to sacrifice the details of Madame Restell’s career and trials to concentrate on unravelling the true story of English-born Ann (Trow) (Summers) Lohman (1811–1878), the woman who would become this notorious nineteenth-century figure. Taking segments of Ann’s life, Carmack corrects misinformation, adds new material about Restell that has never been published, and presents a compelling argument that Ann’s “suicide” was, in reality, a far more tragic end. In addition, Carmack features for the first time in print details about Madame Restell’s English ancestry and her American descendants.

“Carmack’s unique theory that Restell was murdered is credibly presented, along with a primary suspect. Agatha Christie would approve.”—Andrew Alpern, architectural historian, architect, attorney, and author


“Sharon Carmack triumphs again! Her thorough and detailed investigation of the saga of Madame Restell offers compelling new insights into Ann Lohman’s life, occupation, and origins and it corrects prior biographical treatments of an infamous subject. For genealogists and historians, this work is an inspiration and an exemplar.”—D. Brenton Simons, President and CEO of American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society


“An intriguing, deeply researched exploration of the life and mysterious death of the notorious Madame Restell.”—E. J. Wagner, author of the Edgar Award winning, The Science of Sherlock Holmes

Madame Restell: The True Story of New York City’s Most Notorious Abortionist, Her Early Life, Family, and Murder, 2023, 288 pp., 58 illus., notes, bibliography, index. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-9972076-8-2. Please email us if you would like an autographed copy (US orders only): If you are an international customer and would like a signed bookplate to affix to the inside cover of your book, please order the book on Amazon or Amazon UK and send us your mailing address requesting the bookplate.


midlife medium cover with quote

Midlife Medium: A Genealogist’s Quest to Converse with the Dead by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Can we really communicate with the dead? Can anyone become a medium? Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, a fifty-six-year-old renowned Certified Genealogist with no childhood paranormal experiences, intended to find out. Midlife Medium: A Genealogist’s Quest to Converse with the Dead is an unintentional spiritual memoir in which Sharon engrosses herself in the world of mediumship to learn whether it’s possible for anyone to become a medium.

The journey is not without several unexpected, sometimes unsettling, consequences. Sharon grapples with her own mortality and discovers a little-known religion, Spiritualism. She also discovers that all relationships can heal, even if one person has died. But perhaps the biggest challenge of her new venture is the strain her quest puts on her relationship with her skeptic, science-teacher daughter. As Sharon tries to convince her daughter that there is science behind consciousness survival after physical death and that her mother has not gone off the deep end, they enter uncharted territory in an otherwise close relationship.

Midlife Medium: A Genealogist’s Quest to Converse with the Dead offers an often humorous, yet profound attempt at bridging the worlds of life and the afterlife. Sharon also includes a short guide and suggestions for readers to start their own journey to become a medium.

Midlife Medium: A Genealogist’s Quest to Converse with the Dead by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. 2022, 252 pp., ISBN 978-1646637089, paperback, $19.95 plus shipping. Published by Koehler Books.


A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Immigrant and Ethnic Ancestors, 2nd edition, revised and updated  by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Like most Americans, you probably have a diverse cultural background, a mixture of different ethnic groups–each with its own history and culture. Uncovering where your ancestors came from as well as how and when they arrived can be a challenge. A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Immigrant and Ethnic Ancestors, 2nd edition, revised and updated from her 2000 edition makes solving these problems a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Covering more than forty-five immigrant and ethnic groups, Certified Genealogist Sharon DeBartolo Carmack offers plenty of friendly, authoritative advice to get you started and keep you on track.

A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Immigrant and Ethnic Ancestors, 2nd edition, revised and updated  by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. 2022, 168 pp., illus., bibs. $15. This is an ebook (PDF) and will be emailed to you within 24 hours after purchase.

◊ ◊ ◊

Irish Records Cover RESIZED

Researching Ancestors in Irish Records by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

If you know at least the county in Ireland where your ancestors originated, then this guide is for you. Used as a textbook for Sharon’s four-week, Salt Lake Community College course by the same name, the book is divided into four, detailed chapters: 1. An Overview of Irish History; 2. Websites, Censuses, and Civil Registration; 3. Tithe Applotment Books, Griffith’s Valuation, and Ordnance Survey Maps; and 4. Church Records, Cemeteries, School Records, and More. The book includes not just how to access records created in Ireland, but how to use them with several case studies.

Researching Ancestors in Irish Records by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. 2022, 80 pp., illus., $15. This is an ebook (PDF) and will be emailed to you within 24 hours after purchase.

◊ ◊ ◊

If We Can Winter This 2

If We Can Winter This: Essays and Genealogies,The Gordon Family of County Leitrim, Ireland and The Norris Family of County Tyrone, (now) Northern Ireland
by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Premarital sex. Abandonment. Divorce. A love child. Mental illness. Domestic abuse. Betrayal. Alcoholism. Suicide and other tragic deaths. Many of these subjects lurk, often unspoken, in our family histories. If We Can Winter This opens the door to dealing honestly with not only the more common and pleasant aspects of a family history, but also life’s difficulties, treating them with understanding and compassion.

 A collection of interrelated essays, If We Can Winter This explores the Gordon family of Ardvarney, County Leitrim, Ireland, and the Norris family of Tamlaghtmore, County Tyrone, (now) Northern Ireland, and their lives in the nineteenth- and early twentieth centuries. It features the Irish women in Sharon DeBartolo Carmack’s family history, who did what they needed to survive. At the same time, it is a story universal to many immigrant women and their daughters. They came to America hoping to better their lives, yet once here other problems awaited them. Their stories likewise bring attention to the difficulties and successes of the men connected with these enduring women.

Taking lifeless statistics from historical documents, Carmack layers oral history and social history to weave together compelling narratives of the lives of those chronicled here. She also includes meticulously researched and fully documented genealogies of both families. Not only a great read, If We Can Winter This can serve as a model for writing your own family history.

Carmack practices what she teaches in her two bestselling guides: You Can Write Your Family History and Tell It Short: A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief.

If We Can Winter This: Essays and Genealogies, The Gordon Family of County Leitrim, Ireland, and The Norris Family of County Tyrone, (now) Northern Ireland. 2022, 272 pp., paperback, illus., notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 978-0-9972076-7-5. $21.99 plus shipping.

This book is also available on all Amazon marketplaces.


◊ ◊ ◊

MBH front cover with glow 201222

In Search of Maria B. Hayden: The American Medium Who Brought Spiritualism to the U.K., by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. 2020, 600 pp., 130 illus., notes, bibliography, index. $24.99 plus shipping. Please email us if you would like an autographed copy (US orders only): If you are an international customer and would like a signed bookplate to affix to the inside cover of your book, please order the book on Amazon or Amazon UK and send us your mailing address requesting the bookplate.

She was revered—and disdained. Maria B. Hayden of Boston and later New York City was the first American medium to introduce the religion of Spiritualism to the U.K. in 1852–53. Through her séances in England and America, Maria’s spirit communication convinced many of the elite and upper classes, as well as scientists and the clergy, that there is life after death. In a day when women were to be deferential to men, Maria forged ahead despite her critics, managing successful careers as a spirit medium, a healing medium, a clairvoyant physician, a psychometrist, and a medical doctor.

In this definitive biography, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack rescues Maria from the mists of Spiritualist history, not only returning her to her rightful place as an important pioneer, but also providing an engaging portrait of this remarkable woman. Carmack masterfully weaves together previously undiscovered archival, historical, and family documents with the social history of the Spiritualist movement to tell Maria’s life story.

This biography also includes accounts of more than thirty of Maria’s seances, 130 illustrations, and appendixes with reproductions of her medical articles, a handwritten spirit communication from one of Maria’s private sittings, and fully documented Trenholm and Hayden genealogies.

“Sharon Carmack, a well-known genealogist, has written a brilliant biography of Maria’s life…”–New England Historical and Genealogical Register

“The page count should not intimidate potential readers. The author’s writing style, numerous illustrations, and fascinating lives of Maria and her husband make for a quick read.”–The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record

 ◊ ◊ ◊

GH front cover image

Inheriting the Gordon Hips, Essays by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, 2020, 188 pp., $18 plus shipping.

For a sample essay, click here.

Note: If you are ordering from outside the United States, please email for ordering information.

Millions of Americans dig up their dead relatives. Their reasons vary: to learn who their ancestors were, to find living cousins, to prove or disprove a family legend, to walk the land where their ancestors lived…. Me? I’m a Certified Genealogist. I’m tracing my ancestry to learn about a critical part of my family history, something that truly matters in the greater scheme of begats, a legacy that will make a difference to the existence, lives, and self-worth of not only me, but my daughter, her daughters, and their daughters for generations to come. I’m after the woman who left me these damn hips and saddlebag thighs.

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack delves into the world of an only child in search of family, kinship, and connection, and how, through her long career as a professional genealogist and family historian, she found what’s important in life. Whether searching for dead relatives in cemeteries, treading the ground of her ancestral homesites in Ireland and Italy, or pondering her life’s experiences, Carmack strives to learn and understand the nature of her origins and living connections through profound and often humorous essays.

◊ ◊ ◊

 Tell It Short
Tell It Short: A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, 2nd revised edition, 2019, 152 pp., $18 plus shipping

Note: If you are ordering from outside the United States, please email for ordering information.

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 it 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

Microsoft Word - Document2

The Elements of Genealogical Style: A Simplified Style and Citation Manual for Writers of Genealogies and Family Histories, revised edition, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, 2020, 56 pp., $10.

This is an ebook (PDF) and will be emailed to you within 24 hours after purchase.

Table of Contents


How to Use This Manual

Part I: Style Guide  

Types of Genealogical Writing

Tips for Good Writing


Relationships and Proper Nouns





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

Additional Styles

Specific Words


Poor Word Choices

Verb Tense

Passive Voice and Use of First Person

Parallel Structure

Quoting and Block Quotes

Bulleted and Numbered Lists

What is a Reliable and Scholarly Source?

Avoiding Plagiarism



Common Knowledge


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, Funeral and Death Notices
  8. Online Databases without Images
  9. Online Trees
  10. Passenger Arrival Lists
  11. Personal Knowledge, E-mails, Letters, Oral Histories, Diaries
  12. Vital Records
  13. Wills and Probate


A: Sample Notes

B: Sample Bibliography

C: Proofreading Checklist

D: Numbering Systems and Creating a Style for Children Listings

E: Sample Narrative Genealogy

F: Elements of a Formal Essay

G: Genealogical Case Study Proof Argument Outline

H: Genealogical Case Study Compare-Contrast Outline

I: Elements of a Research Report

Other Books by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack sold by Scattered Leaves PressYou Can Write cover

 You Can Write Your Family History, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, 2003, 246 pp., $22 plus shipping, published by Genealogical Publishing Co.

Note: If you are ordering from outside the United States, please email for ordering information.

Your ancestors are composed of more than vital records and family group sheets. Behind the names and dates are tales of love, loss, resolve, and sweeping change—of history itself. Their stories are what will make them real to your present-day (and future) relatives, the ones who don’t care about city directories or census records.


You don’t have to be a writer to chronicle your ancestors’ lives. In You Can Write Your Family History, popular author and speaker Sharon DeBartolo Carmack explains exactly what it takes to create a compelling, highly readable, and entirely true story, whether you decided to write a biography, family history narrative, or memoir.


Carmack covers each element step-by-step, showing you how to


  • select the best type of family history to write
  • decide on a theme
  • conduct efficient research to flesh out a narrative
  • put ancestors in the context of social history
  • get the words down on paper

The results, you’ll find, are well worth the effort. There’s no better tribute to those who came before you than to share their stories with those who will come after.

Copyright Cover

Carmack’s Guide to Copyright & Contracts: A Primer for Genealogists, Writers & Researchers, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmak, 2005, 119 pp., $17.50 plus shipping, published by Genealogical Publishing Co.


Note: If you are ordering from outside the United States, please email for ordering information.

Before you borrow, publish, or sign on the dotted line…

You need to read this book!


Perhaps you’ve struggled with some of these questions:


  • Do I need permission to use something off the Internet?
  • Can I reproduce a newspaper obituary on my ancestor without permission?
  • How do I know whether something is in the public domain?
  • Does copyright protect my Web site?
  • Who owns the client report?
  • Can I publish my ancestor’s diary without anyone’s permission?
  • Is my lecture or lesson protected by copyright?
  • If I write something for my genealogical society as a volunteer, who owns the copyright?
  • Can I download GEDCOM files without permission?

All of these questions and more come up in the course of our genealogical endeavors. Now there is an easy-to-understand guide geared toward genealogists’ special needs. Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, in her popular, conversational writing style, answers your questions and explains in simple language copyright, rights, and publishing agreements and how it all applies to genealogists.


Whether you’re a

  • genealogy hobbyist,
  • genealogical society volunteer or officer,
  • professional genealogist,
  • instructor,
  • writer,
  • librarian, or
  • speaker

you need to know something about copyright. You have questions. This book has the answers.



Halfway Home cover


To order Halfway Home for SLCC’s GEN 1111 Genealogy and Family History Writing, please email, and he will invoice you for $22.95 plus $3.99 shipping. Published by Minnesota Historical Society Press.



Ital in Trans cover


Italians in Transition: The Vallarelli Family of Terlizzi, Italy and Westchester County, New York, and The DeBartolo Family of Terlizzi, Italy, New York, and San Francisco, California, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, 2003, 141 pp., $22.99, plus shipping, published by Newbury Street Press, Boston.


The story of Sharon’s Italian ancestors from the early 1820s southeastern Italy, their arrival in New York City, and westward migration. More than just a family history, it generally outlines the phenomena of Italian immigration and settlement in America at the beginning of the 20th century.

Front cover #3 180919 from Combined Cover Ver 2 10 Jul 2018

Lessons in Printing: A Memoir, by Klancy Clark de Nevers, 2018, 212 pp., $13.95 plus shipping.

In the middle of her college years Klancy de Nevers’ father began to hear voices. Her reaction to his breakdown was not what you would expect from a “well-brought-up” girl. At a time when housewives waxed floors, ironed sheets and washed woodwork, the mentally ill were often warehoused, or tranquilized and sent home to fend for themselves. Shielded by her mother from the reality of his condition, de Nevers willingly looked away, and didn’t mourn when he died.In Lessons in Printing, exploring the evidence carefully preserved by her family, she reconstructs her father’s life and reconsiders her own responses. The result is a meditative memoir, a journey from scorn to compassion, from guilt to forgiveness.Klancy Clark de Nevers has lived in Salt Lake City longer than she can remember, but her writings reflect her upbringing in the Pacific Northwest. She is author of The Colonel and the Pacifist: Karl Bendetsen, Perry Saito and the Incarceration of the Japanese Americans during World War II (University of Utah Press, 2004). Her essay, “My Life with Fonts,” recently appeared in Cagibi Literary Magazine.“In Klancy Clark de Nevers’ unflinching Lessons In Printing, the life-lessons are often hard—the sorts we recall our parents referencing when they asked, “Did you learn your lesson?” As with this memoir, such lessons only take on a regretful clarity much later. Along a path of meticulous prose, we are brought into a printer’s shop and are taught the lessons of a fading craft and a fading craftsman, Klancy’s small-town editor-father. Over the course of this memoir, both the printing craft and the printing craftsman diminish—recede in their own ways. But neither are lost. This lovely memoir reaches into a dim landscape of regret and lovingly reassembles its lessons in printing—not as museum objects but in a way that breathes new life into the ghosts and spirits of their past.” David Kranes, playwright and novelistNOTE: To order multiple copies shipped to one address, email for ordering details.170712-11c01 Peden book cover image RESIZEDThe Pedens of South Carolina, Volume One: John Peden and Margaret McDill and Their Descendants in America, edited by James Mark Paden, 2013, 425 pages, hardcover, $62.50 plus $3.99 shipping

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