Legacy Books


Everyone has a story to tell.

Your story is important. It tells the world who you are and what life means to you. It tells about the struggles, the joys, the heartache, and the grief that comes along with living. Your story is important because you make a difference, whether you realize it or not. 

Shouldn't you share your story with the world?

What is Legacy Books? 

Legacy Books takes the highlights of your life and puts them together in a soft-cover book that your family will treasure for generations to come. It contains photos and recipes, life lessons, and traditions, which you can pass on to your
children and grandchildren.

Our service consists of 3 video sessions of 1-2 hours each. I will ask you questions about your life and videotape the answers, or you can start at the beginning and share your story with me. You will have the opportunity to read it and give feedback before it is sent to the printer.  Below is an excerpt of a Legacy Book:

The Story of My Life

By Betty Meis

I was only 5 years old when we moved to Cedar Rapids from Nebraska City, Neb. My dad lost his job at the Otoe County Canning Factory and his brother convinced him to go to Cedar Rapids and try to get on at Wilson’s Meat Packing Plant. So, my dad loaded up the family and all of our possessions and we drove to Iowa.  When we got there, however, the job had already been filled. He was put on a waiting list, but it took a long time for him to start working there.

We lived with my grandparents, my dad's folks, in a two-story house on 7th Street and 6th Avenue SE. We lived upstairs for a while, and then moved across the river to a small house. It was so cold in the winter! The only source of heat was a pot-bellied stove in the living room. As a result, we didn’t live there long; we moved to a house on 8th Street and 8th Avenue SE, across from Mercy Hospital.

My dad worked a few odd jobs while he waited for a job opening at Wilson's.  To make ends meet, he caught fish from the Cedar River. Carp was the worst. It tasted like river water. Yuck. The catfish was pretty good, but it had so many little bones. He also hunted rabbit and squirrel because meat was rationed.

Somehow we survived the Depression. I don't remember ever going hungry, but I know my folks did. There wasn’t enough food for everyone, so they went without. I remember that only happening once, but I imagine it happened more often.

We didn’t have a lot, but I never thought too much about it. Everyone I knew was going through difficult times. One time I asked my mom for a penny and she said she didn’t have it. Can you imagine? It seems so funny now.

Family Tree

Cynthia Petersen


 Something happened when I turned 40. I became obsessed with my family's history. It started with a few names, such as my grandpa's relatives in Germany, and soon I was uncovering bits and pieces of information about my relatives I never even imagined. I discovered Find-a Grave, which led me to genealogy trees. I learned that one great-great-great grandfather was a sea captain in England. A voyage from Ireland to England decided his fate, when he, along with several crew members, were lost at sea. 
I also have an ancestor who was a knight and another who was a store owner. My great-grandmother x 9, was the first female poet in America, and her husband was one of the first governors of America; all this from one branch of my family tree! The other side of the tree, my father's side, consisted of life in Prussia, Germany, and I found myself immersed in the history of the homeland of my ancestors. I spent hours researching both of my parents' families, and still only came up with info for a few branches; and there is STILL so much more to discover!   
I am in the process of writing my family's history, so I can publish it someday. I want to make the information available to future generations, so they don't have to spend countless hours trying to uncover it themselves. My grandchildren may not appreciate it now, but someday they will be looking for answers about where they come from, and I will be able to provide that for them. I can't think of a better gift to give to my loved ones.