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Mugbooks (commonly referred to as County Histories) often include family and biographical sketches in addition to historical information. These sketches were solicited by subscription and often required a fee for inclusion. The addition of photographs or additional text was available at a higher cost.

A majority of the information included in the printed sketches was gathered from pre-printed forms and gathered a variety of genealogical and biographical information. Once submitted, sketches were usually compiled in a standardized format by an in-house editor  working for the publication company (examples include Lewis Historical Publishing Company, S. J. Clarke and Co, and others).

Because documentation was not required for submission, these sketches require intensive verification and should not be taken at face value.