How to Preserve Your Genealogy Research

You’ve spent a whole lot of time, vitality, and cash tracing your loved ones tree. To not be morbid, however have you considered what occurs to all of that while you’re gone? Don’t go away issues to probability. Listed below are 5 methods to protect your family tree analysis.

1. Manage Your Family tree

(I hope you’re nonetheless studying.) In case your group technique is “File by Pile,” your analysis stands a superb probability of ending up in landfill. Can anybody (together with a non-genealogist) make sense of what’s what? Even well-meaning family members don’t have limitless time (or vitality) to type by way of every part. If others can’t make sense of what your entire notes, papers, copies, and scribbles imply and the way they match collectively, they’re more likely to say, “Overlook it,” and chuck the entire thing.

That is true for each our paper and our digital recordsdata. Are your pictures labeled (once more, each the paper and digital ones)? Are the paperwork saved in your laptop organized in a logical approach, with descriptive file names? Or is every part a mishmash of recordsdata like DSC_4718.jpg and perrycowill_174.pdf? Greatest case state of affairs is that somebody saves your laptop computer and exterior arduous drives and vows to “sometime” work out what all of it’s. (And we all know how usually these initiatives really come to fruition.)

A binder labeled “Our Household Historical past” is extra more likely to be saved than a pile of file folders strewn throughout the eating room desk. Janine Adams has some glorious recommendation on organizing your family tree recordsdata on this put up.

2. Write and Report Your Household Historical past

That is one thing we needs to be doing anyway. Don’t permit your conclusions to reside solely in your mind or in your family tree software program (which your descendants most likely gained’t know find out how to use or perceive its significance). Write them. It doesn’t must be lengthy. It simply must be written. Whilst you’re at it, document your recollections.

If you happen to don’t really feel comfy writing, attempt speaking right into a digital recorder or video digital camera. Transcribe and annotate an ancestor’s diary or set of letters. Make a scrapbook. Do one thing!

3. Cross It Round

After you’ve written one thing, share it. Ship a replica to the libraries within the areas the place your ancestors lived. Ship articles to the family tree societies for his or her publications. (Publication and journal editors are at all times in want of fabric, and so they often settle for submissions from non-members.)

By sending copies of your family tree writing, you’re serving to to make sure that even when your family tree recordsdata don’t survive, your conclusions will.

4. Discover the Subsequent Technology

Establish somebody within the household who could be serious about choosing up the baton because the household’s historian. If it isn’t one in every of your kids or grandchildren, what a couple of niece, nephew, or youthful cousin? Work alongside them now and when the time is correct, give them your recordsdata. (You may even need to put it into your will, so there’s no misunderstanding in case one thing have been to occur earlier than you may switch the recordsdata your self.)

And don’t assume that no person is . There are lots of people who’re within the tales, however don’t have an curiosity within the analysis course of. (Try this put up for some methods to not bore folks while you point out family tree.)

5. Donate Your Family tree — with Preparation

So that you’ve determined to go away your entire recordsdata to your native library or family tree society. You’ve even written it into your will. Superior! However does that library or society know that stuff is coming? Do they even need it?

Not each library will settle for unfastened supplies like your family tree papers. Additionally, it won’t match into what they accumulate by way of topic. (In case your native library is in Nebraska, however your analysis revolves round households in Maine, your library won’t need it.) Speak to your supposed library or society earlier than you draw up your will. See in the event that they’re and what form the recordsdata have to be in. Whilst you’re at it, embrace a money donation in your will to assist them offset the price of processing your analysis. (Even higher: Donate the fabric earlier than you die. It is going to save your descendants from attempting to determine what to do with it.)

Don’t be just like the ancestors who tossed out their letters and misplaced the household Bible. Take steps now to protect your family tree analysis. Future generations will thanks.

Wish to get extra out of your on-line searches? Click on to get a free copy of my information “5 On-line Search Methods Each Genealogist Ought to Know”

 

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