Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday: Make It Easier for the Next Generations of Genealogists

   I spent part of this weekend piecing together the first few generations of a Revolutionary War line, document by document. It was a long process. It's made me especially glad for an ancestor's wisdom. She left me with a lot less work. I thought I'd use today's post to share her wisdom.

1.Be responsible for documenting your own life. Keep a diary or some sort of record. Write a memoir. Label your photos. Remember those ancestors you wish you knew more about? Don't become one!

2. Teach your family their past through your stories.  For every dozen (or in my case, 60-80) that doesn't listen, one will. I fell in love with the stories. Who doesn't want to create another genealogist?

3.  Share your "paper" knowledge. Photocopy your documents and give them to anyone who might keep them. I've gotten most of my family memoirs from distant relatives who had no interest in genealogy... and I have no clue where the "originals" are.

4.  Make sure someone outside your family protects your work. Despite my ancestor's best efforts, I'm sure some of her documents are missing from the family. But I know where to look for more. She donated some material to the State Library and copied other when she joined the DAR. She made sure that her family would be remembered even if her immediate descendents weren't interested. Donate - within reason - photocopies.

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