Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Planning for Family Papers

   I've heard too many horror stories recently. People didn't plan for their family papers and photos. Descendents have sold them to antique stores or on Ebay. Some disappear forever.
   I've been relatively lucky. Most of my ancestors handed items down to people they knew would care for them. A few were more proactive. One of my ancestors donated her family papers to the Connecticut State Library. Another donated art to a local museum. In doing so, they ensured the items were to be protected. And, as I remember often, they also made sure the items would be available to me when I wanted them - as well as to their other descendants.
   So, while I'm being thankful, I try to remember  to plan for my own collection. What will I do with my papers? Hopefully it won't come up for a long time, but it never hurts to be prepared.


  1. I think that is a great point. I've told my husband what to do with my papers if something happens to me, but I should probably spread that knowledge a little further. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Sadly, I think the damage is often done two to three generations out, when people no longer recognize the names. I have to say, I love my ancestor's planning...

  3. My ancestors did zero planning, but fortunately for me, a few left me a treasure trove of information. It's been tedious to piece it all together and slowly but surely I'm getting there. I really need to get myself organized, though, so it doesn't stop with me. First step is to give my user name and passwords to my husband and kids - thanks for the reminder to get that done!

  4. Good topic, Bryna, and sometimes a challenge. I inherited photos with first names on the back, but once in a while full names and if I was lucky, who in the family the person was related to!

    And Debi's right--give user names/passwords to others so they can access our family trees and software. I'm lucky enough to have one "volunteer" genealogist for the next generation on both sides of the family. They've been shown what's what in my home office, and I clearly marked archival boxes with surnames so the right person gets the right boxes. Just in case, of course :)