Sunday, August 19, 2012

Genealogy- What do I do with it once I am gone?

Have you thought about what happens to your life work your genealogy once we get the final date? This is a important item to be taken care of while we are still alive so that it does not end up in the dumpster. If you are not able to identify a family member that is interested that is the legacy of our family history we need to make plans for it's care once we are gone. Many opportunity exist outside of our family units to find a good home for our genealogies. An important step though is to make sure that we index the content of our collection. Make sure to identify the scale in which your family history covers. What are the primary surnames, locations and time periods involved. Does your archive include vital records, bibles, pictures, etc etc. Making a complete inventory and identifying significant items in your collection are important for those that will get the collection. The ability to make it a useful tool for others is hindered when the caretaker needs to start from scratch to inventory your archive. Make sure that items in the collection are protected properly. Put the information in a format that will allow others to use the collection. Several places exist that would be glad to have your family record. The library that holds the county genealogy collection would be a excellent place to start. In the state of Ohio the regional archives is a second idea for storage. Finally the Ohio Historical Society loves all things that relate to Ohio history. Contact these facilities prior to your passing to discover what their rules are on accepting new items. Most of all make sure to start quickly in taking care of it. So much time love and energy have been put into our work. It makes me cringe to think it is going to end up in a landfill. Many excellent ideas exist on the Internet to help you with this task.

1 comment:

Mariann Regan said...

Dear Derek, You make an excellent point. Talk about legacies! In July at our First-Cousin Reunion I asked a lovely women, my first cousin once removed, if she would like to take over my whole data base when I get older and stupider, which will surely be sooner than I expect. I think she said yes. At she was friendly! Now I just have to get busy and set up for that transition. Thank you for writing on this sensitive topic!