Sunday, May 31, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
- The most important documents in genealogy are vital records - birth, marriage and death certificates. I keep these in an archival safe binder separate from all my other paperwork. I also include copies of Parish Registers. The binder is clearly labeled with its contents and I have added a sticker that says "Important Documents - Do Not Destroy". I am hoping that this will prevent any descendants from destroying these. I have also scanned all of these certificates and keep them on a DVD which I store in a different location as back up.
- Next I keep all other important genealogical documents such as wills, property deeds, military papers, citizenship papers and school records in a separate archival safe box. I have these papers organized by surname and again I have the box clearly labeled with its contents. I do not have a "do not destroy" sticker on this box. I will leave this decision up to my descendants although I do hope they will see the importance of these documents and decide to keep them and pass them on. I haven't yet scanned these documents and put them on DVD but I do intend to do that in the near future.
- I have two scrapbooks for my family history story. One for my husbands side of the family and one for my side. I will elaborate in a later post how I organize these and the type of album I like to use. I do not use original one-of-a-kind heritage photographs in these scrapbooks, I have copies made for the scrapbooks. I keep my original heritage photographs in a 3-up acid-free Pioneer Album and I have a note included that states that these are "One-of-a-Kind Heritage Photographs" and "Do Not Destroy - Keep in the Family". I have most of these pictures scanned onto DVD and stored off-site for backup. I hope that my descendants will want to keep the scrapbooks and possibly continue adding to them and passing them down. If, for some reason, they do not want the scrapbooks at least the heritage photographs should survive.
- I have one large "Research Binder" where I keep my Family Record Sheets (printed from my Family Tree Software) and behind each Family Record Sheet I have copies of all the supporting documentation. The reason I keep a printed record is because I don't want a descendant to inherit the Family Tree Software but not be able to read it. Technology changes so quickly and if a couple of generations passes before someone decides to carry on with the research it is a real possibility that their technology may not be able to read our DVD's. As long as no one destroys this binder the information will always be available to whoever wants it.
- The remainder of my research and notes are stored in binders, drawers and files. I have a filing system that works well for me and I'll elaborate more on that in future posts.
As you can tell there is a large accumulation of paper and although everything is well labeled and organized I sadly realize that it is a real possibility that my descendants may have no interest in keeping all of this work, or they just may not have the room to store it. By carefully keeping original vital records and one-of-a-kind photographs separate I am hoping that these will make it down the line for sure. They basically consist of one binder and 2 photo albums right now. I am also hopeful that my 2 scrapbooks and research binder will also make it down the line. My system is not perfect but hopefully not everything will end 'up in smoke'
I know this is hard for us passionate genealogists to think that someone may literally burn up all of our hard work but the reality is there. Take some time to think about how you keep your genealogical records. If something happened to you today would your descendants be able to identify the really important documents that should be kept from the records that perhaps are not so important to someone not as passionate as us. Or is there the possibility that a descendant could look at all that paper and think "I'm not interested in this" or "I don't have the space to keep this" and destroy everything, including vital records and photographs without even realizing it? If so, take some time today to rethink how you keep and organize your records. Don't let all of your hard work go 'up in smoke'.
Thanks for stopping by.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Now I have to humble myself even more and make a confession. A while ago I challenged you to join me in scrapbooking the saying "Home is where our story begins". So on Saturday I went down to my scrapbooking space to start on this project. Well, before I could start I needed to clean up a few things first. Before I knew it I was into a complete overhaul and reorganization. You see, before I recently joined the local genealogy group and started this blog it had been about 4 years since I had done any real indepth research on my family roots. At the time I had hit a brick wall in my research and reached the point where the only way I was going to get any further was with a research trip back to England . I had gleaned as much as I could from the internet and now needed to get into actual parish registers to go any further. As I could not afford to return to England I had put my own research aside and spent time helping others with their research. Of course, as we all know, the internet grows and changes daily. Realizing this, I am now ready to try again and see what new information I can find, especially now that many parish registers have been put online. One of the first places I intend to start is with the 1911 census which is also now online. One of my brick walls was with my grandfather who passed away when my mother was very young. All we know about him at this point is his name was Thomas Owen and he was born in Wales. That's like trying to find John Smith born in America. Maybe the 1911 census will give us some more information. Anyway, in order to proceed I had to go through some of my old paperwork and reorganize and refocus. Suffice to say I didn't get my scrapbooking project done but I did get some important paper sorting done. While doing so I came across an old letter that my mom had received from a relative many years ago when she was researching our family history (remember the snail mail thing). In it was some news that broke my heart. I will share that news with you tomorrow because it totally changed the way I do my family history work. Brace yourselves fellow genealogists because what I will share with you will break your hearts. Some of you will have already encountered similar heartbreak and perhaps have already changed how you do things but others may reconsider how they handle things after hearing this. Stay tuned.
Thank you for stopping by.
Friday, May 15, 2009
The internet, however, as great as it is in the world of genealogy brings its own problems. How trustworthy is the information we gather from the internet? How do we deal with the mounds of information and paper we accumulate from all of our internet information? How do we back-up and protect that information? How do we make all of our hard work relevant and exciting for our descendants? Over the next few blogs I'm going to write about how I try to deal with some of these issues and maybe I'll be able to give you some new ideas or information that you will be able to use as you pursue your passion to trace your roots.
BTW...did anyone take me up on my challenge last week to create something based on the saying "Home is where our story begins"? I have some ideas in my head but because of being under the weather this week I haven't been able to physically do anything yet. I'm going to try to have something done over the weekend and I'll post it as soon as it's done. I challenge you to do the same. Good luck and happy scrapping!!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
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Saturday, May 9, 2009
If anyone is interested in coming to the meetings they meet the first Wednesday of every month at the Wilson Center in Port Coquitlam. Each month a different topic is covered or they may have a guest speaker. The June meeting will be all about using and getting the most out of Ancestry.com and the bonus is it only costs $2.
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Friday, May 8, 2009
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