Posts tagged ‘Wills’

October 12, 2011

#Genealogy – Are All of Your Ancestors in the Will?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Family Chronicle magazine (September/October 2011 issue) has a couple of interesting articles in the current magazine .

Here are some I think you should read …

  • Eastern European Research Made Easier!
    Lisa A. Alzo discusses seven strategies to help you trace your East European ancestors
  • The Case of the Missing Sisters
    Donna J. Pointkouski recounts her research quest to find her great-grandmother’s elusive siblings
  • Writing a Codicil to Protect Your Genealogy Collection
    Patti R. Albaugh, PhD, looks at the simple steps you can take to ensure your family history research lives on

This last one caught this jester’s eye. We spend so much time on this research and perhaps even hire other genealogists to assist us, so there is a very good chance that the information you have collected might not be able to reproduced or it may no longer be cost effective to reproduce. So where are your family tree and source documents going when you have departed?

I think you should do the following (please send me your suggestions — emails can be sent on the right side of this column):

  1. Place a copy in the Family History Library; at least send your gedcom to FamilySearch.org
  2. Many local libraries or archives take Family Histories. For example, the Historical Society of PA (HSP.org) has a room of family histories (you should visit it) and if you have written a self-published book make sure a copy goes to your local library.
  3. You should also make sure that other locales you or your direct line family have lived also have a copy of your genealogy. In my case, I will do at least the State of MI Library , and HSP and probably Toledo Public Library. I may consider Buffalo Public Library (their Grosvenor room)  and perhaps Mt Clemens, Public Library too.
  4. What about the Source Documents (Birth/Death/Marriage/Nat’l  Certificates? Bibles?  Do you have someone in the family that REALLY wants these heirlooms? I hope they are reproduced in your self-published book.
  5. Send gedcoms to other genealogists who are family or interested in your family trees. I do this almost annually as a means of backing up my research to CDs and sending them to these remote family researchers; its a good offsite backup. You can put them in EMAILS, Write a CD (with copies of the source documents — fill up the 680+ MB) with the gedcom, use the Internet (Cloud anyone?) — for example use DropBox or Google’s Cloud and grant READ access to other genealogists and interested family members.

That’s my musing for today. I am truly interested in what you are doing. Drop me an email or leave a comment. I am sure other genealogists are thinking about this or perhaps need to be thinking about this.

Oh, have you documented your life too? I think a lot of genealogists, spend time on everybody else but themselves in the family tree. Do not forget to document your life.

Make sure your Will reflects the donations if you do not accomplish them while you are amongst the living. Give considerable thought to your heirlooms. What happens if the intended person pre-deceases you? Make sure your contingencies are accounted for. I do not know about you, but I think I will read Patti R. Albaugh’s article and do some thinking.

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