Where do you fall in those "some people?" It is understandable that people who have spent endless hours and money to achieve genealogical success, do not want to give it to somebody less understanding and who has no realistic idea of how it was accomplished.
Your genealogy is personal, but yet your ancestry belongs to a broader world than just you. Other people claim those ancestors, which causes us to speculate that your genealogy belongs to the world. However, too many of us have seen our genealogical work appear as the work of others or blatantly shown on Internet with errors.
Whatever you choose to do with your genealogical records, consider taking care of your ancestors. The first thing is to identify family members who are interested in it. If they are close relatives, you probably won't anguish over sharing it. Arrange a sharing program whereby they send you updated family information in exchange. If you wish to hang on to the information until your death, consider a plan for it after your demise. Who will benefit the most from it?
In the meantime, make certain that you keep your genealogy up to date. New records are constantly appearing on Internet, such as the indexes and digital images on FamilySearch FamilySearch International. Honor your ancestors by trying to secure as much information and documents as you can. The doors are opening wider on Internet, so routinely check there for new information.
How are your preserving your ancestry? Are you printing out information or storing it in genealogical software on a computer? There are many software program available today for bothWindows and Mac platforms which allow you to create interesting charts as well as attach photographs. Think of the ways you can share your genealogy without turning everything over to the unknown world tapping into Internet or less caring relatives. You can print out large, unique pedigree charts then frame them or give them as gifts for birthdays, weddings or Christmas.
Because of the vulnerability of artifacts, it is a good idea to scan old photographs and documents. They can then be printed or stored on the computer. You can attach them to charts or genealogy narratives. Be sure that you take proper care of the originals. Proper care is using acid free storage boxes or holders. There are many companies who sell products, one being Light Impressions http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/archival-collectibles-storage/. Always look at the positive ways that your genealogy can be saved in negative situations.
Everybody ends up with stashes of unlabeled photographs. You can scan them, print them and send to relatives in hopes they will identify them. Do not throw them away. At the very least share them (scans) on Internet at such places as Dead Fred Dead Fred's Genealogy Photo Archive.
Another way to honor your ancestry is to put ancestors on FindAGrave Find A Grave: Noteworthy Gravesites. You can add biographical information and photographs. It is a good way to supply information without sharing everything you have.
Whatever you decide to do with your ancestors, keep in mind that you want them preserved in the best way possible. It is up to you if you share, don't share. Take good care of them
Source Information: Tracing Lines, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2012.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.
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