The 40th in a series on my family tree
Somehow over 35 years of holding the family archive and several moves I haven’t managed to lose anything. Then when a cousin on my maternal grandfather’s side started taking an interest in researching our shared ancestral roots I gave her some relevant records and photographs for safekeeping. This was 10 years ago. Since then, of course, everything can be digitalized and so she has photographed some of these documents and sent them back to me. In turn, I have been able to share more documents and photos. So easy!
Of course, when it comes to researching our mutual family tree the digital age has made it easy to share whatever information we find. How to preserve it is another matter. Do we print everything out and file it away so everything is on paper as well as digitized? What is the easiest way to pass everything on to whomever from the next generation might take an interest and want to carry it on, if anyone? And what about original documents? Are they best preserved in a relevant public archive?
Truthfully, this requires much more thought than I’ve been able to give it for this blog post, as life managed to get in the way. And I wouldn’t have written anything at all this week if not for the fact that I made the commitment to see this 52-week challenge through. If anything, this prompt has planted the seed for more considered thought with respect to how our ancestral archive might be preserved.
The Final Word
My grandfather, Stanley Lewis McDonall (1909-1987), proudly stored all the family papers he’d inherited in his father’s big, old leather railroad tote. I might even call it a “life preserver” for within its weathered grains and stitches were contained for so many years the evidence of ancestral lives. Given all the histories, data and other documents accumulated in the ensuing three decades since receiving this genealogical treasure trove, including those relating to my grandmother, Alice (Gordon) McDonall and her family, preservation is going to require rather more considered organization … and a much bigger suitcase.❦
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