In my last blog post — Family history: Why organize it if you don’t care about genealogy? — I proposed six family history categories: keepsakes, memorabilia, photos, genealogy research materials, medical history, and pedigree charts (aka family trees).
This post is specifically about organizing your genealogy research materials.
Did you know that not everyone cares about genealogy? Gasp! It is the #2 hobby in America, though. (Do you know what the #1 hobby is? Keep reading to find out!)
Sometimes when I talk about family history I am, indeed, referring to genealogy. But not always. So, what else falls under the umbrella term family history? Think about your own things as you read this list. Some items will belong to more than one category.
We’ve all inherited and collected keepsakes and memorabilia. Are yours a legacy, or a liability? A blessing, or a burden? Are you afraid to open the boxes that have been languishing in your garage or storage unit? Do you feel overwhelmed by piles of your own photos, letters, kids’ artwork, and other tangible memories?
I am a new Keepy user, not an experienced one. I am personally child-free, but I have recommended it to organizing clients as an option for managing their kids’ paper clutter. Meanwhile, I am intrigued by the possibilities of using Keepy for genealogy purposes, and the more people who agree, the more likely it will be customized to this use.
Disclaimer: Keepy’s creator, Offir Gutelzon, gave me a free year’s unlimited account to play with, but it only costs $29.99/yr. — hardly enough to sway my opinions!
If you got hit by a bus tomorrow, what would your loved ones be left with? Happy memories, or sad ones? Clutter and uncertainty? Or clear instructions and valued keepsakes?
What will your legacy be?
READERS: This is the sort of story I intend to write more of over the next few years to share with my family. It’s also the sort of story I encourage you to write about your own family! It doesn’t have to be fancy, with footnotes and such. Just capture the memories for future generations.
This is a different kind of New Mexico family history in that no one in my family was born in New Mexico! My mom, her parents and two sisters, and my three brothers were all born in Indiana. My dad and I were both born in California. But most of us came to call Albuquerque home.
If you think pedigrees are just for royalty, dogs, and horses, think again! Genealogy makes history personal for everyone. And a family tree makes a great gift for a loved one…or for yourself!
I just finished a 4-generation pedigree chart (up to the 8 great-grandparents level) for a client. I sent her a bunch of supporting files to print out and put into a binder, along with some family photos, using the chart as the binder cover, for her Dad’s birthday. Here’s what she and others have had to say:
I’ve long been intrigued by family resemblances. I also love the genealogy TV show, Who Do You Think You Are?, which inspired my blog title.
I wrote this post for APPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers), and I’m sharing it here so you can enjoy it too!
I wrote this blog post for APPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers), but it’s essentially Mom’s Boxes Part 4, since I found most of the photos in mom’s boxes.
Photos keep memories alive. And they tell the story of a family over time. They show how it grew and how it changed. Some people have the forethought to mark the passage of time by taking photos of their kids each year wearing the same outfit (oversized at the outset), or standing next to a fixed object. And sometimes everyday objects in a family’s life seem to inadvertently bear witness to these changes for us.
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