Archive for Organize Your Legacy

Thornton Family Resemblances Revisited

2019 (left) Archie Raymond Thornton Jr. and (right) Michael Ray Thornton

I once wrote an article for APPO (Association of Professional Photo Organizers) called Who Do You Think You Look Like? The Mystery of Family Resemblances. It featured a small selection of photos from both sides of my family.

This time, in honor of Father’s Day, I’ve gathered photos from six consecutive generations of Thornton fathers and sons. I only recently found the oldest two photos — Calvin and Nathan — in the course of my never-ending genealogy research. Once again, I find the similarities between all of these men striking, don’t you?

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Mom’s Boxes Part 8: The Gangster Hideout

The “farmhouse” after being painted white, pillars added, and lower windows remodeled into new front doors.

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 links to articles and such. Just capture the memories for future generations.

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The Gift of an Organized Family Tree

My own 4-generation pedigree chart, and my paternal grandparents, Archie Raymond Thornton Sr. & Hazel Islery Clay, on their wedding day in 1925. Aren’t they a handsome couple?

Who wants their chart done? Family tree pedigree chart, that is?

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!

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Climbing your never-ending family tree

7 Generation Pedigree Chart with sample projects indicated.

Your family tree is never really finished! It is forever growing on both ends. New descendants of your ancestors are continually being born (even if not to you, personally), and no matter how many branches and leaves you’ve added in the past, there are always more for you to discover.

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What’s a photo without the story?

Who is this saucy young woman? Don’t know? Don’t care?

She looks like fun, though, doesn’t she?

What if you found this photo in a bin at Goodwill? For sale on eBay?

Would you buy it? Would you feel vaguely sad that somebody got rid of it, and move on?

What if you found her in your parents’ stuff and didn’t know who she was?

Would you keep, or toss? Would you try to find the story behind the photo?

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Planning my virtual funeral – who’s with me?

Planning my virtual funeralI’ve been talking and writing for a while now about organizing for your legacy. This involves doing things to make it easier on your grieving loved ones when the time comes, by preparing for your own death. Activities can range from writing your own obituary and planning your own funeral; to preserving your memorabilia and organizing your family history; to creating a virtual will and downsizing and decluttering now so they don’t have to later.

So, when I announced to my dad and brother, at a recent breakfast together, “Let’s talk about funerals!” they didn’t even flinch, replying in unison: “Whose? Yours?”

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Mom’s Boxes # 7: Sharing family history with my family

Family website

Shhh! Don’t tell my family, but I’ve finally figured out what I’m giving them all for Christmas.

“What?” you ask…with bated breath…

Why, The Gift of an Organized Family Tree, of course!

“But wait…you’re an organizer, and a genealogist. Haven’t you already shared your family history with your family?”

Well…yes and no…

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Top 10 Reasons Why Genealogy is for Everybody!

What comes to mind when you hear the word “genealogy”? Does it sound boring and time-consuming? Or, does it sound fascinating in the same way that solving a mystery or reading a historical novel can be?

Pedigree charts might sound fancy, but they’re really just family trees. If you think pedigrees are just for royalty, dogs, and horses, think again!

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‘Death Cleaning’ isn’t as scary as it sounds! (4 short book reviews)

Sometimes I notice a meaningful, but unintentional, theme among the books I read.

Here are some recent good reads:

Have you heard of Swedish Death Cleaning?

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Family history: How to organize your genealogy research materials

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.

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