It does not take long to get overwhelmed to the point you forget some of the basics to being a well rounded genealogy researcher. If you are just beginning or feel like you are starting over, review the reminders below that are easily overlooked.
Save the JPEGS
It used to be that photos were stuffed in the sock drawer without a name or date on the back. Today you take tons of pictures on your phone that stay there. Family member’s photos become treasures after the person passes away. Maybe you have even taken snapshots that still are trapped on your phone. Upload the pictures and share them with family members so that everyone can have a copy. Don’t’ allow your family to be trapped as JPEGS! The new Memories Gallery makes it easy to preserve photos.
Talk to family members
Make it easy for your family members to know who the family historians are so they know who to call on when they want to learn more about their heritage. Also, sit down and record or video the folks in your family that can help you make connections to the past before it is too late. One of the biggest regrets family historians admit to openly is not asking the right questions before their loved one passes away.
Transcribed recordings make it easy to access clues for family history research. These 20 Questions for Interviewing Relatives will help get your family member to open up and possibly share new stories.
You count too
If you neglect telling the history of anyone in your family, most likely you will forget that the most important history to preserve is your own. If you do not tell it, someone else will, and you may not like their version. Take time to make a permanent record of your memories, photos, and records. Start with The 4 Family Stories You Must Save for Your Children.
A hope chest, antique furniture, or wedding bands are family treasures that have a story telling how they came into your family. Perhaps they were acquired by an ancestor at a great cost or sacrifice. Tell the story, and include a photo. Too many family treasures get tossed to the curb, because the stories behind them faded with time. At one time, they were precious to your family. Be sure to tell your family’s Treasure Tales.
Homes have a genealogy that you can trace. Do you know where your ancestor’s homestead is? Chances are several generations grew up there – if those walls could talk! Share the stories that came down to you, and trace the records to show the details about how the property was acquired. House History Research can help you tell the genealogy of your home or your ancestor’s home.
Involve your family
Whether young or old, discovering your ancestors should be a family affair. Plan time to enjoy family activities together. Remember the rudiments of research may not be the thing that excites most of the people in your family to do family history. Make it fun for everyone, and keep what you do a short and memorable experience as Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, taught so wonderfully during his keynote address at RootsTech 2016. Subscribe below to the National Genealogy Examiner to receive the next article in your inbox.