What happens over three generations to the family history records in a family? And what will happen to your records over the next three generations in your family?
My Great-Grandfather was a prolific genealogist. He did his best to preserve his records for coming generations, but the large collection and methods of preservation have been a challenge in my family. Likewise you can’t see into the future, but there are measures you can take now to help make sure your Great-Great-Great-Grandchildren can learn about their heritage.
In four generations we have gone from ledgers, journals and letter writing, to iPads, YouTube and Megadatabases. We can’t predict what the next three generations will bring, but we know it will be vastly different than what we have now. How can you hedge your bets and make sure that future generations will be able to learn about your family’s history?
Joseph Hatten Carpenter: Genealogist
My Great Grandfather left us 18 volumes of family group sheets, 33 personal journals, one genealogy chart, and several loose ledgers, letters, a book of poems, and etc. He intended that they be donated to an archive for safekeeping. As far as we can tell, the family didn’t exactly do what he asked, but it has turned out ok. The family group records that would have been discarded by an archive have been kept in the family which is now working to digitize them. The journals have been preserved in an archive where everyone has access to them. Joseph had 5 children,18 grandchildren, and now has great-great-great grandchildren. Different branches of the family have ended up with different heirlooms.
“One arises from the study of genealogy with a clearer and more charitable conception of the whole brotherhood of man.” –My Great Grandfather, Joseph Hatten CarpenterI’m sure my Great-Grandfather would be pleased if you were able to better archive and pass on your family history records because of the lessons you learned from his experience. Good luck.