Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Dear Randy: "How Do You Plan To Pass On Your Genealogy Life's Work?" - Post 1

Reader Marietta asked this question in a recent Email and suggested I could answer it in a blog post.  It may be a llllooooooonnnnnnnnngggggggggggg blog post (I wonder if that letter string has ever been found in a Google search before? I digress!)!  I've thought about this a lot and have blogged about it occasionally, but I'm older now and one never knows what will happen.

First, I want to identify my "genealogy life's work" so that we are clear on what's involved here.  It's more than a family tree in RootsMagic or on Ancestry.  I would like to think my "genealogy legacy" includes:

1)  My own life history in words, images, videos and memories.  Family, childhood, education, sports, professions, San Diego, vacations, hobbies, religion, politics, obsessions...um, maybe not the last ones.

2)  My genealogy record archive - the books, periodicals, reports, newsletters, binders, papers, photographs, digital files, etc. that fill up my real and virtual genea-cave.  I have over 80 linear feet of paper in the cave right now in stacks, piles, binders, envelopes, boxes, bookcases, file cabinets, drawers, etc.

I have about 50 gigabytes of digital files that are fairly well organized into family, surname and ancestor group digital file folders on my computers and an external hard drive.  There are also my presentations, collected digitized books and articles, digital genealogy magazines, society newsletters and documents, conference and webinar syllabi, etc.  In addition, there are digital records in online storage locations like iDrive, Dropbox, Flickr, Pinterest, Facebook, Forever, Ancestry, MyHeritage and FamilySearch Family Tree, and probably in places I have forgotten about!

3)  My family tree work - the names, dates, places, events, notes, sources, media, stories that are in my RootsMagic data file being updated daily at present.  Currently, I have over 58,000 profiles in my RootsMagic tree, which includes my ancestral families plus Seaver, Carringer, Vaux, Auble and several other linked surname collections.  Hopefully, some of it is unique research that needs to be found by future family historians.

4)  My genealogy blog archive.  Genea-Musings is approaching 14,000 posts at about 950 posts per year.  The Geneaholic has over 3,600 posts on a 300 per year schedule.  Not all of it is important, but it is still "work product," and includes some of the above categories.  The Wordless Wednesday photographs, the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun family stories, the  52 Ancestors biographies series, and the Amanuensis Monday transcription series are probably the most important from a genealogy view.

5)  The two family history books I have written (outdated now), and the digital family eBooks I have written (see here, but need to update).  I also want to make short story videos and photo books of my parents and grandparents family history that I want to make for my children and grandchildren. 

Some Thoughts:

I sure have a lot of stuff - and I doubt that any archive will want it!

I am sure that I have forgotten some important "genealogy life's work" items - what do you, my readers, suggest?

Will anybody care?  I can hear my descendants, and maybe friends, saying - "WGASA!"  [Does any reader know what that stands for?  If you're a San Diegan, you probably will.  If not, Google it!]

What comprises your "genealogy life's work?"  How are you planning to pass it on, and to whom?  I'm pretty sure Thomas MacEntee has written about this, and probably many others.

I will write more blog posts about all of this, and will try to identify what, and how, to pass it on, over the next few weeks.


The URL for this post is:  https://www.geneamusings.com/2020/07/dear-randy-how-do-you-plan-to-pass-on.html

Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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Marshall said...

"WGASA" of course, is the name of the monorail at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
If I recall correctly, it was chosen as part of a contest to name those things, and for sounding "African", and not for its acronym-ity.

The monorail is no more, and the Wild Animal Park is now some other name, too.

Marshall said...

It's quite possible that the original contest entry was made because of the acronym, though.

Carol Kostakos Petranek said...

Hi Randy, No one will want volumes of paper, but family members will take a couple of printed genealogies (when I get to writing them) and an external drive with materials. So, I am in the midst of going through my paper files, digitizing only what is important and trashing the rest. I am uploading the digital images to each individual's page on FamilySearch Family Tree (because it will be around long after the others have gone). I've made arrangements with a library to take my papers and Greek genealogy materials (this is a new field so there is interest in it). I'm dividing the family photos among our kids, but all of them will have digital copies of all the photos. About my RootsMagic files, the software will eventually be out of date which is why I sync everything to FamilySearch Family Tree. All of this is an ongoing project and I hope to live long enough to get it all done.

Danine Cozzens said...

Following this thread avidly. I'm a genealogical "Dead End Kid" with no grandchildren, nieces, or nephews. I have original family papers and household goods, so am researching areas where the families lived to see if any repositories might want them. I appreciate hearing what others are doing.

Lauri said...

I'm with Carol on this. I have most of the people on FamilySearch FT and am in the process of uploading documents that FSFT doesn't have along with photos. It is a fall/winter project for me so is on hold for now but I do know where I left off. I am also in the process of purging from the many family binders I have in hopes that they will be saved but regardless the guts of them will be in FamilySearch. I can also proudly say that I have only a small stack of paper that I needs to be analyzed as I have been working on this organization for many hours and many years. I have filled large trash bags with paper that was not needed. I can see the end though and I will getRdone.