Genealogy Today, by Betty Lou Malesky, CG
Preserving Your Genealogy
A family genealogy grows in spurts. Research may run along smoothly for a time and then youíre stuck on a difficult ancestor whom you just canít get past.
Most of us began searching only for our own ancestors, but we soon learned the importance of finding their siblings as well. Many times switching to sibling research will help solve a problem. The more siblings you research the bigger your genealogy file grows and the more interesting your family story becomes.
If you plan to publish your work, you need to research all the siblings in order to have a complete picture of the family. Traditionally all of an immigrant ancestorís male descendants were included in a surname genealogy, but female descendants were dropped. Perhaps a womanís spouse and their childrenís names were provided but once the surname changed the line ended.
The trend today is to trace all descendants, male and female. Despite the surname being different a daughterís descendants are still part of the family line. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary supports this modern view defining genealogy as, "an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor." Certainly daughters are part of the family group.
When I traced my ancestry back to Dr. Gaius Smith, a colonial physician who lived in Connecticut, Vermont, and New York, I discovered none of his sons survived to adulthood. While his five daughters all married and had families, he had no Smith descendants. I plan to publish a genealogy of his descendants, now over 300 pages long, but none are named Smith.
If however, I never publish, what can I do to preserve my efforts? The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana will accept an unbound "master copy" of a family history. In exchange for the privilege of allowing them to make a copy for their collection, they will make an additional copy for the submitter free of charge.
To take advantage of this offer, just mail your unbound "master copy" to Steve Myers, Assistant Manager, Historical Genealogy Dept., PO Box 2270, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-2270, with a note designating the work is for the "Photocopy Exchange Program."
Another option is available through the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). Written works in clear, readable format, preferably an unbound, double sided copy, are solicited for the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City. The genealogy is then microfilmed, added to the library catalog and made available to other researchers at the FHL.
A donor to GSU irrevocably transfers and assigns all right, title, and interest in and to his work, as well as any and all rights under copyright, and all other ownership or intangible rights, to GSU. Further details are at http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/RG/images/FamilySearch_Donation_Guidelines_rev_1-06.pdf.
When making your will, itís important to designate what you want done with your genealogical research. Often our children are not interested in Mom or Dadís addiction to finding family members, and have no appreciation for the effort, time and money that has gone into the project. Donít let you work become trashóprovide for itís preservation before itís too late..
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29 September 2008
02 October 2008