Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Recap of "Apres Vous" #Genchat Discussion Q2

#Genchat discussion "Apres Vous" question #2

"Apres Vous" - What Happens to Your Family History Materials?

Lots of activity on Twitter during this recent #Genchat two-day conversation about what happens to our family history after we join our ancestors!

The answers to question #2, summarized and listed below, are starting points to keep in mind as you approach your own decisions about keeping family history safe "apres vous."

Q2: How can you organize your family history collection now, with future generations in mind? Participants suggested:
  • Have information in one place, make it easy to understand (don't use your own shorthand and expect heirs to understand it).
  • Consider putting documents into binders, organized and with tables of contents, to keep things together and safe. 
  • Another idea is to use archival boxes, organized and with contents pages as a "finding aid" for the collection.
  • Use a consistent organization system for paper and digital information.
  • Weed out unimportant "junk" so collection is not a burden to heirs. This may help keep entire collection out of the trash later on.
  • Consider whether your organizational system is "self-explanatory" to next generation.
  • Label everything, identify people in photos, and indicate which side of the family tree your photos belong to.
  • Put photos and originals into archival sleeves. Label all!
  • Write about each heirloom, describe it, whose it was, the context, why it is treasured, how it came into the family and into your possession.
  • Create a "treasure map" so heirs know what is where.
  • Inform family of what other heirlooms/photos are in the hands of other relatives and/or institutions.
  • Write the year in four digits, 3/2/2020 instead of 3/2/20, for clarity.
Many thanks to Christine McCloud (@geneapleau) and Liam "Sir Leprachaun Rabbit" (@leprchaunrabbit) for hosting lively #genchat conversations every other Friday. It was a privilege to be involved in the "Apres Vous" discussion!

You can drop in and follow the conversation or add your thoughts during #genchat every other Friday. See the schedule and more information here.

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