Tuesday, August 16, 2011

5 Reasons My Descendants Will Love Me

Since writing my last post on why I'm going to be one of them ancestors, I've been thinking. While there are definitely things that will drive my descendants crazy, there are also some good reasons they'll love me.

1) I'm a packrat. While this drives some people up the wall, a descendant wanting to learn more about me will thank me for providing plenty of material for them to know me better. I have letters and cards received as a child, mementos from trips I have taken and places I have visited, and more. I only wish my ancestors had been packrats.

2) I've already started tracing our ancestry. While a good genealogist will always want to double-check information, the fact that I cite my sources will make things easier on them. I've also taken the time to note discrepancies between records and fact.

3) I'm a collector. I have several sets of antique dishware, various collectible dolls and figurines and a number of vintage toys. Hopefully my descendants will appreciate the items I have collected and add to them, but if they're not collectors, they'll probably like the money they'll bring.

4) I label and protect my pictures. Nothing is more frustrating than finding an old picture with no indication of who is in it. At a minimum, I try to list the names of people in pictures and the date it was taken. When I remember, I also note locations and relationships. As for protecting pictures, I frequently back them up to not only online storage, but also CDs which I give to other family members. Printed pictures are stored in archival-safe albums and I'm encouraging my mom and mother-in-law to move theirs from the old style magnetic albums as well.

5) I'm a writer. While I don't keep a diary, I do write two blogs, one of which I use to share my family data. I also work as a freelance writer so at some point in the future, one of my descendants may come across my byline on something they're reading. One of my greatest finds was a weekly newspaper column written by my great-grandmother. I never knew she was a writer. While the column was only an account of what had happened in the community that she lived in, I still felt a connection to her when reading her words.

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