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Preserving Your Family History- The Best Options

Many family historians spend their entire lives collecting documents, pictures and stories of their ancestors. Their project usually starts out as a keen interest in whom they are and where they come from. The journey becomes not only about acquiring the proof of their ancestors existence but it also becomes a journey of personal self-discovery. For this, the proof that exists in the documents, photos and stories that they acquire become very valuable to them. Here lies the problem. This creates the problem, what does a family historian do with his or her’s family history once they are gone?
The thought of stashing it away on a shelf, never to be seen again, is a painful thought for most of us. We want to share our finds if not today, with future generations. How do we do that? How do we ensure that future generations will be the recipient of this labour of love?

Your options

1.You can leave your valuable documents to a family member in your will or estate, ensuring this relative will carry the torch forward for you. Be sure you speak with them in advance. Let them know of your intentions. Although you can never guarantee that leaving a relative your family history documents will be handled with the care in which you intended, however, speaking in advance with the recipient will but your mind at ease that they have the same interest and respect for the knowledge you are leaving them.

2.You may wish to create a family history book and distribute to your family. Not everyone maybe interested today, but by leaving multiple copies throughout the family, you ensure a greater chance of future generations picking up where you left off.

3.You can distribute your book to libraries, archives and genealogical societies. A current project is under way with the Canadian Library Archives. Canada 150 is a national project to encourage Canadians to assemble their family history in time for the 150th birthday of Canada on July 1st, 2017. By depositing your stories in the national Library and Archives Canada, you will be leaving your families, community and entire country with an invaluable gift.

4.In this new age of digital books, you can create an e-book. You can provide your family history e-book to Google books, or or the BYU Family History Archive to name a few. This will put your family history book not only on the shelves of libraries but in the world largest digital library.

5.You can create an online family website, enlisting the help of younger generations to help you keep it up to date. This would aid in its survival long after you are gone.

6.You can distribute your family tree amongst the many online databases that exist today., World Vital Records and Footnote. Creating a tree in these vast databases allows you to spread your tree quite literally worldwide.

There are many great genealogy books available to help you decide on the method you wish to take to preserving your family history. Want to read more about creating a family history book and preserving your family history check out these related articles.

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