I have no descendants and have given up on ever having them. It's ironic that I've been the lifelong history nut and collector of all the family items (including my husband's side). To pass all this on after I'm gone:I had a lovely encounter this week that left me thinking about how we keep our family history alive. I had gone into an office supply store to mail a package and caught a glimpse of a large certificate that another customer was removing from a frame. I stopped and asked the man if I could see (yes, I'm nosy that way). He was delighted to show me the certificate his father had gotten for his service in WWII, which he had combined in a frame with a photo of the men in that unit. He told me he had brought the certificate and photo in to copy them so he could share this important history with his children and grandchildren. Then he thanked me for letting him show me his history! I loved seeing it and thought he had a great idea to make copies so his descendants could have a record. It made me think about ways I could share the genealogy I've done with my son.
So - how do you preserve/display/share what you've learned about your family?
- I have posted GEDCOMs on FamilySearch and Ancestry.
- I've written an illustrated history of each branch; I've shared the histories with anyone who's been interested and hope to submit them to the Internet Archive (archive.org) to make them available permanently to anyone who searches for the names in the future.
- I've scanned most of the photos I've collected and shared copies with anyone who's been interested.
- I'm leaving instructions with my sons on which relatives to offer the original photos, document, mementos, etc. to when I die.
- I will donate my Civil War ancestor's diary to the State Historical Society of Iowa if they will take it.