Your Quick Tips, 19 January 2009

Today is Tomorrow’s History
Being the family historian, I am immediately thrilled when I find something written by my ancestors—a card, a letter, a note to the milkman; even a shopping list takes on added proportions, because it gives me an insight into their lives.

I have been concerned for some time now, that in the age of e-mails, computers, and e-cards, my descendants won’t have the same benefits, so this year I decided to take matters into my own hands. Having five married children and sixteen young grandchildren, I asked each family if, instead of a purchased Christmas gift, they would give me a potted [condensed] history of their lives over the past year. I told them they could do it in any form they wished, it could be done by one member of the family, as a project by the grandchildren, just whatever they were comfortable with.

Christmas came and I can honestly say I have never been so thrilled with the gifts I received. Some had made scrapbook pages of special events. Some had written a month by month run down and included photos. One was excerpts from her diary, and another had included pictures drawn by each of the children. Still another had copied and laminated school awards and prizes. Every one of the projects was special and unique.

As they all read each other’s projects there were lots of oohs and ahs and, “you didn’t tell me that.” Everyone enjoyed it so much that we’ve decided it’s to be a regular Christmas event and this is one family historian who is a lot happier knowing that our tomorrow’s history will not be lost.

Mary Rogers
Wedderburn, Australia

Look at What You Have in Storage
Fourteen years ago I put a box of family pictures and papers in a box after my parents died. When I saw the box as I was putting away my Christmas decorations I pulled it down and found a picture of great-grandparents that I didn’t know I had, newspaper items on the family, and my grandfather’s original naturalization paper. What was I thinking? Ok the items had been a storage facility for five of those fourteen years but I hadn’t looked even after they were retrieved. Lesson learned: Go over the items you have. You might find something you didn’t even know you had.

Linda Rosedahl

Broken Names
As I read Jenifer’s tip about looking for name variants, I had to chuckle as I recalled the most amusing altered name I have found. On a census record, my great-grandfather Bonkemeyer’s surname was listed as Meyer, his given name and initial as Bonk E. It does help to be reminded often of the little tips that help make genealogical research more productive.
Peggy G. Burton
Administrator FTDNA Atwater Surname DNA Project

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One thought on “Your Quick Tips, 19 January 2009

  1. I have taken the Christmas newsletters written both by my children and me, and put them in sheet protectors in a binder. It makes it easy and fun to look over the past years.

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