It’s the start of a new year, a time when many people think about making some changes. Here are four suggestions I have; I hope that genealogists take to heart these New Year’s resolutions for 2013.
Use Newspapers for Genealogy Research
Search through historical newspaper archives for each of your ancestors and find those old stories that over time have been lost to the family.
Family stories like the one in this obituary, containing the riveting recollection of Hannah (Clark) Lyman (1734-1832), who recalled the earthquake of 1755 so vividly all her life that it was referenced in her obituary when she died—77 years after the earthquake struck!
Resolve this year to find your family stories in old newspapers: document these stories, preserve them and pass them down.
Scan Your Family Photos and Documents
Every day we read about storms that destroy homes and wash away treasured family photos and papers. Don’t let that happen to you. Resolve this year to scan your family’s documentation and put it online. Secure it so that the information is there regardless of tomorrow’s storms or other disasters. Set up a reasonable schedule that you can stick to, such as putting up five documents/photos every week. Keep plugging away, and at the end of the year you’ll have over 250 items preserved for future generations online. Start now.
Put Your Family History Online
As a dedicated genealogist you’ve likely spent years researching your family—you don’t want all that hard work to be lost. Preserve your genealogy research by resolving to put it online. There are lots of terrific websites where you can post your family history. It’s a good idea to put your family history on multiple sites. I strongly recommend that you create a family tree on Ancestry.com and on FamilySearch.org; these are both good genealogy websites for hosting family trees.
Upload your family tree onto the genealogy sites you’ve chosen, setting the upload so that it excludes the current, living members of the family. Then add scans of your family photos and documents.
Make sure that as you add new genealogical data, you update the information on all your online family trees.
Resolve to do this today to preserve and pass down your family’s heritage.
Print Your Family History and Put a Copy of the Printed Document Online
To accomplish this, use Scribd.com, a handy, free online site for publishing and distributing your family history.
You probably have your family history on one of the many excellent family history software programs like: Legacy, RootsMagic or PAF.
Simply use the report function on these family tree software programs to print out your family history, being careful to not include the current, living members of the family.
By putting these reports online, every name becomes easily searchable via Google, Bing, etc. I have had many breakthroughs on my family tree by using Scribd.com.
Resolve to use Scribd.com to preserve and pass down your family’s history—that’s a New Year’s resolution you won’t regret.