Friday, December 19, 2014

What Happens To Your Research If Something Happens To You?

It's a questions one has to ask.  We put a LOT of time and resources into the search for our roots.  It is our legacy; our heritage; our cultural identity.  It is as much a part of our estate as the land we own or the money we have in the bank.  It is more than Aunt Lydia's breakfront or great-grandma's silver service.  It is the story of who we are and how we got here - the blood and bones of our family.  Let's face it, you never know what each new day will bring.  It would be a shame for all of that work to go to waste if something untoward happens.  As much as we might like to hope, we can't count on having even one other "genealogy obsessed" member of our family to carry on our quest.  Not to mention one that would be up-to-speed on our project.

A Google search of "how to protect your genealogy research after your own death", "passing on your family research after death" and numerous like-worded searches only came up with one source:  Michael Tom's Legacy Blog

There is a great deal of useful information in Michael's blog, but the bottom line is that you have to do what is necessary to preserve the legacy you have been working on.  If, like many of us, you have spent years in this pursuit, and have spent money on travel, researchers, documents, translators, etc., you have a substantial investment in this "hobby".

Alex Haley, the author of Roots  is often cited as the driving force behind the world-wide obsession with genealogy.  He was quoted as saying, "In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past, and a bridge to our future."

Take the time to think about the investment you have made.  Read Michael's blog; talk to a trusts & estates professional.  Make sure it doesn't all end with you.

-- Submitted by Denise Doyon

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