Sunday, July 1, 2012

Who Will Pick Up After Me -?

As I look at my latest granddaughter (I have 5, plus one grandson), I wonder.   As I pick up toys and books after playing with her older sisters, I wonder.  As I dig into genealogical records, histories, and maps, I wonder.  

Who will pick up after me?  I fully intend to live to at least 100 years of age, as did several of my women ancestors.  But at some point, I'll be gone, and there will be family history & records on my children's genealogy, sitting on my computer, on Ancestry as well as others, and documents in boxes.  Several people in the genealogy community have commented on this issue recently.  I haven't yet found one person who is clearly excited about our/their genealogy.

One cousin on my ex-husband's side seems interested and somewhat excited about a few of the results of my research on that side of the family.  Good.  I'll remember that.  Maybe I can add a few unusual or unique bits of research data, or historical context which would grab her in particular.  

Perhaps one of my adult kids might be interested if I also help them do the family tree(s) of their spouses' families.   I've written a brief booklet of my dad's Gillespie-Bunn family tree.  It's brief because I'm stuck with several dead ends:  *Ulster ancestors in about 1800, which can be quite challenging research from a distance; and *Worcester area ancestors with common surnames and repetitive given names, again in about 1800.   I would need many more clues and occasional documents in order to go further with a measure of accuracy.  But I'm pleased my (first) Gillespie-Bunn booklet is written with interesting family photos, occupation sites, as well as old maps - it's a start. 

I think for now, I'll focus on another family line, and see if I can write something interesting on say, my mother's mother and her Terwilliger relatives.  Drama was her style, her younger brother was a successful play/movie director, and her grandfather was active in politics.  Hmmm, that might be interesting to others in the family. 

In the meantime, I'm slowly adding corrected detailed citations to my direct ancestors' lines.  As so many people have done in the past, I found it was so much more exciting to simply add names/dates/places etc. to a new ancestor, than to write out a detailed citation.  Sigh.  Catch-up time.

And I'm listing where all the paper and computer documents are, all the photos (being scanned), where trees are online and on my computer, passwords for access to subscription sites, and so on.  I'm also beginning to talk about this issue - who might be interested in taking care of this history.  Not that I expect to find a very excited thrilled relative - I'd be happy to find someone who is simply WILLING to look after it for awhile.  Surely someone will be interested in the mystery, the history, the photos and documents... Surely.

It's an important question:  Who WILL pick up after me?
 - Celia/Mom/Winky  

P.S. Winky is my 'grandma' name

1 comment:

Susan Clark said...

The eternal question of family historians, isn't it? I had a small thrill last week when my daughter-in-law expressed some interest. Best of luck!


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis