9 Ways I Preserve Family History for My Descendants

Family History is meaningful when we preserve the perishable and share our stories. There will always be time to find a new relative to add to the tree (and often it takes considerable effort to do so), but saving and preserving our family history is my top priority. Here are 9 tasks that I do regularly to ensure our family history is captured and preserved for my children, grandchildren, and cousins.

Here are nine ways that I preserve family history for my descendants.

  1. Scanning family photos and organize them
  2. Photographing possessions of myself and my children’s ancestors
  3. Keeping a family journal/blog
  4. Writing the stories of my ancestors using A Recipe for Writing Family History
  5. Give DNA tests for my extended family
  6. Organize my physical and digital files
  7. Creating scrapbooks of our family life and the lives of our ancestors
  8. Upload sources, memories, and documents to FamilySearch
  9. Creating video segments about our ancestors and our lives

Sometimes a list isn’t sufficient. Below you’ll find videos, posts, and books that detail how I do each of these steps. I’ll share a few lines to my favorite tips and invite you to tackle some of these preservation/sharing projects with your descendants. You’ll be glad you did!

1. Scanning family photos and organize them

A 5-minute photo collection organization and labeling tutorial. Click here.
Tips on labeling hard copy photos. Click here.
Tips on preparing to scan photos. Click here.

2. Photographing possessions of myself and my children’s ancestors

Photograph your treasures.
To read about this example, Click here.

3. Keeping a family journal/blog

Preserve your family history in a blog book.
To learn more, click here to read.

4. Writing the stories of my ancestors using A Recipe for Writing Family History

I’ve turned 120+ ancestor’s names, dates, and places into stories. To learn how you can as well, click here.

5. Give DNA tests for my extended family

Andy talked me into taking a DNA test and I’m glad I did.
Watch his video to learn which testing company to use.

6. Organize my physical and digital files

Tips on how I use RootsMagic to organize my digital data so I can write.
Click here.

7. Creating scrapbooks of our family life and the lives of our ancestors

A revised edition of this popular book is in the works. Until that time, check out this series of scrapbooking posts by clicking here.

8. Upload sources, memories, and documents to FamilySearch

My son shares his tips on how to upload memories to FamilySearch. Click here to watch the video.

9. Creating video segments about our ancestors and our lives

Here’s a video I shared at a recent family reunion about my grandfather-in-law.

There are so many things you can do to preserve family history for your descendants. Pick something and begin. Then, you can add additional projects as the mood strikes.

Thanks to Elizabeth O’Neal for the June Blog Party challenge. Here’s her intro to the party “Whether you’ve been researching your family history for 3 years or 30 years, your research is precious to you. Think about how hard you’ve worked: the brick walls, the emails from previously-unknown cousins, the late night happy dances, What will happen to your research after you’re gone?”

To contribute to the party, write a post, visit the Party Hub at this link: June Blog Party: Remember the Descendants. 

The visit and comment on other blog party contributor’s posts and enjoy the inspiration. 

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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