Cleaning Out The Inbox With Family History in Mind

I’m a little embarrassed by this but hopefully, others can relate. I, um, have a genealogy inbox folders on several email accounts. Believe it or not, I have one email account that I’ve been using since at least 2004, if not earlier. Shock! Most people switch their email addresses MANY times in 8 years.

Recently I decided to go through the genealogy folders in the oldest account and clean it out. I’m finally processing all the emails that I’ve just dumped (er, saved) into the file. In my defense, that was a challenging time in my life. I had two very small children, I was transitioning between several states, and I was focused on catching up on my scrapbooks. I was developing my Power Scrapbooking method. Since that time, I have opened other email accounts and saved genealogy information into folders on those accounts. I had forgotten just how many emails I’ve received about genealogy and for how many years.

Back to the cleaning, I found several things from 2005 that caught my attention. First, that my mother’s aunt’s family was buried in Norwich, Huron, Ohio. Now, I could easily have found that information on Find A Grave.com. However, having an email pointing me in the direction of where to look, made the search easy. I knew exactly in which cemetery to look. There is a photo of the cemetery linked to the family but no individual stones. I don’t know if there are not stones and the photo is of the plot in general. So I sent a Photo Request and I’m am awaiting the results.

Copy of William Lester Long (1849 – 1925)’s Death Certificate

Second, and the most rib poking, is that I’ve had my 2nd great grandfather’s death certificate just hanging out in my inbox. For 7 years! Just waiting, humming ‘do da-do da-do, I’m here!!’. What’s crazy, is that this death certificate has been online for the past 2 years and I haven’t sought it out. In my defense, I haven’t been working on the Long Family as much in the past two years. But seriously? What else is just hanging out waiting for me in the inbox?

You know what else? The person who sent this to me also said he had photos of my Long relatives. Photos! I passed up photos? Erg, I’ve sent an email to Jerry Long’s 2005 email address. Is he still alive? Does the email still work? Will I be able to beg forgiveness for neglecting his offering of Long Family Photo? Ey yi yi!

Lesson learned… periodically clean out your emails!

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.

4 thoughts on “Cleaning Out The Inbox With Family History in Mind

  1. I can SO relate. I finally got around to entering some data from Find-A-Grave that I was directed to 2 or 3 years ago by email. Granted, not as far back as what you're dealing with.

    I find it helps to break down my email into folders, so if it's something specifically genealogy I might get to that sooner than, say, someone trying to sell me something which has a folder of its own.

    It's a desperate attempt at some sort of prioritizing. But periodically my email goes completely out of control for months at a time anyway. Because, damn!, there's just too many other things to do.

  2. I love Find A Grave.com and recommend it to everyone personally and on my blog. I have linked my family back six generations (the Sherwood side) on there. There is a family graveyard in Pennsylvania I have entered as well, and other family members found doing research.

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