Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Are You Organized Yet?

I've been thinking about this again after talking to Cuz. She sounded a bit dejected. We're both getting older and the time's coming to pass on our family history work to the next generation. Not right this minute but we're both old enough to be thinking about it. She said no-one wants her work because we live in a world of instant gratification and genealogy takes time and no-one's got time.

True. Sort of. If you're looking at it in the worst possible frame of mind.

It's not that people don't want your genealogy, which a lot of people say. Everybody wants their family history. It's a very IN thing nowadays. Everyone wants a family tree. What people DON'T want is the chaos of it.

I could stop here and tell some stories but I won't ...

Suffice to say --- Relatives come into your house and see papers and books and file folders and boxes scattered around everywhere and they immediately think, NO! I DON'T WANT THAT. They can hardly wait for you to die so they can throw it all away. Of course, chaos comes with the territory.

It's a matter of degree. If you can hand someone else a somewhat tidy package of files and instructions they might make it to the next step.

Step One for the Uninitiated: Take a Deep Breath. Do Not Be Afraid.

I wrote two posts on taking inventory over five years ago. My system hasn't changed much since then. I did what I said I was going to and I update the README files monthly to note any changes. It's gotten better tuned as I've gone along. And it takes the weight off my mind knowing at least I've tried to do something about it.

Genealogy Filing: Taking Inventory, Part 1
Genealogy Filing: Taking Inventory, Part 2