Pass it Down… Organized!

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This post is part of the The Genealogy Blog Party: Remember the Descendants hosted by Elizabeth at My Descendants Ancestors
My Descendant's Ancestors
Her question this month:


My answer is one word: ORGANIZED!!

 Pass it Down Organized - Boundless Genealogy

Now, let me expand on my answer. As the one in the family that has been designated “the keeper of the memories”, I have inherited boxes upon boxes of family history materials over the past quarter century. Sadly, most of it arrives in a jumbled mess that other family members did not want to deal with. But, they knew I would. Thankfully that saved many priceless family treasures from the trash bin.

I am slowly going through the boxes: sorting, purging, and filing each item. The goal is to leave my descendants a concise, organized, accessible family archive that they are willing to preserve for the next generation.

Even in the day of digital research, our end genealogy products must be organized and accessible for future generations to use. After all, digital “clutter” will be even easier for future generations to trash than the paper piles passed to us.

My tip for every genealogist is to leave an organized genealogy collection worthy of your family archive, one that your descendants would be loath to throw away!

Cordial genealogy wishes,


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  1. Excellent point. I am not as organized as I should be but am somewhat. I wonder if anyone else would understand my filing system.

    • Perhaps you could leave a filing system guide, or index? That is what I am doing with the archival photo storage boxes I am organizing our extensive photo collection into. Hopefully the index stays with the collection, and makes it easier for future generations to know what we have and where it is!

  2. Ive been given the opportunity to scan every no set my aunt has o family history. It’s not In any particular order but by family. Ill
    take it

  3. Melissa, You are so right. Unless someone after us is also a genealogy addict and willing to organize a mess, we need to make sure what we pass on is searchable and neat. It will be much less likely to go in the trash. (:

  4. So important! Nobody wants to inherit a mess. I am so grateful to my grandmother for meticulously organizing her personal history, genealogy and scrapbooks before she passed away. They’re treasures (not trash!)

    • Your grandmother’s collection sounds like a treasure, indeed! I hope my collection will be a treasure for future generations someday.

  5. Excellent point! You want your work to be able to be reviewed and enjoyed. This is still something I’m working on.

    • I am still working on it too! I suppose it will be a lifelong goal to strive for. Thanks for stopping by, Andrea.

  6. Thank you for sharing your post in the Genealogy Blog Party, Melissa! Let’s just hope that our descendants carry on the traditions of being the Keepers of the Stuff, and don’t throw it all out instead (mine totally would do that)!

    P.S. I’ve nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. Your spam filter won’t let me post the link, but you can find it on my blog. 🙂

    • Yes, it still depends on our descendants willingness to Keep the Stuff. Hopefully, if our collection is well organized, and our descendants don’t want it, an archive or library will take it.

      Thank you for the nomination, Elizabeth!


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