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If you are reading this, you almost certainly have an interest in, or are seriously active with, researching your family history. That is, you are a genealogist or considering to become one.

So, just think. If all of your ancestors had written their autobiographies and added bits of related history from their time as well as their impressions of their parents and grandparents, think how easy your job would be to bring together all of their work into a work of your own.

And remember, there would still be work because when you married, you picked up a whole new set of ancestors related to your children.  (Here, get your spouse to write their autobiograaphy.)

When I talk about autobiographies, I am not talking about publishing them for the world to read. No one would be interested in my life except perhaps for a very, very few old friends and, let’s hope, my descendants. No, I am talking about publishing only for your descendants.

Now if you accept all of the above, why place the same burden on your descendants as your ancestors have placed on you? So, write your autobiography. That way you can leave a legacy and reduce the effort of a future genealogist who will be a child or grandchild.

Allow me to dramatize the point.

Let’s say your great, great grandfather had written the following:
” …… my father was so interesting. In his autobiography he writes that he was born in Maryland in 1734 and in 1774 he and our family loaded up a wagon, hitched two horses and moved along the same trail that Braddock had taken to (West) Virginia. The trail was hard to follow and was always muddy. I had fought in the big war (but more on that later) and ……….”

So …… imagine a descendant in 2050. She puts down your autobiography and says, ” …… my great grandfather was so interesting. For 40 years he drove a fossil fuel burning car to an office in a tall building 20 miles away. He interfaced with a computer by tapping on a letter set device called a keyboard. That is so cool, that he was around when keyboards were still being used …. and yet I see myself in him.”

Think how much easier everyone’s family history writing effort will be – yours and your offspring..

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One Response to “A Great Lesson in Genealogy”

  1. Great way to make the point!

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