Friday, July 27, 2007

Donating Family History

Hello All -

I once read an article about a woman who passed away and when her family went through her belongings aftwards they found numerous boxes of family history research that she had done throughout her life. Needless to say, her family felt that these things were worthless and proceeded to throw out everything she had worked on - years of work in the dumpster in a matter of minutes.

My posting this time is the importance of donating family history research. My family had a couple of old county history books from other states that did not pretain to anyone in our family, but were received as samples from the company. We didn't have any use for them and they were just collecting dust. I went to my local library and donated the books to them for their genealogy department. These books would be useful to someone even though we had no use for them ourselves.

In my opinion it is such a good thing to donate unwanted items such as this to local libraries or state archives or even the local family history society. I am sure that there are tons of documents, manuscripts, etc. that get thrown out by others everyday and they are not aware how useful they are to others. A person doesn't have to keep these things for themselves, but these items can simply be given as a donation - it is a much better option than things getting dumped and lost forever. You can even get a tax deduction for the donation too - the library will gladly write out a receipt for you for such a purpose.

Even if a person doesn't go down the donation route - at least the items can be put up for sale in the paper, one of the genealogy magazines, or on Ebay - someone will want it. Perhaps there is a person researching the same family or same surname and would like to have the information. It is just a shame to see family history research simply thrown away - years of research gone to waste because someone isn't interested in it.

Perhaps before one's death, it would be a good idea to make your wishes known regarding your family history research - let the family know that they should donate it or give it to someone else who is interested in it. Or even donate your work yourself to the local library or other repository. But, the bottom line is don't let it get dumped in the trash.

Until Next Time -

Carolyn of MGS