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User:JensenFA/Dealing with Our Stuff

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"My mother recently passed away, what do I do with all her genealogy stuff?" - a common question often received at the Family History Library. There are numerous ways to ask that same question and numerous ways to handle the "stuff" problem. The first question to be answered might help point you in the right direction: What is your end goal? Some ideas include:

  • Preserve the genealogy legacy found in the stuff left behind by parents or grandparents
  • Identify the people in the photos found in the box of stuff
  • Figure out where to start, what should be done first?
  • What stuff is from Mom's side of the family, or from Dad's side of the family?

Where Should I Start?

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Organization Ideas

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Preservation Ideas

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Preservation Archives Foundation

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Additional Resources

  • Alford, Jennifer M. "Why Would Mom Keep That Cracked Tea Cup?", National Genealogical Society Magazine, July-September, Vol 41, Number 3, p 26-29. This article is about documenting family heirlooms and the stories about them.
  • Crow, Amy Johnson. "How to Save Your Family Treasures Before It's Too Late," Modern Genealogy Made Easy, https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com/save-family-treasures/ 28 June 2019, accessed 17 July 2019. The article identifies steps we should take when sorting through a newly discovered box of "stuff."
  • Gilbert, Laura H. The Stories We Leave Behind: A Legacy-Based Approach to Dealing with Stuff, United States, CreateSpace, 2018. World Cat.
  • Hufford, Gordon Lynn. "Protecting Precious Photographic Memories", National Genealogical Society Magazine, July-September 2011, Vol 37, No 3, p 26-29
  • Judd, Peter H. "A Phelps Family Likeness Discovered", New England Ancestors, Spring 2002, p 27-29
  • Lucey, Judith. "Celebrating Centuries of Food and Family: Stories and Records Behind the Recipes", American Ancestors, Fall 2013, p 24-31
  • Mayflower Society. Mayflower 2018 Study: Minimalist Millennials Don't Want Parents' Stuff
  • Philibert-Ortega, Gena. "How Menus, Letters, and Business Cards Could Unlock a Genealogy Secret: The Importance of Ephemera", Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, June 2012, p 77-82.
  • Philibert-Ortega, Gena. Ephemera: A Surprisingly Fertile Genealogical Resource, GenealogyBank, https://blog.genealogybank.com/ephemera-a-surprisingly-fertile-genealogical-resource.html, 19 Nov 2012, accessed 17 July 2019.
  • Smith, Dereka, MLS. "Member Resource Center: The McAdams Bible", National Genealogical Society Magazine, July/August 2003, p 41
  • Sturdevant, Katherine Scott. Organizing and Preserving Your Heirloom Documents, Ohio, Betterway Books, c2002. FHL 929.1 St96o. World Cat
  • Ullmann, Helen Schatvet. "My Norwegian Great-Grandmother’s Sampler", New England Ancestors, Spring 2002, p 30-31
  • Vanderpool Gormley, Myra. "Creating Memories", National Genealogical Society Magazine, July-September 2013, Vol 39, No 3, p 21-25