Saving Your Genealogy from Destruction – Episode 10 (Elevenses with Lisa)

Live show air date: May 28, 2020

Episode 10 Video and Show Notes

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn.

This episode includes an interview with Faruq Tauheed, host of the NBC TV series Roots Less Traveled. Faruq shares what caught his interest about genealogy (as someone with no previous experience) and his favorite stories from the show. Our families are full of folks who have never had an interest in genealogy. And that makes the job of ensuring your genealogy research will be passed down even more difficult. That’s why in this episode we are tackling the subject how how to ensure that your research doesn’t end up in a landfill after you’re gone. We will cover tangible things you can do today. Scroll down for all the show notes and details. Then, in our next episode, we’ll discuss ways to get your relatives on your team to preserve the family history. 

Today’s Teacup: Lyme House mug

Click here to learn more about Lyme, the home that “played the part” of Pemberly, the home of Mr. Darcy in the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. 

Genealogy News

MyHeritage Facebook Live with Lisa Louise Cooke
June 3, 2 P.M. EDT
Topic: Fabulous Photo Discoveries at MyHeritage
Speaker: Lisa Louise Cooke
Description: Lisa Louise Cooke, founder of the genealogy research website Genealogy Gems, will illustrate the incredible potential of MyHeritage’s Photo Discoveries™ feature.

From You:

Alexis writes:

I am absolutely loving the tea time shows!! Thank you for all of your work and for sharing it with us.  I love the pictures and antiques in your office.  So inspiring! I hope to have an office like that one day. I wanted to send you this picture of my girls and me having a tea party with you.  We had milk and cookies. I don’t usually let the girls use the toy set for real food but I made an exception! The girl’s didn’t listen super well but I try to catch up on the show when I can.  Thanks again for doing this!

Interview: Faruq Tauheed, Host of the NBC TV series Roads Less Traveled

Faruq Tauheed is the host of the new NBC series ROOTS LESS TRAVELED.  Each week, Faruq leads a new pair of multigenerational family members who bond on a joint quest to learn more about their family history.  In partnership with Ancestry, the series will feature relatives as they set out on an adventure to solve mysteries in their family tree.  The show is adventurous, educational, inspiring and very often emotional.  Faruq is best known as the ring announcer on the uber-popular Discovery Channel series BATTLEBOTS.  

Click here to visit the Roots Less Traveled website where you can watch past episodes.


How to Save Your Research from Destruction

From Diana in the video comments at YouTube: 
Save your research from destruction? Yes please for a topic. Greatly moved by your words and clip at the end. Even though I am in Australia now, all my family are from the UK and my parents were young kids living outside, or evacuated from, London during the war. Stay brave!

From Julie K in Live Chat:
​I’m afraid that if I don’t have paper, my genealogy will get pitched with my laptop when I’m gone.

From Deborah:
That’s my question too – they might not even know that it’s there or want to bother with learning how to use it.

We’re tackling these questions in this week’s episode.

Don’t let your lifetime of genealogy research end up in the landfill!  I’m sharing key strategies for securing the future of your research, including designating a “research keeper,” setting up a Genealogy Materials Directive, and making donations with a Deed of Gift. This episode will help you put a plan in place to ensure the survival of your family history.

Getting and Staying Organized

Don’t allow your research materials to become a burden in the future for others or they will be at risk. Research that is piled high and disorganized will look like a candidate for the recycle bin to the non-genealogist.  Research that is neatly stored in binders or clearly labeled boxes will demand the respect it deserves.   

Physical files
I use 3 ring binders, with custom printed spines and acid-free sheet protectors. Tabs in the binder separate my materials by head of household, mirroring my digital files.
Watch episode 6 on organizing your genealogy paper.

Genealogy Notes
Cloud note-taking services such as Evernote <> or OneNote provide a way to collect, store and retrieve any type of file (typed, handwritten, clipped from the web, audio recordings, photos and videos). These services use the Internet to synchronize your notes across all of your computing devices. Each has a free version, and there are more robust subscriptions plans available as well.
Watch episode 9 to learn more about using Evernote for genealogy.

Protecting Your Files with Cloud Backup
The final step to organization is ensuring that all of your digital files are backed up automatically. I use and recommend Backblaze <> and there are other online backup services as well. These services accomplish some critical backup goals: redundant, off site, and automatic (set it and forget it) backup!
Watch episode 7 to learn more about Cloud Backup and organizing your data.

Get it on Paper with a Genealogical Materials Directive

The future is unknown and illnesses can come on unexpectedly. Don’t wait another day to keep your research safe and secure for years to come. Take small steps each day toward ensuring the security of your research.

Create a Genealogical Materials Directive with the help of your family attorney that you include with your will to ensure that your wishes for your research materials will be followed. A directive outlines what you have, what you want done with it after you are gone, and identifies all the people involved in that process. Then give it to your family attorney for any legal modification or addition that he or she may suggest and include the directive with your will.

Click here to download my free Genealogical Materials Directive.

Identifying Your Research’s Keeper

Talk to your relatives and determine who will be willing to care for and distribute your research. They don’t need to be a genealogist. Give them a copy of the Directive so they will be fully informed and prepared to follow through with your wishes.

Preparing Now for Future Donations with a Deed of Gift

Start researching archives and societies to determine which would most benefit and be interested in your materials. Think about locations as well as families. Contact the repositories and make the appropriate arrangements. Then clearly outline those arrangements in your Directive. 

Many organizations will have their own forms for donating materials. A Deed of Gift is a formal legal agreement that transfers ownership and legal rights of your research materials to the repository that you are donating them to. It is in everybody’s best interest to state the agreement on paper and make it binding. A Deed of Gift is signed by both the donor and an authorized representative of the repository.

A Deed of Gift may include other issues that are of interest to the repository. Have them all thoroughly explained to you. If you have any questions about the language of the deed of gift, it’s a good idea to check with your attorney.

If you are considering giving your hard-won genealogy research to an archive or library, there are two great brochures available from the Society of American Archivists that can help you through the process. 

Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository:

A Guide to Deed of Gift:

Society of American Archivists
17 North State Street, Suite 1425, Chicago, IL 60602-3315
Telephone: 312/606-0722

FamilySearch’s Gifts Donations and Loans Guidelines
For more information call: 1-866-406-1830

Final Thoughts

Genealogy is about the journey meme

Share this image with your friends on social media.


Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts on the the following questions:

  • Have you implemented any of the ideas shared in this episode?
  • What do you think the biggest obstacles are in passing down the family history you have assembled?
  • Do you have a question about saving your research from destruction and gaining support from your family?


Pin It on Pinterest