How to plan a future for your family’s past

040316 ROSWELL, GA: Names and dates line the voluminous records at the Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center, where people come to research their family's genealogy. Family History Center at 500 Norcross Street in Roswell. For Helen Cauley feature on Geneaology - Family Trees. (Parker C. Smith/Special)

Credit: Special

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040316 ROSWELL, GA: Names and dates line the voluminous records at the Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center, where people come to research their family's genealogy. Family History Center at 500 Norcross Street in Roswell. For Helen Cauley feature on Geneaology - Family Trees. (Parker C. Smith/Special)

Credit: Special

What do you want to happen to your genealogy research and family keepsakes when you die if you have no heirs?

Marian Burk Wood offers some ideas in the second, revised edition of her book “Planning a Future for Your Family’s Past.”

When I reviewed the first edition, I mentioned that many people did not have relatives or heirs to take family stuff. In the revised book, Wood has added a chapter about that. She has creative ideas for what to do with things, not just your research papers. Wood, who lectures on this subject, includes the following suggestions:

  • Find someone in the family who might appreciate the stuff. Ask a nephew, niece or cousin if he or she is interested in having the items. Or offer folks just one or two items, not the whole lot.
  • Check with FamilySearch.org of Utah about the organization’s policies on genealogy papers.
  • If you want to donate your genealogy research to a library or archives, describe its importance or try to determine if it is worth preserving. Some institutions (college libraries and archives, or a regional or state archives) may take your papers.
  • Check things out ahead of time. You may have to divide research findings by topics.

The final chapter of the book — “Keep Family History Alive” — has lots of ideas. “Planning a Future for Your Family’s Past” is available for $12 plus shipping from americanancestors.org. It’s well worth having.

Roswell Family History Center reopens

The Roswell Family History Center, at 500 Norcross Road, has reopened with limited hours. The center limits access to four researchers at a time. It is are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, and on Saturday morning. The phone number is 770-594-1706. Register at www.familysearch.org, create a free account, then go to “search,” then “Research Wiki” and then “Family History Centers” to find the center of your choice.

Genealogy education

There are a lot of free webinars and podcasts online, and I hope everyone is availing themselves of those. Just searching “genealogy webinars” brings up many links.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O. Box 901 Decatur, Ga., 30031 or www.kenthomasongenealogy.com.