You spend time gathering, collecting and verifying your family history … so what is the next step. Of course, you never really ‘finish’ research on your ancestors, there is always something new to discover. However, if you want some ideas for greater enjoyment and to share what you have found, here are a few.
First, one of the main items you have collected for sure are photos of your ancestors, their homes, and their businesses. Display those photos. Have some good copies made on photo paper rather than exposing the originals to sunlight or heat. If you have a long hallway in the house, that is the perfect location to set up a photo gallery. Make sure you label with the person’s name, a date and location. This makes it so easy when explaining about a certain relative, just point to the photo (if available).
Besides photos, Display any Family Heirlooms throughout the house or in a specific location. Some of those heirlooms can still be used, such as a rocking chair, a desk, a painting on the wall, a serving spoon, etc. You will find you really like seeing that specific inherited family piece if it is kept in view.
Remember those older living relatives and make sure you do an interview with them. Put it on a video or at least a recording of questions you ask and their answers. It may need to be done over several weeks or months, but do get it done. That will be a precious piece of family history.
As you have learned about grandparents and great grandparents you also learned about their hometowns. Take a trip and visit those towns and counties. If you have the location of a family house, see if it is still there. If so, stop and ask to view the inside. See if the local school and church the ancestors attended is still there, another great thing to do. Stop in at the local museum and see if they have information on your ancestors. Take with you a copy of what information you have and share with the museum and the local genealogical society. That is preservation for sure.
Your family history is not just what you have on a printed family tree; there are many elements to your history … embrace them.
Photos: My family treasures: 1789 receipt Bixler family; 1890 Capt Joseph Groff; Bixler christening gown 1891; and Frederick Md family home and fountain (1900 and 2015)-house no longer there.
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