Don’t Forget Descendents

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Creating Family Newsletters for Coordinating Genealogical Efforts
By Amanda, Forson,

When searching for genealogical materials and information on ancestors, descendents of those ancestors are just as likely to have sources of information as a court house or obituary. Most genealogical database organizational programs are programmed to allow for addresses and telephone numbers of individuals. One of my favorite genealogical database programs, Legacy Family Tree, has a simple interface for keeping this information organized, and allows for using the information in an efficient and timely manner.

When in the Family View of the program, click on the house with phone icon directly below the person whose information you wish to enter. Fields available for the person include basic name and address along with two phone numbers, email address, and home page. Possible uses for this include family newsletters, family associations, birthdays, research, Christmas, holidays, and information can be tagged or made private.

RootsMagic also has similar functionality, though with an area for a secondary address, useful for “snow birds” or anyone who spends enough time in two separate areas to use both addresses on a regular basis.

Both programs can be used to create publications for the living about the dead, explaining what the most recent discoveries are, asking for help on certain tasks, and generally introducing the family to their ancestors and helping them understand what research has been done and how it got to that point. It is also useful when trying to contact relatives previously unknown. Sending copies of the family newsletter to new possible family members (those who are engaged, or those to whom one is reaching out in contact) also helps with opening communication between families members long distanced.

Keeping family members informed is an extremely important and useful way of aiding research, and of helping to make sure that relatives understand why aid may be needed in purchasing documents for future research. Consider it a family research report without excessive formality.

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