Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Please don't throw it away!

Okay, I'm going to be completely honest.

My heart is breaking.

About 25 years ago, I was the Family History Center Director at our local facility here in north central Ohio.
I met so many wonderful people who taught me things that I still use today.
And, I still keep in contact with many of them, too.

Yesterday, Mr. Kerry and I attended a community meeting where various historical societies and museums from our area want to work cohesively, and be a clearinghouse for all things history.
Ohio is a rich history base, 
and it makes sense to combine
our efforts.

I saw someone there from the previous days when I was Director,
and we caught up on each others' lives.

Except, he no longer does genealogy.


He threw it all out.

I had to sit down.

This man was an excellent and thorough genealogist, 
and spent lots of time and money traveling to
various facilities for research.
He particularly loved going to the National Archives
in Washington, DC.
He had traced various lines of his family
back to the 1500's.

But, in the years since I have seen him,
his father died.
His mother died.
Two years ago, his sister died.
He is the only one left.

He reasoned that since there is no one left in the family,
there is no use to keep it.
So, he threw 23 volumes of research away.

It is gone.

Perhaps he was grieving.
Perhaps he was feeling alone.

But, it's gone.

So, for my followers on this blog,
if you are ever in the same situation where you feel your research 
will not matter,
or be of use to anyone - 
please, please think again.

Think before you act.

Find a trusted friend or genealogist and talk with them.

Find someone who will be willing to upload it to 
or any of the dozens of other online trees.

There will be someone...
that you may never meet or know about
that will thank you for what you have done.

But, please don't throw it away 
because you think no one will ever care.


  1. Replies
    1. Katherine, I am still reeling from the news he gave me yesterday. He was such a good and thorough researcher, and several from our FHC hired him to do research for them when he made a trip to NARA.

      The only thing I can think of is that he was just so despondent at so many deaths that he just didn't think straight.

      I tried not to load a guilt trip on him, for we've all made mistakes. He's younger than I am, and he doesn't need that.

      But, my heart is still breaking.

  2. This may be one of the saddest things I have ever read. I don't have any children and have been working on my genealogy for the better part of ten years. I wonder what will happen to it all when I am old and feeble, but I never thought of throwing it away. What heartbreak.

  3. Susan, I can still remember the feeling in my heart when he told me he had thrown it away. It just made me want to cry. Like I said, someone, somewhere will be glad to get it. You may never live to see it, but someone will be grateful.