Thursday, October 27, 2016

Book Review - Planning a Future for Your Family's Past by Marian Burk Wood

Disclaimer: Marian Burk Wood asked me to review her book and provided me with a free copy.

Slide and document storage.

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know that I have been blessed with a lot of genealogical "stuff". You also know that I take very seriously the responsibility that comes with such a legacy, spending a lot of time and money to digitize and preserve my precious collection, not only for myself but for family as well.  That is why I really appreciate Marian's book, Planning a Future for Your Family's Past.

Since my father passed away in 2005, I have inherited his family photos, documents and artifacts a bit at a time as my step-mother came across things or cleaned out various rooms in their home, culminating in three car-loads that I brought home just over a year ago.  It was overwhelming, and other than the items and photos that I have digitized and photographed, it is only roughly sorted, as Marian puts it.

At the beginning of this year, I made a list of my genealogy goals and some of those goals were about digitizing, sharing and preserving my collection, but a comprehensive, long-term plan was still missing. When I had first tried to make a genealogical will over a year ago, I didn't get very far before becoming frustrated and moving on. Having read Marian's book, I now realize that I was putting the cart before the horse. With her method there were two very important tasks to complete before I could get to that step and it just makes so much sense.

Marian's PASS method has four steps - Prepare by organizing your materials, Allocate ownership, then Set up a genealogical will and finally, Share with heirs. These steps are broken down even further in the book. Although I still have a big job ahead of me, it now seems doable and much less stressful.

Each chapter in Marian's book is filled with great tips from her many years of experience in taking these steps herself. She shares many resources and stories along the way, showing us by example that organizing isn't taking away precious time from research, it can actually help us in our research, leading to discoveries we might not make otherwise. Each chapter also ends with a very useful summary, a great feature.

Planning a Future for Your Family's Past is so filled with great information that you might think you're in for a long read. Thankfully, Marian has packed all of this into a book that can easily be read at one sitting, although I'm sure I will find myself referring to it over and over as I finally prepare my precious collection for the day that I, too, as Marian says, am an ancestor.

I believe Marian's book will finally help me achieve the goal of readying my precious research and mementos for another generation, and I'm sure it can get you there, ttoo

Planning a Future for Your Family's Past is available from Amazon for Kindle and in print.