Genealogy and Your Descendants #general

Ann Rabinowitz <annrab@...>

Recently, I've been noticing that an increasing number of people, who have
contacted me regarding genealogy, have been focusing on trying to obtain
information on their families for the benefit of their descendants.

My big question is, have you been in touch with your descendants, namely
your children, grandchildren, or otherwise, to see who might be interested
in the work that you are so feverishly slaving over?

It is ok to have a wonderful rewarding hobby with no thought to what is
done with your work after you are gone. However, it is another thing if
you are gathering data with the hope that someone will use it in the

The only way to ensure this possibility is if you have helpers and
assistants in your work, i.e., your family. To involve them directly is
the only way they will understand what you are doing and appreciate it.
Further, they will be likely to continue the work after you are gone and
not throw a lifetime's work into the trash.

A good example of how a lifetime's work is wasted was when one of our
original Kupishok, Lithuania, researchers died about 8-10 years ago. He
had loads of material, but had not made sure what would happen to it upon
his death. In fact, his children resented and disliked his hobby and just
tossed it out.

In addition, he did not organize it well or keep copies of materials he
produced such as the newsletter he created. In fact, only four issues of
the newsletter exist out of years of publication.

Some of us were lucky enough to find one of his family trees. It was
prodigious, but he neglected to put dates on all the individuals or where
they were from. Therefore, none of us knew who he was referring to and
what generation they belonged to.

This individual had many interested family members, apart >from his
children, and could have made plans ahead of time for his materials.

So, the lesson in all this is to talk to your family, enroll them as
members of your genealogy research team, teach them to help you with bits
and pieces as they are able, and most of all, encourage them to learn about
their Jewish heritage through genealogy. It is not all dry records
retrieval by any means!!!

Ann Rabinowitz

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