A Reminder To Preserve Copies of Your Family History

A recent article in the Allied News, from Grove City, Pennsylvania, serves as a key reminder as to why creating and keeping offsite copies of family photos and information is so important.

Family history goes up in flames

FINDLEY — Fire destroyed a 107-year-old farmhouse at 62 Courtney Lane, Findley Township, Wednesday, taking with it generations of cherished family heirlooms.

“There’s a history that went up in smoke,” Pamela Courtney, 67, who lived in the house with her 69-year-old husband, John, said several hours after the fire.

“I really think it’s true that the pictures are the hardest to lose,” Mrs. Courtney said. “The kids are trying to recall stuff of theirs still in the house. They’re taking it hard. I think (Mr. Courtney) is taking it better than I am.”

Click here to read the full article.


While there may be little anyone can do to fully protect heirlooms and personal items from destruction in flood, fire, earthquake, tornado, or other natural disasters and accidents, there are things genealogist can do to preserve their precious family photographs and important genealogical data.

Making digital copies is an easy first step with today’s technology. But what to do with those copies. I have long recommended people send both a digital and print copy of their photos and databases to a friend or relative living in another state. Learning basic storage techniques can also help preserve items from smaller incidents. I have know people to work and save 30 years of family history research only to lose it all with no backup. Allow the above article to serve as a reminder, and take time this week to backup your data, save your digital files, and find somewhere outside your own home to store and preserve a second copy.

One thought on “A Reminder To Preserve Copies of Your Family History

  1. Thanks so much for all your articles. They are something I look forward to reading each time.

    I hope you will share with your readers my method of preserving my family records through writing my memoirs. It includes a section for pictures of past and present family and a genealogical section for our ancestors. Because the bulk is detail about my life from birth to present, my family has a “first source” for any questions that may arise about myself after I am gone. Sources for our genealogy are also included.

    While my memoir started to be a 50 page booklet, once I started writing memories flooded back and it has now become a 400 page memoir and that doesn’t include the pictures I’ve gathered and copied from family. Most people won’t write something so large, but it’s a great way to share your life and your genealogy. My memoirs will go to a publisher and everyone in the family will get a copy. This way I have no worries if anything happens to my ancestor’s information in the future.

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