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Genealogy and Family History

How to Begin

Choosing a Strategy


Finished Product

Most genealogists want to ensure that their work is preserved and, one hopes, continued by and accessible to others. There are several ways to preserve your research.

In the past, the major form of preserving genealogical research was to write a family history to be shared with family members and genealogical societies. Such histories were often published. Library and Archives Canada has collected many Family Histories. A number of books are available that describe the process of writing a family history.

A more recent method in sharing genealogy information is to create a family website. There are two aspects to this:

  • creation of a website (many resources for this are available in print and on the Web);
  • appropriate presentation of genealogical data within the website.

For the latter, several software applications are available that will extract standardized genealogy data from your genealogy database and create web pages for you. See Computer Methods for more information on this.

Finally, you want your research to be in good hands after you are gone. Don't leave this task for your next of kin, or your good work could be for naught. Speak with your local library, genealogical or historical society about what they might be willing to take and preserve. If your research has a scholarly aspect, perhaps a university library or archive would be interested in keeping it. If you have a younger relative who is interested in continuing the work on your family history, stipulate in your will that all your research material be passed on to that relative.

In all cases, make sure your next of kin knows what you want done with your research.