Monday, April 7, 2008

Correspondence as History

The following was also taken from a Rootbound in the Hills column from twenty years ago. It was good advice then, and it remains so today:
More Ramblings: Last week I discussed the importance of preserving the history of your immediate family, and suggested keeping a daily journal as one way of meeting this important obligation to the future. I neglected to mention that a lot of family history is written down and then thrown out. Personal letters, those from relatives and friends, offer a wealth of information about the day-to-day ordinary experiences that make up life. Most good family historians supplement their journal-writing with a correspondence file. Gramma's letters may not mean much today, but they will after she's been gone for a few years! Some people even go so far as to copy the letters that they send to others, and place the copies in their files.

If you don't preserve your own history, some day your trail through life may fade to little more than what's chiseled on your tombstone. Think about! And don't even get me started on the importance of labelling photographs and snapshots!

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