Leave a Trail of Bread Crumbs

Someday, someone interested in family history will search for you. You’ll be long gone from this earth, and won’t be here to answer their questions.

Here are a few ways to leave a trail of bread crumbs for them to follow. Make a list of all the jobs you had over the years. Create a list of addresses and the years that you lived at each.

Keep a diary. Write letters. Write a summary of the high points of your life. Make a timeline for your life.

You probably won’t do all of these suggestions, but even one or two of these would gladden the heart of someone searching for you.

I’m fortunate that some of my ancestors kept diaries. My great-aunt Bertha McGhee saved 40 years of her letters. She did some of the other activities as well, which will be a big help when I work on self-publishing her life story.

Mom believed in this and left her own trail of bread crumbs with her writings and her diaries. She also preserved those left by others, like Bertha’s papers and Albert’s World War I diary. Because she did, I’m able to share these many memories with you here and in future family books.

Gail's uncle, Albert Vining, left this diary from World War I about his experience in France.

Gail’s uncle, Albert Vining, left this diary from World War I about his experience in France.

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