Your family history is never complete. Even if you ever get to the point where you’ve exhausted all of your resources researching the past, you can still start moving forward with your family history. There are tons of ways to gather information for your personal history. Today’s Research Roundup is about combing your email inbox for family history treasures.
I’m sure you’ve received emails in the past that included stories, remembrances, or daily accounts about your family. Most people tend to save these kinds of emails, but they rarely give them a second look. You need a way to make the information accessible for now and the future. Today, spend a few minutes gathering emails you’ve sent or received. Create notes in your FHnotebook and copy and paste the text into the notes. You will enjoy reviewing what has happened in just the last few years, and you will love being able to find and read these items again and again once they are securely stored and organized in the proper notebook on FHnotebook. This process will also allow you to thin out your email inbox—delete the emails you’ve created notes for already, and then delete the emails you don’t need to remember anymore.
I recently received an email my aunt sent that included three or four memories of her parents. Since I never met my grandparents, I was thrilled to read these remembrances and saved the email so I would have it forever. However, I have only thought about that email once or twice in the last few months, and I knew that if I didn’t file the text somewhere more memorable and accessible, chances were that I would forget about it completely in another month or two. When I went through the process of recording my emails in my FHnotebook, I found the one from my aunt. I filed it in my “Higginson” family notebook, and I copied and pasted each separate story into the respective subnotebook. You don’t have to get that detailed, but now when I look for stories about Grandpa Higginson, I know I have them all in his notebook. If anyone else was mentioned in the stories, I added a category to the note to help me further connect stories between different members of my family.
Another email I found was a thread between my siblings about what to get our mother for her birthday. Each response from each sibling showed off their personalities beautifully—one brother always has a joke ready, one sister always thinks outside the box. I love having a written record of my siblings; I want my children to be able to get a glimpse of what their aunts and uncles are really like—not just see these people as their cousins’ parents. So I created a notebook to store emails from my siblings.
Journal writing is an important part of creating and maintaining your personal history. If I came across an email that only told a partial story, it often sparked a memory that I then recorded into a note in FHnotebook. It’s inspiring to find natural journal topics to help you record your personal history.
What types of emails did you find that you were excited to store in your FHnotebook?
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