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Genealogy Gems

News from the Fort Wayne Library,  Fort Wayne Indiana No 19. 

This article was sent to me Oct 03, 2005 and expresses my  purpose behind the Cemeteries of TX, NM, LA  Projects  (Gloria B. Mayfield)

***** Our thoughts remain with those struggling to pull their lives back  together after the two ravaging storms that hit our gulf coast states. We all know so many individuals and organizations that are doing their part for the recovery effort. The staff of the Allen County Public Library have donated thousands of dollars directly to affected families and through the Red Cross. Our library has also adopted a small public library in Louisiana completely devastated by the storms. Our goal is to be instrumental in getting them back on their feet and serving the public again. Attendees at the recent Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Salt Lake City donated hundreds of dollars to America's Second Harvest, Inc. as well as hundreds of pounds of soap, shampoo, and personal hygiene products that were shipped directly to relief sites. Those interested in family history continue to demonstrate in meaningful ways they are also interested in families.

 Not to be lost on those of us who are passionate about family and local history is the huge loss of personal, public, and private organizational records caused by these storms. If we are serious about preserving our heritage, discovering who our ancestors are, and sharing the details of  their lives, we must be equally serious about seeing that the records in our communities *and* in our own homes, churches, and offices of organizations with which we are involved are preserved in a manner that will ensure their survival through disasters of all types.

 One of the best ways to ensure that information is preserved is to store true copies of the data in several different places, and sometimes even in several different forms. Members of your family should have copies of the family record pages from your family bible as well as back-ups to your computerized genealogy files. Your church, school, and local governmental entities should have their records regularly microfilmed or digitized by reputable companies that provide high quality products in standard formats. And then copies should be placed in libraries and archives. The Historical Genealogy Department welcomes being the preservation archive for copies of your family and local histories. Even your businesses and area associations
should take appropriate care to preserve their historical records.

 It is up to us to ensure the records that document our heritage survive. Our descendants will expect nothing less from us.