Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Genealogy Time Capsule

A cousin of mine, Bill West writes a blog called West in New England and he is running this genealogy challenge. The deadline for submissions is March 15th. 

What I would put in my time capsule and why: I would use multiple formats for these items where possible - USB drive, DVD and hard copies. 
  1. A letter to my descendants about the importance of family and genealogy in my life - Just because I wish I had one from my ancestors. 
  2. A copy of my genealogy research so far. This way future family members could find new leads based on my research or compare (and maybe laugh at my mistakes).  My husband found a book on his ancestors that ended with a 3 times great-grandfather's name and said "nothing further is known about this line." It was fun to then fill in the rest of the story. 
  3. I would include a narrative of my memories of my life, my parents, grandparents, and the three great-grandparents I got to know. I have been so fortunate to have so much time with grandparents and I know many people never get to make memories with their grandparents. I have a book about my Yates ancestry and the author included his own observations about the character of the people he personally knew. I love finding stories that give insight into the personalities of my ancestors rather than just having dry vital statistics. 
  4. I would include copies of pictures (clearly labeled) of important people, places and moments in my life. I love finding pictures to go with my genealogy and it's so frustrating when there is no information to identify the people, places or events describing the picture. 
  5. Favorites - songs and recipes including Cooking Downeast by Marjorie Standish (my grandmother's favorite cookbook). 
  6. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - My great aunt, Rebecca Williamson Carter, gave me this book with a note that her mother read this to my grandfather and his siblings. 
  7. Anne of Green Gables - My grandmother, F. Lyndell Cotton Carter, gave this book to me after she went to visit her relatives on Prince Edward Island. Her grandfather, George Gibbs, came from PEI. 
  8. Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton and Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion - My favorite books from childhood. 
  9. Pink Dove soap - My grandmother always used it and I use it too. It smells like her...
  10. Lindor truffles, Nesquik, Wint-o-green Life Savers and Diet Coke with Lime - some of my favorites things.
What would I put it all in and where would I keep it? 
  • This is much more difficult...I think the answer is to make multiple copies of the original time capsule (at least the stuff on DVD and USB drives) - Maybe get a safety deposit box at a bank and seal the USB drive & DVD in an envelope with instructions written on the outside, definitely leave info about the time capsule in my will and tell my sons to put it in their wills too to keep the information available for whoever is interested 100 years from now. 
  • I would get a sturdy box from Sentry for the time capsule. I would bury the original time capsule just outside the Middle Intervale Cemetery in Bethel, Maine. This cemetery started with my ancestor, Dr. Timothy Carter. The farm he started is across the street and still in the family. The meetinghouse in front of the cemetery belonged to my family until it was made a nonprofit in 1978. This spot has deep personal connections for me. 

1 comment:

  1. Great list, and love your "burial" spot. Enjoyed reading your post.