Tossing Out That Genealogy 'Stuff' By Gene Ewert [email protected] To Jim Duncan regarding his "It's Not Brain Surgery" (in last week's RootsWeb Review) -- boy, do I agree with him. This article reminded me of one of my first encounters with a distant relative (several years before computer and Internet genealogy were as prolific as now). I found her name and address somewhere and wrote for help, sending what little I had and enclosing the mandatory SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). I was green, but not green enough to ask for "all she had" -- just for a few things that might point me in the right direction. I got back one copy of a Family Group Sheet and a terse reply that there is a lot more information out there, she had spent 30 years uncovering it and if I just looked hard enough I could find it too. It stung enough that I dropped looking into that line for quite awhile. When I did pick it up again and still was getting stuck in "her" line, I thought I would bite the bullet and give her one more try. This time I got back a short, handwritten note on my letter from her husband informing me that she had passed away and he had thrown out all her genealogy stuff. It saddened me that all her hard work ended up being for nothing. Because of that experience, I have it in my will where my genealogical stuff is to go if my children, siblings, nieces, nephews or cousins are not interested in keeping it going. I encourage everyone to put address labels in the front of each of your file folders of the people you correspond with most about that surname or location. Tell your family that if anything happens to you and no one wants the genealogy stuff -- before throwing it away contact those people and then the repository listed in my will.