Contributing author Schelly Talalay Dardashti is the US Genealogy Advisor for MyHeritage.com
How good is your memory?
Many years ago, when I was very new at the genealogy game, I really believed I could accurately remember where I had discovered every bit of family data. And - for awhile - I actually could do that.
However, as the years went by, the numbers of people in my trees increased - while my brain cells seemed to decrease - it became impossible. Sometimes, I would write the information on a scrap of paper. We all know what happens to a scrap of paper stuck in a bag or pocket.
At one point, I had to stop all new research and backtrack, almost to the beginning of my quest, to fill in all those blanks.
Fortunately, I had even saved some of those scraps of paper on which I had scribbled information while visiting archives and libraries. To preserve them, I had taped them onto regular sheets of white paper. Eventually, I transferred that data to the family tree software I used, but the scraps didn't cover all my research.
An article in the Dallas Morning News, quoting a 2012 American Legacies Pulse Study, states that family history is the most important "asset" that we bequeath to our descendants.
According to the story, 86% of people ages 47-66 and 74% of those ages 72+ say that passing on family stories and memories means more to them than passing on material possessions.