How To: Create a Genealogical Chain of Artifacts

The first step to organizing your family artifacts is to analyze each object. Maybe your artifact is your grandmother's ring. Or maybe it is a collection of recipes from your mom. Whatever it is, take a photo of each object and be sure to include any special markings! Make some sort of record. You can use the form I made (found on the forms page) or you can create your own. Just make sure you like your method and feel comfortable with using it. 

Next, link the current owner of the artifact all the way to it's original owner if possible. Again, you can use your own form or you can use the one I modified for myself - found on the forms page. Always begin with the person who has it in their possession right now. Then work your way back one step at a time being sure to records the time period, the relationship between the giver and the receiver and any oral history that surrounds the artifact.

Now that you have a collection of forms for each of your precious artifacts - make sure you organize! There are as many organization systems as people but I recommend a three ring binder with tabs for each artifact if you are the physical paper type. If you are more into online storage I suggest Dropbox - an online storage warehouse.

All images via Life Magazine Archives
Content modified from presentation by Cindy Foreman

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