TIP: Dont wait until "tomorrow" to preserve your family documents. Start Today
Saved from the Mice
By Cathy Aitken Summersell - Yorkshire, England
How I got started on family history amazes me. My father was a great
genealogist who loved it very much. He tried sharing it with me, but I
wasn't interested. Not that I didn't want to do it; family history just
puzzled and confused me, and I didn't know how anyone found the
In 1997, I traveled to my friend's wedding in my hometown, where my
father still lived. A friend of my father’s came up and mentioned he was
concerned about Dad's health. He suggested I visit Dad before returning home.
During that visit, Dad and I chatted for a couple of hours. He shared
with me his feelings of the importance of genealogy and gave me a large
brown envelope containing the family history he'd done on both his and my
mum's side. He especially asked me to continue this great work and hoped
it would bring me pleasure.
Sadly, three weeks later, Dad passed away. I knew I should continue
the work he'd started, but family, home, and work got in the way, and
time went by. The envelope ended up in the attic without even one
attempt at further research.
Then one day, I heard scurrying and scratching in the attic. I opened
the attic trap door to find mouse droppings everywhere I looked. I
began clearing the attic and was horrified to find that everything made
from paper had been shredded and used by the mice to make nests-
everything except for one last item, which I brought downstairs: the
brown envelope containing all my father's genealogy had remained
That blessing should have been another signal for me to carry on Dad's
great work. But no. Eight more years passed, and all I did was think
Then my sister, passed away in October 2008 at the age of forty-eight.
That was the day I finally took note of what was happening.
My older brother and I, we put together a funeral service that would bring
the family together and help us keep in touch.
Since then, genealogy has been' an important part of my life. A dear
friend had the patience to help me begin, and I haven't stopped since.
I've felt the presence of my parents while doing the work. There have
also been times when I've woken up in the early hours and been given
guidance to find names of new families belonging to my tree.
What a blessing it is to be part of this great family history work here on the earth
HOW many of you have been blessed to have a collection of family records you have inherited? Make sure it is preserved and kept from the mice. . . and fire, and water, and mold, and aging and the garbage.
Dont wait until your family bible looks like this:
SOME EXAMPLES OF THINGS YOU CAN PRESERVE: link below