President's Message


Cathy Neal

We all know about the 1921 records disaster: A fire at the Commerce Building in Washington D.C. destroyed nearly all of the 1890 U.S. federal census.

And maybe about the 1973 records disaster: A fire at the National Personnel Records Center in

Missouri (a storage facility operated by NARA) destroyed millions of official military personnel records.

So many documents lost; so many irreplaceable. An even harder pill to swallow would be if the records were your own.

At a recent OGS conference in Sandusky, Ohio, speaker Julie Miller presented "An ounce of Prevention: Making a Genealogy Disaster Plan." There were plenty of terrific points about doing a home risk assessment, minimizing house hazards, conducting an inventory, recording/labeling/ prioritizing. She also covered scanning, backup, and storage (physical and digital). Great things to keep in mind. Julie Miller's tips caused me to take note of what I have in my possession, where I keep it, and why a preservation plan can stave off a personal records disaster. That day, she showed how the saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" does aptly apply to genealogy.

Last updated: June 27, 2014