We’ve all been there. Tracked down a family bible only to learn that the distant cousin who possesses it won’t let anyone else take a look. Or discovered a possible genealogical connection on the Internet only to find that your new “cousin” won’t divulge their sources. Like any good story, however, there is more than one point of view.
As selfish as it may seem to you, there are any number of good reasons why an individual may be a bit wary of sharing their treasured family heirlooms or hard-earned genealogy research. The trick to encouraging these people to share is understanding their possible reservations and treating them in a polite and respectful manner.
Luckily, I’ve found most of my relatives eager to share their stories and photographs, but there are some who are a little more reluctant. Powell’s tips will help you figure out how to help your family members share their family records and photographs with you by helping them understand that they are contributing to something that will give them something even more: their history preserved.
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