Friday, 25 May 2012

Leaving My Paper Trail For My Descendants

It is interesting to me how I view things differently since I have been smitten by the genealogy obsession. What used to be routine and in some ways mundane has become a legacy for future generations. As I was filling out the landing card on my way to Scotland

and again as I was filling out the Canada Customs card en route to Toronto

I was aware that I was leaving my paper trail for future generations to discover. By filling out required government documents, I am helping my descendants trace my story 100 years from now. While they may not know the purpose of my visit, they will be aware that I went home for a period of time. Will they be thrilled to find the document? To see my own handwriting? Will they wonder what the purpose was? Will they check the documents against others to see if perhaps I had gone home for a wedding or funeral? Certainly, the documents will add pieces to their puzzle, but will they also add more unanswered questions? Will the documents pique curiosity? One can only hope.


  1. I often also think about things like this. Maybe we should leave a memoir behind so that our thoughs, words, and ideas may resonate through time. I also think about that too. I also ensured that I filled the census, maybe one of my defendants will have fun searching for me.

  2. Absolutely, Christine - I look at all forms with a smile - Yes! someone will be able to find me - unless the government decides it's too much bother to archive and simply destroys whole rooms full of 'unimportant forms' like these. I agree with Moises above, we need also to leave a memoir of whatever sorts we manage to write... At 69, I'd better get started soon!