Imagine hearing a voice that tells you to build an ark and get onboard, because it’s going to rain for 40 days and 40 nights. What would you take with you, other than two of every sort of animal, male and female? If I were a bettin’ gal, I would say the majority of you would pack up your family content assets, such as photo albums, audio and video recordings, slides, legal papers and certificates, real estate transactions and deeds, financial data, and other family memorabilia – all of those items that are difficult, or even impossible, to replace.
Okay, let’s say you manage to make it through this catastrophe, and you save your most important items this time around . . . who’s going to assume the responsibility of protecting your family legacy after you make your departure to that Big Family Reunion in the Sky? Who in your family will keep the treasures in perpetuity for generations to come? Now, that’s something to keep you awake at night worrying about.
Noah didn’t lose too much sleep on the subject because he had a decided advantage over people in the 21st Century. It appears there were a lot of historical reporters and genealogists making the rounds 7,000 years ago, chronicling accounts of floods, whales, and locust invasions. Given how early these chroniclers got their start, I often wonder if they preceded what has been historically considered the other “oldest profession” in the Bible.
In addition to weather and other phenomena, more personal information was divulged by these early episodic reporters. In fact, given the scandals in print, these BC correspondents could be considered predecessors to today’s gossip reporters and paparazzi. They were as tenacious as their AD counterparts, remaining hot on the trail of begetting, cleaving, beheading, consorting, and smiting, and then publishing it all in one of history’s best-selling books. Biblical scandals pretty much trump TMZ, Access Hollywood, and Extra when it comes to salacious material.
The Ethiopian eunuchs didn’t have a chance keeping their secret. Did Cain really think he could marry his sister and get away with it? Foolish man; there was no hiding from those 5th Century BC news hounds. Believing such a thing would be tantamount to a driver in a high-speed chase thinking he can elude the Los Angeles Police Department. We all know he’s going to get caught! One thing for which we can be thankful is that at least those early historians didn’t have cameras; otherwise, we all would be blinded at the sight of our ancestors – Adam and Eve – enjoying their first night of carnal knowledge. Heaven forbid — not your great grandparents!
And so, we are brought back full circle to our initial question – how do we keep our family legacy protected for generations to come? Most every family has a point person for genealogy – some relative who keeps files and boxes of photos and family trees and family history. But let’s face it, they won’t be around forever, and with them may die a lot of important family information. Given we’re not as lucky as early man to be dogged by over-zealous historical reporters and genealogists marking our every move, we have to find a better way to guard our family history.
Good news is, perpetual archiving technology is here, and ironically the company that is touting its ability to offer consumer generational archiving services is called Gen-Ark. The company initially started as a technology services contractor to regional trusts, but soon realized the demand for digital estate archiving services that will continue into the future.
Because so much information is digitized now – including scanned photos and audio/video files, as well as other sensitive and critical estate documents – these items, once converted to digital format, can be uploaded to Gen-Ark. What’s more, Gen-Ark keeps its rendering (converting coded content to the required format for display or printing) and transcoding (converting data to better-supported or modern format) engines current, so as new technology is developed, it can be integrated seamlessly into Gen-Ark’s architecture. This will keep content viewable no matter how the technology changes.
Furthermore, this service, while typically controlled by a main family curator, can be made interactive among family members. Access rights can also be applied to certain accounts within the family archive.
As the storm clouds converge, rest easy. . .you haven’t missed the boat. Gen-Ark promises to keep your family business perpetual, organized, and secure, no matter how much rain falls. It’s another great genealogist resource tool for that special family lineage point person in your family.
To speak with a professional genealogist about protecting your family history information contact us.