I don't know if anyone else is doing this, but I've saved many locations from my Father's family's past as waypoints. He was born in the Logan OH area and all his old homesteads, relative's homesites and other locations are now on my Garmin. I've even marked the gravesites of some of my forebears. I wouldn't be able to find the places myself, the roads are so winding and difficult to remember. Now if my kids ever get interested in our history, they can download them and take their children someday.
Most families are so lacking in knowledge of their own history. They don't even know who their cousins are, let alone second cousins. You may say that Grandpa so & so live in a certain city, but do you know where? This is a way to save your history, to actually go to the exact site where your ancestors lived, from anywhere in the country. Don't rely on your memory, mark your locations now before the surroundings change.
Ask your parents to ride with you and show you where they lived, or where their parents lived. Where they went to school and even where they had their first kiss. These conversations are usually never broached until it's too late. Have you noticed that when you talk to an old timer about an old store or school, they can tell you all about it, except where it's exact location is? That's why if it's possible, you may have to take the knowledgable person with you to pinpoint its location.
Once you've collected such waypoints, make them available to other relatives. More and more people are becoming familiar with GPS techology and probably in a few years it will become as common as cell phones. It would be an interesting handout at a family reunion too.
If you can, load the waypoints to mapsource or something and save it in several formats and even a text file, indicating the Latitude & Longitude. Include these files in your backup plan or make a cd of the files and save it in your safe. I also have a text file of these locations in my "Family Tree" program. If you only have two locations you know, well that's a start.
Let's take advantage of this gizmo and save our history, shall we?
Thanks for reading this rant
I've done some of what you noted already - saved coordinates of family grave sites and shared those with cousins. My mother's cousins all have a picnic every year - I don't get there every year...have to try harder to get there.
Very good Idea I will be doing the same Thing Thanks
I did a similar thing with MS Streets (before I had a GPS). I have many old homesteads marked with pushpins.
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