Your ancestors should be more than a name and two dates!
I grew up in an age when a kid's favorite activity was to sit in the back of a room full of relatives, listening to them recanting their life experiences. Their stories were funny and interesting and made me appreciate what my relatives had endured so that I could be who I am. Later in life, faced with a difficult problem, recalling their stories brings me comfort and encouragement to overcome a life obstacle. Knowing their personal stories gives me the feeling that they are standing with me, helping me to navigate my life course. I never feel alone. With today's lifestyle, the chances of young people sitting in a room full of relatives listening to their stories are slim to none.
Many of us spend hour upon hour creating the genealogy of our families, culminating in a written or USB record to pass down to future generations. Unfortunately, in my experience, this information rarely survives. I don't doubt that family members try to keep the results of our hard work safe, but crap happens! Written documents and USB devices get lost, destroyed, misplaced, and sometimes thrown in the garbage. I have a friend in the estate sale business that says not a week goes by that she sees photos, letters, and family tree records carted off to the landfill.
Ah-ha, you are thinking, Ancestry.com is the answer to preserving ancestors' information. I thought so too until I realized that future family members would first have to figure out that family tree information might be on Ancestry.com and then have to pay an annual subscription to access the information. And once they pay for a membership, what do they mostly find about an ancestor's life - a name and two dates. The same thing you find when visiting a cemetery.
Family Story Library is a place where future family members can "sit in the back of a room full of relatives" and put a face and personality on their ancestors and make them a part of their life. Their ancestors' life stories will be as close as a Google search, and they don't have to pay a fee to enjoy it. Family Story Library provides real-time navigation to an ancestor's resting place and, while visiting the ancestor, family members can enjoy the ancestor's life story, photos, and in some cases voice recordings.
While Family Story Library is an easy-to-find place for your loved ones' stories, it shines as a place for those of us still living to leave our life story. Who knows our story better than we, and we can leave voice recordings! Can you imagine how excited we would be if we had access to the same information for our grandparents and great-grandparents? Leave your descendants their most treasured gift, the gift of who you are and how your life contributed to their being who they are. Make yourself part of their life and family.