Sharing & Connecting Over Family Treasures with Lynn Busath

Amanda Meeks

December 14, 2022

We are excited to shine the community spotlight on Lynn Busath, genealogist and creator of the Paxman – Moody Archive on Permanent. We asked Lynn about his research, his work on Permanent, and how he has used both to connect with friends and family. We always enjoy learning more about how our members are using Permanent and hope you find this member as inspiring as we do. Thank you, Lynn!

What is your approach to your genealogy or family history research?

Lynn: My approach has been to build on what’s already been done.  My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all involved in family history research.  I literally inherited a suitcase full of genealogical records from my great-grandmother and years of correspondence with researchers and other family members from my mother and grandmother.  Understanding the research that has already been done and carefully reviewing all the information already collected by the family has been an invaluable assistance to me in my own research.

My mother, for example, had received a copy of an extract of births, marriages, and burials in a church registry.  A cousin had gone through the entire record and written down all entries involving anyone with the last name of Bubb.  That list provided a goldmine of information for me that I was able to develop further using online resources unavailable to my mother. 

And, as another example, my great-grandmother had a letter in which a daughter of my third-great-grandmother had written that her mother came to Uitenhage, South Africa with a “Joe du Mal.”  When I shared this with a cousin, she quickly located a history blog that identified “Joe du Mal” as “a famed Portuguese harpooner, Jose de Mell,” corroborating the family lore and providing additional color and avenues for research.

How do you use Permanent to preserve your research?

Lynn: I use Permanent both to preserve and, just as important to me, to share my research with others in the family.  I have scanned the entire suitcase of genealogical records received from my great-grandmother and uploaded it to a Permanent archive.  Now, instead of being kept in a closet at my home, it is available on Permanent for all interested family members to review.  It provides insights for additional genealogical research, but it also provides insights into my great-grandmother and her passion for family history.

As another example, I inherited from my father a sizeable collection of letters, pictures, ledgers, and other documents of my great-grandfather Paxman.  I knew the collection would be of interest to my extended family.  I scanned the items to preserve them but for many years could find no easy way to share them with family.  Then at RootsTech 2020 I heard about Permanent.

Permanent provides the perfect way for me to preserve and share documents, photographs, and even digitized family movies.  It also provides the means for me to preserve my research by commenting on items to provide historical context, identify individuals, and explain obscure references. 

For example, it took two cousins and me weeks to identify the family members in a series of pictures taken on my great-great-grandmother’s 80th birthday celebration in September 1910.  Those identifications are now preserved on Permanent and accessible for all members of the family.

How have you used Permanent to connect family and friends?

Lynn: I have used both private and public archives on Permanent to connect with family.  The process of collecting, scanning, organizing, researching, and preparing an archive to share with family led to many connections.  My children and cousins provided invaluable help in preparing one archive to go public and we are working on others. 

After launching the public Paxman-Moody Archive, I shared the link with family members via email, FamilySearch Family Tree, and at a virtual family reunion.  It was easy to log in and show Permanent’s features.  My daughter-in-law is so interested she wants to have a family history day this holiday season so she can learn to set up an archive for her family.

Below are some comments I received from extended family members who reviewed the Paxman-Moody Archive:

“This morning I noticed the document that you just posted to FamilySearch Family Tree about the WRH Paxman family. I have spent the last two hours immersed in the document. I was also led to the Archive which you created. I am so impressed and so grateful for the tremendous work that you have done to bring together so much information about the Paxman and Moody families. It is so well organized, and you have made it so interesting to investigate. This is a legacy that will be cherished for many generations to come.”

“THANK YOU for posting the link to this documentary history. I really appreciate it.”

“This is wonderful, and I will pass it along to my children.”

“Thank you for a treasure and a work of love. It is an amazing and inspiring story. I love my family even more. Thank you.”

“This is wonderful. I’ve had a good time reading and looking at the photos. This is a valuable resource for us all.  Thank you, Lynn for your work putting this together and sharing it with the family community.”

“I just wanted you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed looking over the information you compiled about our relatives.”