In an effort to collect and preserve family documents and treasures, Vernon and Sondra (Einfeldt) Harmelink, Phoenix, Arizona, established a family archive. They voluntarily began to collect items and organized what they have.
An archive is an organized body of records pertaining to an organization or institution; in this case, a family. The Harmelink Archive is intended as a repository, storage place, museum for records and artifacts. This Archive includes vital statistics (birth, marriage, divorce and death records), photographs, documents, certificates, diplomas, military records, news clippings (achievements, acknowledgments, obituaries) and heirlooms or photos of sentimental keepsakes. The items will be centrally organized and accessible to family members.
The Harmelink Family is anyone using the name in any version (Harmeling, Hermelink, Hermeling), those with Harmelink genes (blood), having legal ties to family members by marriage or adoption and their descendants or even by divorce. Once a Harmelink, always a Harmelink.
Vernon and Sondra (Einfeldt) Harmelink volunteered to collect and organize what they have. Statistics and photographs are being entered into Family Tree Maker, version 7. Hard copy printouts of records, statistical worksheets and original copies of photographs are stored in five steel file cabinets at the couple’s home. A few precious artifacts (e.g. gold pocket watch and two gold wedding bands owned by John Harmelink, Sr.) are stored in a safe deposit box in a bank.
Harmelink family members were asked to submit birth, marriage, divorce or death records, photos and newspaper coverage, obituaries and funeral memorial brochures. The request for materials is of particular importance to people who are closing down a home or downsizing possessions. There are instances of old photos being thrown out because it was thought no one would want them. Label photographs with names, dates and places. Even without labeling, photos are valuable, since names, places and approximate dates can often be determined from other photos, from family group records or the ages of children in photos.
Family members who want to retain wedding, graduation or family group photos, can send copies. Paper records will be deposited in the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society files in the Sioux Center, Iowa Library, and the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.