Monday, January 4, 2016

Continuing Education: Family Treasures

Too often family treasures end up selling for pennies at a yard sale or, sadly, in a dumpster, because the younger generation knows nothing of the family stories associated with them. Each of us has some responsibility for these losses.

While there is still time:
Make a list of items that are special to you, with notes stating why they are special: What is their significance? Who bought them? Where? Who owned them? When and how did you come to have them?

Make a similar list for the treasures still with older relatives.

Use your computer to set up a Family Inventory, noting both paternal and maternal sides of the family.

Create a page to display a photo of each item and the story of its family history. If you are a scrap booker, this is a terrific project—think about involving other members of the family in its creation. Today you can use computer programs to scrapbook OR scan the completed pages and send copies to members of the family so that everyone is familiar with your family’s treasures.

If you are not computer literate and do not have a friend or family member who can help you with the project there are alternatives. Dedicate a scrapbook or photo album to family treasures. Take a photograph of each item. Place it on a page and next to it write a description, answering the questions posed above.

If these are your treasures, note who should receive each treasure at the time of your death. Make sure that the recipients receive a copy of this list.

For the sake of your descendants for generations to come, do not allow yourself, or any member of your family to take memories of treasured items into eternity.

by Donie Nelson

[Inspired by an edited article by the Rev. Charles Stanley, Ret., previously published in RootsWeb Review: 9 September 2009, Vol. 12, No. 9, excerpted from the Whittier Area Genealogical Society’s October 2009 Newsletter, via South Orange County California GS, Saddleback Valley Trails, V. 17, No. 5, May 2010