Tuesday, November 30, 2010

There is One in Every Family

The challenge this month from our group of Genealogical Bloggers (Geneabloggers) was to create a blog with the theme, "There's One in Every Family". The real challenge of course was to define the one WHAT??? in every family. Is the WHAT a famous person, a black sheep, a renowned artist, a super athlete, an explorer, an adventure who broke out of the family to take a different path than the others? We genealogists look at many families in our research, and I believe there are many people who could fit into the WHAT definition of this theme. However, the person who I certainly HOPE is in every family is the Collector. You might see where I am going here. I am talking about the collectors of family stories, heirlooms, and photographs- essentially, the Family Historians in the family. They not only collect names and dates, but they also collect the information which fills out the character of our ancestors and their descendants- makes them real people.

Family historians never throw anything away that might be of historical significance to the family or might even have the potential of being so.

In my genealogical research, I have often come across several persons in my family who have had the foresight to save stories, pictures, postcards, letters, newspaper clippings, and even the rare journal. My great grandfather, Thomas W. Russell kept an 1880 journal which has survived to this day. Ralph Sherwin, an uncle in my Russell Line, saved a box of vintage photos. Alice Wagner, another aunt, kept all the postcards sent to her by her brother in World War II. The list could go on. It is the job of the family historian to find these collectors in our family and preserve their stash.

Recently, I reconized another person (Theresa) who is the Collector in her own branch of the family. Hopefully, there is at least one in every family. The image below shows a chronological collection of photos of Theresa's mother, Mrs. Shirley Gailliot, nee. Trice. The collection represents several life events of Theresa's Mom.

Theresa displayed her collection on an easel in the lobby of the funeral home in which her mom rested. Thank you Theresa for your exhibit. It reminded me of the happy moments of one member of our family. And my grandchildren will know her too.


Index for Carnival of Genealogy editions at "Creative Gene" blog.

Proposal by Creative Gene for the 100th editon of the Carnival of Genealogy.

Read posts by other Geneabloggers concerning the topic, "There's one in every family".


J.M. said...

Great post. Yes, collectors (sometimes called pack-rats) are to be treasured!

TK said...

In my family, it was my grandma Evelyn who kept everything. Even now, I'm not sure I've found all her treasures yet. Every once in awhile, something new turns up, and I'm delighted all over again.

Bob Kramp said...

If you are fortunate T.K., your grandma Evelyn's treasure chest is still in one place so you CAN go back to it again. Unfortunately, most of the time, especially if the owner has past, the treasure has been removed, distributed to the heirs, or worst of all- thrown out with the trash :-( Thank goodness for pack rats.