I’m sure my faithful readers are wondering why my posts have been scant lately. The summer has just been a whirlwind! Travel, family stuff and work have kept me away from this blog. I’m happy to report that the past month I’ve been doing my own version of Swedish death cleaning.
If you aren’t sure you know what that is, check out this older NBC article. I’m not planning on dying any time soon but the opportunity presented itself (pre death as an opportunity, hmmm) for me to unload many family treasures that have been held on to for generations and pass them along to a younger family member that is interested in them. Hoorray!
It’s a mixed blessing seeing these items go. Holding the old recipes cards of long deceased female family members in my hand always stirred in me that connection of past to present as I prepared a much loved family dish. I’ll miss that but I’m happy to know that not only the past and present are at play with this decision to pass them along, the future is also impacted and that’s awesome from a genealogist’s point of view!
I just began this process so I’ll be engaged in it for a few more weeks. This pace is perfect for me and my genealogy. I’ll be reanalyzing some of my documents as these cherished objects are looked at one more time. For example, we have some old Bibles in German from the 1800’s. Using the copyright date helps be determine the extent of German language usage by the family member who owned it. I know who owned it because of the name recorded on the front page. No, there is no record in the Bible of births/deaths/marriages so this won’t help me with family connections. Why the German language connection is important at a particular time period is because it will help me perhaps discover additional information in a local German newspaper that normally wouldn’t come up through a Chronicling America search. I can also explore churches in the area that had a service in German since I’ve been unable to find church records for that person. Thinking outside the box with a find can help you discover a wealth of valuable information and insights into an ancestor.
Some items I just can’t part with yet so I’ve placed a label on the bottom of the item with who it originally belonged to so when I really am dead, my family doesn’t have to guess as to what items are historical and what isn’t. Maybe I’ll part with those before my death but just in case, they are identifiable.
So as you enjoy your last beach weekend or cookout of the summer, I’ll be happily going through my treasures and creating a new treasure chest for a loved one. Kind of like being a nice pirate!