I came across the following article in the Washington Post this past week and I had to share it with you – Americans are Pack Rats. Yes, we are! I had read this shortly after blogging an article for another genealogy organization about an experience I had with a pack rack relative and my frustration in not being able to locate a photo because I kept getting the response, “Well, it’s around here somewhere.”
My genealogy is well organized but occasionally, I have difficulty putting my hands on something I know I have. My most recent mysterious disappearance is of 2 handwritten letters for the eBook I’m currently working on. I’ve transcribed the letters but for the life of me can’t locate the originals. I’ve always kept the entire set together in the same order that I scanned them. After scanning, I transcribed the letters in order. The first letter and one written 13 months later have disappeared, along with the scan. The transcription remains. I’m considering this my Spooky October Happening as I have one or more each year; some unexplainable genealogical occurrence that is just weird. I’m hoping by November I can recover the documents.
But back to the article, I’m thinking that if the author’s approach is culturally established, it sure explains why my husband’s side didn’t have a lot of hand me downs. I’m still searching for a pic of his great grandmother, for goodness sakes.
I understand the article’s author’s motives but I think that I’d like to continue to use the family china until I’m either unaware of my surroundings or die. I wouldn’t want it pitched after my death so I think some items just ought to stay with the current owner until the very end. I use the label system. On items that have family value, I’ve placed a label on the bottom with the name of the original owner. That way, my descendants can easily identify that it’s an item that had significance. Whether they pitch or not is up to them. Knowing my family, they’ll keep it or pass it along to a family member who would continue to value it.
This isn’t a pleasant thought but end planning is necessary long before your life ends.