Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Rare Find

Occasionally in our lives, we will stumble upon something that is a true treasure and means a great deal to us.

Such was the case today. My dad was getting ready for a Valentine's party at his home tomorrow, so my sister and niece were there helping him decorate. Sometime during the day, my sister was rummaging through a closet, and found a box.

She opened it and found some wonderful and amazing things. There were several very old photographs of people from my mother's ancestry. Her great grandmother and her children, and several of our other ancestors. This was cool in and of itself, but there were also birth certificates, and death certificates.

There were two items in particular that captured my attention. They were a report card, and a spelling notebook that belonged to my Grandmother's sister. Her name was Lillian. Part of the poignancy of that little notebook was that her spelling tests (all with 100%) were dated. October 21, 1913, October 29, 1913, October 30, 1913... Lillian died on October 31, 1913.

That little notebook was one of the last things she held before her leaving this earth.

I am not sure what age she was, but I do know she was in grade school. My grandmother would have been about 7.

One other treasure in the box was a transcript of a discussion with my Grandmother and my Great Aunt with them telling things about their lives. I was quite young when this took place. The taped conversations were typed to be put together a life history for them.

Over time, the transcript was forgotten, and thought lost. It had been in this box for many years some rather unsuitable spots. It was known to have spent a great deal of time in Grandma's loft over her garage.

It was really cool to see all of the things in that box. My sister is going to have it all properly preserved. I look forward to reading the re-transcribed discussion with my Grandma and great aunt.

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At February 08, 2006 4:47 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I love finding family history. I just think there's something wonderful about learning who the people were in your past and how they lived.

Thanks for sharing.

At February 08, 2006 9:23 AM, Blogger Jillian said...

That is a VERY COOL find!! I love stuff like that.

What did Lillian die of so suddenly? That is tragic. There were lots of early deaths in my family, too, particularly on my mom's side. At least 2 of my grandmother's siblings died of TB while still young.

My mom doesn't know it yet, but I'm going to scrapbook a bunch of old photos for her for this year's Christmas gift. :)

By the way -- we kind of dropped off with our chapter-swapping, but I intend to get back to it ASAP. I hope your week isn't too crazy!

At February 08, 2006 4:32 PM, Blogger Jetting Through Life said...

I have some stuff from my grandfather when he died... I have kept it in the same box I got it in... Books and such.

How amazing that you held onto the very things that she had in her possession before her untimely death.

What a great write up Dave.


At February 08, 2006 5:03 PM, Blogger Dave said...


We were trying to remember what it was that took her. I don't know for sure if it was a lingering thing. I am under the impression that it was a sudden occurance.

My sister remembers that it was something that shouldn't have killed her, and is treatable.

At February 09, 2006 7:04 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

I love it! What a blessing!

Quick story: I had a genealogy pal of mine find long lost papers of an ancestor I was trying to track down in Strafford NH.

I couldn't make the connection because the records I needed couldn't be found until my "guardian angel" found them in an old attic of a house once owned (many years) ago by one of my ancestors! I can picture her walking past the cobwebs in that attic to the dusty stack of papers with a smile of satisfaction on her face. She is a dear lady friend, and we've yet to meet in person.

Part of the old town records had been stored there for some reason. Tax records and a few census records helped to prove the connection! It was way cool!

My own grandma was a nut like myself. She loved to keep scrapbooks and would just jot down names of her genealogy down on paper and kept "everything." I have so many records of my ancestors from her. I have compiled much from the data she kept.

Good for you on such a find! Make sure your kids and family members know to pass it on down. My family know that my research and records are to be passed down and additional research should be passed on to future researchers! I told them I'd spook them from the grave if they tossed it ;)

Have fun with your treasure! Better than gold, I say.

have a good one.


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