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Preserving Family Legacy through treasured Artefacts

The Kilted Ancestors prompt for August 2023 in line with the Annual Genealogy Challenges & Triumphs topic was in relation to Artefacts.

These precious items which are passed down through the years hold the power to connect us with our roots & bridge the gap between the generations of our families.

Remember that they are not just objects, they carry stories & memories that link us to our relatives. Whether this be a family photo album, jewellery, piece of furniture, ornament or letter, they all have stories to tell. They each remind is of where we come from & offer insights into the lives of our Ancestors challenges & triumphs.

I would always suggest asking the extended family what items they may have & who they belonged to. Document & photograph these & note the item against the relevant relatives in your research. Or create a family archive documenting the stories & histories behind each Artefact, record oral or video interviews with family members telling the history of the item, who it belonged to, how it was passed down to them & how much it means to them.

If you happen to own an item, be sure to store it properly so that it may be preserved to prevent deterioration. Keep items away from sunlight, humidity & extreme temperatures. If you haven’t already check out my recent post on 'caring for old family history documents'.

If you come across a family member who has documents or photographs ask if you can digitise them.

Has your treasured item seen better days? Remember that all is not lost! DO NOT just throw it away! Seek the help of a professional conservator.

Importantly please handle items carefully, preferably with gloves…. if you don’t have gloves then clean hands & take off all jewellery so things don’t catch.

What items do you have in your family? As the Family Historian in my own, I have been passed a few items such as my Grandfathers WW2 Uniform, old photographs & documents & a couple of pieces of Jewellery. Some of these belonged to members of the family that I never had the opportunity to meet as they sadly passed before I was born, its funny how I feel close to them just by owning an item that was once theirs.

Perhaps as we grow old, we should spend some time thinking about who would appreciate items that we own & detail who should be passed what. Remember that as an item is being passed down to yet another generation that the all-important story should go with it too!


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