Friday, January 23, 2009


I have recently embarked on a journey into the past. The joke in my family is that I am the keeper of the H___ Museum. I treasure anything that I own that once belonged to me when I was a child, to my parents or to my grandparents. Within reason of course.

I still own my black and white copy books from first and second grade. You know the ones I mean. They still sell them. I have almost every picture my daughter ever drew in elementary school. I inherited most of my mother's old photos. My sister and I split them up, but I seem to have the bulk of them. You know - those old little black and white photographs showing people that we cannot identify. Old dolls, old dishes, tea sets, cut glass, souvenirs. You name it, I've got it.

To add to this, I have discovered the joy of genealogy. Why is it that when we reach fifty or thereabouts, we begin to be interested in long dead relatives? Why didn't we question our parents and especially our grandparents about their lives while we still had them with us? Not just about names and places, but how they lived their day to day lives, the trivia and details of their days.

I have found a site through our library's on-line service, wherein I can research old census documents. I am sure many of you have done this. It is like a mystery to be solved and I certainly love a mystery. I don't know much about doing this, but so far it is intriguing me to the point that I am glued to the computer screen until all hours of the night.

I knew that my paternal grandfather died when my father was a baby, supposedly during the 1918 great flu pandemic. This led me to a treatise written by a doctor about the epidemic and how it specifically affected Philadelphia. I then started to wonder what my grandmother's life was like when her young husband died and she had to return to her mother's house with her little boy. Why didn't I ever ask for details?

I have contacted a second cousin whom I have only met once and he has been working on the family history also. He has tons of interesting information that he will share with me.

Doing this is like herding cats, as they say. This person leads to that person who leads to another person and on and on and on.

Wish me luck - I am time traveling into the unknown past.


Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...

Wonderful blog! I must see the movie B. Buttons! Greta review on it! Enjoyed my visit!


Linda said...

I love little treasures from the past too. I remember my granma sharing stories of her chilhood and family stories...I loved hearing about the good old days. I wish she had kept a journal or diary....I've forgotten so much of what she shared. Enjoy your time travels...hugs, Linda

Willow said...

I don't have a lot of treasures from the past but I seem to be the keeper of some of the family past. I love history and that led me to find my ancestors. I have been greatly helped by a cousin of my father's.

Through it all my very dear friend in Oregon and I discovered that our relatives lived in the same country community and were buried in the same cemetery!

I was thinking of this all last night when I couldn't sleep. Thanks for reminding me again that I can continue my search.

Jess said...

Good luck on your journey...I have an uncle that does geneaology!

Have a good weekend
Love, Jess

Cindy said...

This post sure struck a cord with me. I love objects that I knew were used by parents and grandparents. I have a shovel that was my Grandfathers and I love using it knowing that he also used it.

Lynne said...

I went searching and found my great Gabel family. The old census reports are fun - I found one for my father but didn't realize it was his until much later.

It's amazing where these things lead.

Literary Feline said...

Good luck with your search! I did a little research on my family tree years ago, including going through census records but reached a bump that I haven't yet been able to get over. It's so interesting to learn more about one's ancestry and seeing where the past will take us.

Mountain Mama said...

Your post has shown me that we have a lot more in common than I thought. I have been doing genealogy research for about twenty years. I know how addicting it is and also how hard it is to keep eyes open to read the monitor when it's three AM!
I had for a few years and am thinking about getting it again. It's expensive but I think I may just get the census records.
I also love treasures from the past. Things that belonged to my ancestors make me feel closer to them. Sort of like closing the gap.
Have fun Violet Lady. Genealogy is an awesome adventure!

Char5 said...

Happy traveling on your "sentimental journey". I have always wanted to find out more about my grandparents and great-grandparents. My great-aunt did some research on the family back in the 1940s, but no one else kept up with it. Hope you discover many amazing things.
Thank you for coming by my blog for a visit and for adding me to your list of blogs you follow. Stop by anytime.
Charlotte in WV

BClark said...

We could be sisters, I also love all those bits and pieces of our lives. You need to go to and look around. They even have an online family tree you can fill in. One of my cousins got in touch with me through a post I had made in our family room. Enjoy!!