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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you do with it???

I have lots of beautiful table cloths, some hand monogramed by my grandmother (I'm 63) napkins, hand croched hand towels...They mean something to me, but not to my children who seem to have a more informal lifestyle.

I also have silver serving pieces, again some monogramed. 3 sliver flatware sets.

And pictures. I'm the only one who knows who is in the pictures. Family history does not seem to be important to my adult children. Will it sometime? Do I hang on to them?

I'm runnin' outa room. Just spent all day washing & ironing the linens.

What do you do with it all????

As it is, I'm sending all the report cards, child drawings, etc to each child to do with as he/she wishes.
 

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My inlaws are giving pieces to their children for birthdays and Christmas. Personally, I do not understand your children! Every family piece I have is a cherished belonging. It would probably be a good idea to label the photos with names/dates/etc.
 

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I went through all our old pictures and labeled them. My DD doesn't care about the old linens that I have but I've stored put them in acid free tissue paper and am keeping them for the grandkids.
 

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Wolf mom said:
What do you do with it???

I have lots of beautiful table cloths, some hand monogramed by my grandmother (I'm 63) napkins, hand croched hand towels...They mean something to me, but not to my children who seem to have a more informal lifestyle.

I also have silver serving pieces, again some monogramed. 3 sliver flatware sets.

And pictures. I'm the only one who knows who is in the pictures. Family history does not seem to be important to my adult children. Will it sometime? Do I hang on to them?

I'm runnin' outa room. Just spent all day washing & ironing the linens.

What do you do with it all????

As it is, I'm sending all the report cards, child drawings, etc to each child to do with as he/she wishes.

I also have textiles from my grandmother. Right now I am storing them in a cedar closet. Don't know what I am going to do with them. I do not have a great many of them.

Don't have any silver.

Now pictures..........I've got pictures and will get more when Mom dies. Those I am presently dealing with. I have been working on my genealogy since 2002 and since then, family has given me hundreds of photographs. Even have one tin type from 1870 with my great great grandmother and her children, hubby was killed in Civil War. I am making a glorified photo album, except I am using acid free materials from scrapbooking supply places. I put three copies of photographs on each page and then type out who, what, when, where, on photo paper and stick it all down. I know most of the people in the photos, but no one else in the family does, and they are not real interested. I will eventually pass the photo album on to a neice or nephew.

Yes, family history is important and needs to be preserved. If you can, write down what you know. You never know when the bug will hit someone. My sudden interest started in the summer of 2002 when I was the lucky child to clear out Mom's house while placing her in assisted living. It fell to me to divide the "Indian Collection". One of my great great grandfathers gathered a collection when he worked as an Indian Agent/Inspector. After I dispursed the collection, I realized I knew nothing about this man, and I have never looked back, been digging family history since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You know, I don't understand them either, Ravenlost. I too cherish family items from the past

My DD is not a "collector" & isn't interested in family history or "stuff to lug around" as she calls it. My DIL rules her house & she "can't be bothered". I believe my DS cares - maybe I'll just preserve family stuff for him in the future.

My grandfather traced his family back to 1795 settling in Schoharie County New York. I even took my children on a trip there to visit. They seemed interested then. Oh well, life moves on.

Maybe I'll work on a family history album during the winter. Sounds like a nice project.
 

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You could write a short history of the family, copy some of the pictures, and include the story of the woman who made the linen & give them as gifts to extended family for weddings. Don't even just think of your own kids, think neices, nephews, cousin's children, anyone related to this person.
 

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Is there other family members who would cherish them as you do? Most families have someone, a cousin maybe, that is into family history.

I also have lots of things that belonged to my ancestors. I have put many items in vacuum sealed bags and marked who it belonged to and how I am related to that person. My kids used to not care at all, now that the items are identified, they are all interested. My son even has me saving a bar of soap (real soap she brought from Mexico many years ago) that his grandmother gave to him.

My sister is the opposite. She found several items in dad's house that she threw away because they were old. They were heirlooms that had been passed down from my 4th great grandmother!

Maybe one day your children will develop an interest. If not, I hope you can find a niece or nephew that would cherish the items.


ETA: Don't rule out the possibility that you may one day have grandchildren who may love the items. I'd wait for grandchildren before I started handing things out to extended family members.

This thought is added because my grand-daughter just read what I wrote and brought that to my attention. :)
 

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I agee with looking to extended family. Ask around and someone will probably show an interest. I have a 16 place setting of china and offered it to dd's and neither wanted it. However, my nephew's wife does so I boxed it up and put her name on it. I have a blanket chest that g-g-g-grandparents used as wagon seat when they moved to Iowa from Ohio in 1850's. I've offered it to a cousin that carries the family name and who has a son to hand it on down to ... if he doesn't pick it up soon I'll offer it to children of my grandfather's brother. There is a dresser that has been handed down in my mother's family to the oldest daughter of each generation for at least 5 generations. I'm the oldest daughter so it will come to me. However, my oldest dd has never married and youngest dd has only boys so my mother has asked me to pass it to my nephew's oldest daughter. It came to her from an aunt who only had sons. As far as pictures, genealogy, etc. amazingly enough the only one interested of my children is my adopted daughter!! I've accumulate a tremendous amount of information and share it with anyone that's interested. When I'm gone, what happens, happens.
 

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PLEASE, label all your pictures.. You can purchase acid free labels to place on the back of each. I have two huge boxes of pictures that were my grandmothers and no one else is now alive to tell me who they are. Save things for your grandchildren.... My parents did not care for family items, we moved and they went in the trash or by the curb.. What I would give to have just a single plate, napkin, etc. from my grandparents. I love vintage dishes, linens and glassware, and I long for those pcs. that are now gone...QB
 

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I agree with the others--do save the items and care for them. SOMEONE in your family or extended family will love them and cherish them in the future, even if your own children do not at this point. There are so few things that belonged to my husband's grandparents and mine that we have, and I plan on keeping them all safe. My mother just sent copies of letters to her from her mother, to her two sisters and one brother, her only surviving siblings. They all cried when they read them. Their mother has been gone for many years, and two of them were very young when she passed. The letters gave them an insight into her feelings about them, how she struggled with no money, and how she felt in general about things. I was very touched at their responses to getting the copies of the letters and glad my Mom decided to share them.

Jan in Co
 

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We just recently went through our family photos. I tossed out a BUNCH of them. You know those photos you take and then now look and say, "who are these people next to us"??? Plus how many duplicates of school pictures do you really need??

I do have lots of old family photos dating back to the 1800's. No one ever labeled them and I'm the last one of our family who actually knows who everyone is. I labeled all of those.

In our family, none of my relatives were interested in the old family things/photos. I was the granddaughter that treasured them and they got passed on to me. My daughter (the great-granddaughter) also treasures them and they will go to her. So you never know -- hang on to them until someone is interested.

I often go to a place like Cracker Barrel and see those old photos on the wall and think about how sad that is. Those old folks never dreamt no one would care and they ended up on the wall of a restaurant as a decoration. To say nothing of the old folks chamber pot. How disrespectful and sad.
 

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i have no one either. my son never married and he has a houseful of dogs. they have the run of the house. fine china and linens wouldn't last long. my mother passed hers and grandmothers along to me before she died and told me to use it not keep it locked away. and I have except for the past 2 years when i have it stored. then theirs my own china and linens my first husband and i collected together. then I have all of my second husbands second wife's china etc. (no children). I'm pulling it all out again in august when I move and i will start entertaining again and use it. most of the kids these days don't want to bother with material things.they just want to travel "light' ...Georgia
 

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I was just visiting my father, who ended up with a LOT of photo albums of his ancestors when his sister died recently. These are great old photos, going back to the early 1900's and the immigrant families. Many of them will go to the local history museum for the area where he grew up. Fortunately most of them are labeled with names, years and even places. In the museum, if one of us wants to see them, we can just go see them and they are preserved for our children and grandchildren.

I was a bit sad when he gave my favorite quilt my great grandmother started and my grandmother finished to the museum without asking if any of us wanted it, but at least it is cared for and not thrown away and it will be enjoyed by many.

I enjoy the "old things", but I don't want a lot of "stuff" either. I've always been a packrat, but I am reforming my ways. I do want a few old family things to enjoy and remember my ancestors by and I have some nice old linens, which I use at times.

I think my father is also going to scan those pictures and make CD's for each of us, so that we can look at them any time too, but store them compactly. His only problem there is finding software that will allow him to add extended descriptions to each picture so it has its names, dates and places.
 

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If you have no one, how about a close friend that would treasure and respect them?

My daughter and I have a few things from friends who had no one to pass them on to and I consider their things just as much a part of our family as my own family things. They are used and cared for with love and respect because they are someone's parents, grandparents, great-grandparents. They deserve to be remembered. I'm sure one of your friends would do the same.
 

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When my grandmother moved out of her home to live with my Uncle for health reasons I moved into her place. Well when I moved out so did some of her stuff because I knew that my Mother would want some of the heirlooms that my Grandmother had. And some things of hers as well. Well my Grandmother passed (it's been 9 years, she was 85) and I was right in taking some things because my Uncle didn't give anyone anything of hers, didn't even read her will. :flame: Well all those things I took (pictures, pitchers, dishes, linens, and other lil things) are coming to me.
I also have a cross from my ex's family that is going to my daughter when she gets grown. It's been in his family since 1850. :cool:
I don't understand why someone wouldn't want a piece of their family history. History is not something you can replace, it's there forever and in some way part of who you are. :shrug:
 

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On Jan. 4, 1998, I watched my home, that I grew up in, burn to the ground. I lost 6 generations of family "stuff" in less than 2 hours.

I have replaced some with the same patterns from antique stores and estate sales, but it isn't quite the same.

Those items were made and used with love, and should be passed on to someone who will appreciate them. BTW, YOU should be using them now, not storing them away because they are the "good" things.
I learned that when I lost mine, they were put up to be looked at and not touched, sure wish I had them to use now.

Ed
 

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(there is a point to this story. *wink*)

When my great grandmother went into a nursing home, all of her furniture was stored in my grandma's already tiny house. Grandma said to the family, "Come and take what you want, just get it out of my house!"

I was in college at the time, so it took me a while to get over there. There was ONE thing I wanted. When I arrived, there were only a few things left (all the "nicer and newer" things had been taken.) I almost cried with joy when I saw that no one had taken the table I wanted. Grandma almost cried too- she thought no one wanted it.

This table was made by my g-g-g-grandfather, repaired at some point by my g-g-grandfather, then given to my g-grandmother as a wedding gift.

The moral of the story- don't give up. History cannot be replaced.

My suggestion- write up the history of each item and seal it up tight. Put them in storage somewhere and let your kids know where they are in case of emergency.
 

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Caryatid - your story reminded me of a piece that we have. In the house that my GM grew up in and that the family owned until recently, there was a pie safe in the old kitchen. The floor of the kitchen slanted so much towards the wall and the pie safe was always so full of food that when they painted the kitchen they just left it in place and painted around it! When the property was sold, no one wanted it but me! It has holes in the back panel where the mice chewed through and a big worn spot on the front where the wooden handle wore the wood away but is it beautiful to me!! I'm going to strip the tin panels and paint the wood a country red, put in some extra shelves, and use it as a bookcase.
 

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In reference to the linens, could you not cut them into large squares and make a memory quilt of them? Intersperse them with photos copied onto new linen, from all those pictures. Leave a few blank squares where you can use fabric markers to tell little anecdotes about the family. Pass them along to your siblings at Christmas and watch the tears flow.
 
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