Thursday, June 28, 2007

Leave a Legacy

When you think of your parents, grandparents and other ancestors, do you have anything that they owned or created? My wife has been a quilter all of her life and has created wonderful quilts for our family, children and grandchildren. She has made all of them quilted wall hangings that reflect their personalities, show the season of the year and even calendar special family dates.

When our daughters were youngsters, she made most of their clothing including special quilted vests that they loved to wear. The clothing wore out as it passed through the family, but our granddaughters still wear the vests that their mothers wore at the same age. Now, grandma has made each of our granddaughters quilted vests and our grandsons vests and hats to wear and pass on to their children.... All are legacies created by their grandma Drew.

Connie's love for quilting has passed on to our daughters and daughter-in-laws. Connie and the girls make an annual 'sisters' quilt for each other. Each of them creates quilt squares of their own design and then forwards them to the next oldest person in the group. That person adds more original squares that complement the theme and sends the quilt on its way again.. At the end of the full rotation, each of them has a beautiful unique quilt, created with the love of their talented 'sisters'.

Are you creating 'Legacy' items for your family? They will love your work and as time goes on, the value of your Legacy creations will exceed that of gold in the minds of your descendants.

Enjoy the story below about another grandmother's quilts...

What a Project!

Over the past ten years, I've often been asked how young men working to get their scouting 'Eagle' award could use a family history topic for their Eagle project. My universal answer has been to go to a local cemetery and inventory all of the burials in it. They should then give a copy of their data to the city and also post it on free websites such as Find-a-grave or the U.S. GenWeb Tombstone Inscription Project Hopefully on Both!

This morning, I happened across a video of a young man named Brad Jencks from Salt Lake Valley who not only used this idea for his Eagle project, but went far beyond posting the data on the web. Take 5 minutes out of your day and watch the video he created that chronicles his project at the Bingham Cemetery. Brad is A+ in my book.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


It seems that no matter how many times I 'carefully' review the documents, notes, photos and other family history memorabilia that I've collected over the years, I aways find additional 'Treasure' when I look at them again. Why?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that some of the information didn't have meaning in earlier reviews. Since that time, I've found additional information about my family and that knowledge has unlocked the previously 'valueless' data. In other cases, I simply hadn't thought to look for information elsewh
ere on the document that I was holding.

Case in point. Recently, I opened my mothers old 'Book of Remembrance' to see if she had written any notes in the margin about of the families in my current research project. I've had her Book of Remembrance for many years and long ago 'carefully' went through it page by page to make sure that I'd captured all of her data and research. However, for some reason, my eyes were only drawn to the typewritten fronts of the pages and her handwritten notes in the margins. I was totally blind to the documents she had glued to the back of many of those old family group sheet pages.

When I found the first document on the back of a page this week, I stared at it as though it was a ghostly apparition. How could I have missed it earlier? As I continued to thumb through the pages, more documents 'appeared'.


I don't know why she glued birth, marriage and other certificates to the pages, but there
they were and will always stay. I'm now busily scanning them and printing copies on acid-free paper for my files. The originals are starting to decay with time and the effects of the glue and in a few short years will turn into crumbled dust. But for now, I've found treasure and it had been quietly sitting on a shelf in my office for years waiting to be discovered again.

The principles of this story can be repeated in any of our family history collections. They are full of treasures that we just need to find. Glean these treasures from your own files and then wait a while and do it again. Just as rocks always seem to regrow in fields, family history treasures always turn up when we carefully review our family history documents and files