Preservation pays off—read stories of family discoveries people have made due to the preservation efforts of others.
Piles of old documents sitting around in the attic. Old family keepsakes gathering dust. Each piece of your family’s past has a story to tell, but unfortunately, these stories can be forgotten or lost if steps aren’t taken to preserve them. You can protect these precious memories from the passage of time and the effects of age and neglect, helping ensure their survival for future generations.
The following stories are just a few that people have shared about how preserving books, photos, documents, and more has brought them closer to their ancestors and helped them discover more about their past. What have you learned from a preserved family treasure?
A Taste of the Past
“I’m lucky enough to have my great-grandmother’s cookbook, printed in 1890. The pastry section has several of her fingerprints in butter and added recipes in her own handwriting. The book is such a giveaway on what she cooked for her family at the turn of the last century.”
Family History—For Someone Else’s Family
“After finding Grandma’s scrapbook, I started looking more closely at the people within the pages, and I was moved by her page of the first boy she really liked. His life ended too soon, but he was not forgotten. Perhaps someday, someone in his family might like to know this little part of his life and the smile on his face, so I took the photos of the page and notes and attached them to his page on FamilySearch.org. For me, family history, no matter whose family it is, is about not being forgotten. I never knew Ronald Dangerfield. He is not part of my family, but he is not forgotten because my grandmother took the time to remember him.”
Saving the Scrapbook
“Incredibly, I called on my dad’s aged cousin on the very day she was discarding her parents’ (my grandpa’s sister) family scrapbook, which contains many cards from their 50th wedding anniversary as well as sympathy cards from her father’s death. She didn’t think anyone cared. I fished the pages out of her trash and still have them today, years after her own death.”
Grandpa’s White Shirts
“Shortly after my grandfather passed away, I started a new job working for the Church. I needed white shirts to wear to the office every day, but because I wear a special size, I wasn’t able to find anything that fit me. As my family and I went through my grandfather’s possessions, we discovered three white shirts that hadn’t been worn in years, perfectly preserved and covered with plastic. Sure enough, they were a perfect fit. I was able to wear my grandfather’s shirts for years before they finally wore out, along with a pair of his black dress shoes that I remember him polishing every day when he got home from his own job with the Church. Although it would be my first day working for the Church, my shoes and shirts had been here before. Because Grandpa preserved these items, I was much better prepared to start my new career, and I knew he would have been happy to know that they were being used instead of just being stored somewhere.”
Once Known, but Long Forgotten
“One of my brothers passed away a few years ago. My sister volunteered to scan his photo albums, but then her scanner died. I used JoyFLIPS to scan several albums and all his loose photos too. Mixed in among the photos were funeral programs, wedding invitations, and all kinds of newspaper clippings. Today, I discovered that one of the news articles was about my nephew. He received the Silver Star for bravery above and beyond the call of duty while he was serving as a Marine in Vietnam. I remembered that he received a Purple Heart, but I had forgotten the Silver Star! What a find!”
JoyFLIPS allows you to scan printed photos quickly from your iPhone. You can record audio stories about the photo, organize them into albums, and then share your photos and audio stories from JoyFLIPS with your family, friends, and FamilySearch.
Seeing the Effort of Preservation
“I use Twile timelines for my children who are not into hardcore genealogy research but who are very visual; they love to go look at and add to our family timeline. They learn a little about their family history in this way as they scroll up and down the timeline. It has also been a great way for us to all share our individual memories about events from our current family photos. Our children are even talking about how fun it will be to keep adding to the timeline and to keep up with each other in this way as they grow up and leave home. I really love that Twile makes it easy for current family memories to merge with family history. It is all on the same timeline!”
Twile turns your FamilySearch tree into a free and private visual timeline of everything that has ever happened in your family. It is designed to make family history more engaging and accessible to the whole family, especially the younger generations.