Genealogy is a lot more than just names, dates, places, and old documents. Our ancestors were living, breathing individuals who worked hard to support themselves and their families. They lived in and participated in their communities’ social and economic life. They bought food and clothing or they produced their own. Most attended school and religious services, had hopes and dreams, and experiences joys and sorrows the same as we do.
I know that all of that seems pretty obvious. However, our ancestors’ lives aren’t just the sum of the documentation found in courthouses, archives, and cemeteries that we track down in person or on the Internet. Our ancestors and their family members had physical possessions that they used each day, and some of them survive in the caring hands of family members today. These “artifacts” help bring our ancestors’ lives into focus.
The Family Archivist
Many of us have inherited one or more special heirlooms from one or more generations past. I was never shy in asking for specific items to be willed to me.
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