The last of my dad’s siblings passed away recently. Aunt Bunny and I weren’t particularly close, so I had no idea how many family photos and memorabilia she possessed. Possibly because she outlived her siblings, many cousins and two of her three children, she became the logical repository for such family treasures.
Her son Mark and his wife Alice encouraged family to make copies before they took the photos back to their home in another state. My cousin and I scanned photos and genealogy information for several hours, but didn’t quite finish before Mark and Alice were scheduled to hit the road. I’ve continued scanning off and on for several weeks and have just a few more photos left to scan. Whew!
I’m grateful that my aunt kept the photos and documents in good shape, but there are two things she could have done to make these treasures more valuable for the next generation.
Labeling: Most of the photos have some sort of writing on the back, however, some of the writing was faded or illegible. Most of the information was first names only, which isn’t very helpful if you’re trying to connect them with a certain family. Dates and locations would also have been great information.
Share: As the oldest member of the family, it would have been very helpful if Aunt Bunny had shared the photos and documents before dementia faded her memory. It would have been so interesting to hear the stories that accompanied the photos. We also could have been enjoying family history and posting information to ancestry.com instead of it being stored away in boxes.
I plan to work with my mother (who is the oldest of her siblings and the oldest of the remaining cousins on both her mother and father’s side of the family) to not only label photos with names, dates and locations, but include relationships. We need to scan photos and documents for other family members to enjoy now.
What history and memories do you have stored in boxes? Sharing them would make an excellent Christmas present!