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Old 11-08-2017, 09:12 AM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
2,939 posts, read 2,832,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
Sure, but you should still scan it at least as a back up. What if, knock on wood, you lose your photos in a fire, flood, etc? Or they simply fade/wear down more and more? There's also the possibility of mold and such too. Many ways for a photo to be damaged or lost beyond repair. Scan them, back them up to the cloud (saving them only to your computer won't help in the event your computer is lost in a fire or flood too).
I have scanned them and have digital copies in several places. Since I live in the desert, so flood and mold are not big concerns.

My issue is what to eventually do with ephemera from my family history. I have no children or siblings. Cousins have near zero interest in anything genealogical. I will contact local historical and genealogical societies where my ancestors lived, but I have visited their collections and they have limited, if any, room for physical objects. I will expand the scope of my search if those fail as I would like to see the photos continue to exist and be of value to others.

I have contacted a few people on Ancestry who share ancestors (although the number is surprisingly small) and sent scans to those who responded and wanted them, Only one person wanted the actual photos, which I did send.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:05 AM
 
Location: The High Desert
8,138 posts, read 4,447,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminnm View Post
My issue is what to eventually do with ephemera from my family history. I have no children or siblings. Cousins have near zero interest in anything genealogical. I will contact local historical and genealogical societies where my ancestors lived, but I have visited their collections and they have limited, if any, room for physical objects.
I was a volunteer researcher at the state archives and there were many contributed family histories on file there but they probably need to be organized -- not boxes of things. There might be a state library or even a university library that would be interested but the material would need to be organized. We donated some civil war letters to the state archives where they were digitized and placed on-line but they gave the actual letters back.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:13 AM
 
Location: TX
3,952 posts, read 4,859,959 times
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Definitely scan and keep on CD anything you're going to throw away, unless it wouldn't be important to anyone else. Throw away photographs? Sacrilege! Keep them! And back them up also! I have a copy of an old photo given to me by a cousin, now deceased. He didn't know who it was because his aunt didn't label it. I keep that copy, because I believe it's my direct ancestor and hope someday I'll find out for sure. His branch of that family had only him and his children as descendants on that side, so very few possibilities of who it was. His branch and my branch had lost touch until I posted something looking for descendants of his grandmother. I just knew descendants were out there. It was a situation where my grandmother had died in a tornado, and her parents had died of other causes the same year. So the family became separated and lost touch...the parents had another daughter who had married and moved away already.

Last edited by Lee W.; 11-08-2017 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,776 posts, read 10,116,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZgarden View Post
I mean memorabilia in the form of papers, pictures, receipts, newspaper articles, birth certificates, etc etc.? I have way too much, yet do not want to discard it. I have my father's military papers, my mother's newspaper articles from her leadership in the community. I have the mortgage papers from the house they bought in 1941. And old insurance policies. I have her birth and death certificates.I have the valentines my father sent to my mother in 1941; And when I sift through all of it, it makes me sad.

Mom once said to me, "It's too bad that people have to die." She was lamenting some movie star who had passed. And now she has passed too. Every few years I get out this pile and look at it. None of it helps with my genealogy searches. It isn't important to anyone. My kids won't want it. What should I do?

I've had the same thoughts about this as you have. What should I plan to do with the 30+ years worth of genealogy I have managed to collect??? Over the last few years I have accumulated a LOT of 'paperwork' that could have disappeared over the years but I'm glad it didn't! I have both the purchase and selling papers from my grandparents first home in CO and also the papers for their first home in AZ. They married in 1908 and I have employment records and pay for my granddads jobs prior to that as well as after. I think my granddad and his brother in law at one time had a general store and there is a book full of 'orders', buyers name and amount. Fascinating to see prices back then. I have my mom's naturalization papers from 1953 and I remember that day when she became a citizen. I have a small purse that belonged to my great grandmother and it has all kinds of little stuff in it. Even a few small sea shells and hairpins. Also her eyeglasses, clay pipe, two hair combs and the receipt from the bank where she cashed her last Widows Pension check of $25. I have a shadow box I intend to put all those things into, just because. I have a bank savings passbook of my grandmothers and I'd like to know the story about that. She opened it with $15 and then withdrew it $3 at a time till gone. I've always wondered why she opened it, why she emptied it that way and just what the story was! lol


I'm thinking I'll just leave the whole thing to my kids, their kids, etc. and let THEM decide what ultimately becomes of it all. Some things I will for sure leave to the Family History Center here in town and they can do what they wish with it.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:15 AM
 
3,927 posts, read 1,723,242 times
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You should check with the Mormons, who are better at genealogy than anyone else and don't charge fees for it. You can get on their site, familysearch.org and link all those documents and find and link others - I never thought I would see some of the things I found there. I looked at my grandfather's original social security application the year they invented social security and my grandmother's marriage license to her second husband. Such valuable information on these papers, too, like parents' names and places of birth, in some cases in European towns that no longer exist or merged...really, it's fascinating.

The military stuff I agree you should find out (and let me know). I have my father's father's military history in photos and medals I can't identify.

All these things have value to people who value them and each bit can lead to a more complete history of something you mightn't even suspect.

So, sorry to be OT, but yes, I have ephemera, not so much, but so valuable. I don't have the spare money to deal with Ancestry, but I'd sure like to get this stuff out there for other lines of the family who might be looking. I just really don't know how, either.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:03 PM
 
Location: S. FL (hell for me-wife loves it)
3,368 posts, read 2,234,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
About five years ago I sat and went through boxes and boxes of pictures and old letters. It was kind of sad but also educational--especially the letters. But I decided I could never haul all these boxes around with me and had to reduce the amount of stuff. So I got strict about it and narrowed it down to pictures that would be significant. Those I scanned and they're on the tree in Ancestry. Some papers went right into archival sleeves in a three ring binder with the rest of the originals. About two short letters (one is a very important note!) were scanned and the originals are in archival sleeves.

Second tier items that I couldn't quite part with but that aren't that important, were put into locking metal boxes that I keep up high on a closet shelf. The rest--I pitched them.

I think I must still have precious boxes of correspondence from distant cousins, now deceased. They mean a lot to me--the humor, the exciting genealogical news they contained, but no one else will care. They will be meaningless and any information they contained has already been transferred to the family tree.

We collect so much in our searches but I think, all in all, we have to be ready to part with the superfluous papers at some point in time, difficult as it is.
We love 'The Antiques roadshow.' Every now and then they will bring up old letters written by a famous person. The period they were written in also gives away how rich our language once was. Always a delight.


In that context, I think you should keep each and every letter from your relatives. It may be of no resource to some, but in future generations, even those not related to you; it will have interest. (notice I did say 'will')

Anyway, just my humble opinion.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Tucson Arizona
4,467 posts, read 2,021,165 times
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I scanned and tossed all my old pictures and documents. I'm not that interested in them, and I don't have kids, but they are there if I ever need them.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:05 PM
bjh
Status: "Stop the panic! It is not necessary." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
35,851 posts, read 24,683,181 times
Reputation: 124763
Why don't you show these items to kids or grandkids explaining what they are and what their meaning is to you. That may kindle an interest in your next family historian. He/she may want to know more, expand and become the keeper of the keepsakes.

Please don't throw away irreplaceable items because you don't think anyone else will care.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Colorado
13,957 posts, read 8,370,536 times
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I have a lot of stuff. I don't know if either of my sons will want it, but it will be years before I'd trust them with it because they are teenagers (16, 18) now and it'll be awhile before they're stable enough to entrust with family things. But one thing done by my Mother's side that I truly appreciated... We had some old trunks. Very old. One of them even made the Oregon Trail trip with some of our ancestors. These were all filled with such...ephemera...and I got one, and each of my brothers got one. The one I have is a cool green sort of footlocker looking trunk. I think it is quite lovely with its battered forest green surface and old brass hardware. I use it as an end table in my living room. But inside...on the rare occasions I care to look...

A porcelain doll that my great grandmother made from a baby picture of me. She died when I was little, I don't remember her. A tiny portable shaving kit, a wallet with old cards and stuff in it, loads of photos and newspaper clippings, an old jewelry box...just all kinds of delightful little odds and ends.

See, if the container is the sort of thing that is durable, nice to look at, and can even be useful as furniture...there is a better chance of its contents also being preserved. If all of this had just been stored in cardboard boxes, I think it probably would be long gone by now, too much hassle for someone to move around, taking up space in storage sheds or closets. China and curio cabinets are nice, too, but when a relative dies, if an inheriting relative doesn't live close by, it's too much difficulty to load and move a huge piece of furniture. A trunk though? Perfect.
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 11,337,573 times
Reputation: 20588
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZgarden View Post
I mean memorabilia in the form of papers, pictures, receipts, newspaper articles, birth certificates, etc etc.? I have way too much, yet do not want to discard it. I have my father's military papers, my mother's newspaper articles from her leadership in the community. I have the mortgage papers from the house they bought in 1941. And old insurance policies. I have her birth and death certificates.I have the valentines my father sent to my mother in 1941; And when I sift through all of it, it makes me sad.

Mom once said to me, "It's too bad that people have to die." She was lamenting some movie star who had passed. And now she has passed too. Every few years I get out this pile and look at it. None of it helps with my genealogy searches. It isn't important to anyone. My kids won't want it. What should I do?
You could take digital photos or scan the items so you don't have a pile or boxes filled up. I'm not sure why you'd keep some of the things like old insurance policies.
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