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Old 11-07-2017, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,356 posts, read 9,604,701 times
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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?
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,299 posts, read 30,123,291 times
Reputation: 31511
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 may be able to donate some of it, such as the military papers. The rest, keep and enjoy and let the kids do what they will with it when you are gone. Someone may decide to keep it after all. You could scan the paper stuff and keep it with your genealogy files. If you do not have a child who is interested in genealogy, is there perhaps someone in your extended family who is? Is there a historical society that might like to have a copy of your family tree?
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,255 posts, read 14,312,034 times
Reputation: 12070
Definitely scan everything, that way, if the hard copies ever get thrown out, digital copies still exist. Keep them backed up in the cloud and in an external source (like a hard drive or pen drive). I wouldn't throw them out though, your kids may get into genealogy later in their life - or even if they don't, one of their children might.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:49 PM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
2,947 posts, read 2,836,798 times
Reputation: 4334
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 gotten rid of many of the papers that my parents had, but I would still rather look at 120 year old photo than a scan on a computer screen.
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:50 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
8,147 posts, read 4,457,482 times
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I have archival quality clear pocket pages in three-ring binders with much of the stuff that is part of family history. I discovered the hard way that 100 year old pencil writing will fade so you should scan or photocopy that stuff, if not everything. I have no idea what will eventually happen to this stuff. It might have some value on EBay depending on what it is.

My aunt kept scrapbooks for probably 60+ years and we donated her "papers" to the local historic society. She was involved with the earliest production of Tennessee Williams' plays and kept cast meeting notes and some of the public notices on the plays. They might have tossed them.
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,255 posts, read 14,312,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminnm View Post
I've gotten rid of many of the papers that my parents had, but I would still rather look at 120 year old photo than a scan on a computer screen.
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).
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:25 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
21,446 posts, read 20,450,037 times
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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.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 18,239,537 times
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That's really interesting. That was my great grandmother's name. Most people called her 'Feem'. I had no idea what it meant.

Sadly all the stuff my mom had dissapeared after her death. There were boxes of it and Dad couldn't go through any of the stuff, so he boxed it all up and most of it ended up in my apartment. I couldn't take more so it got tossed. Luckily, there is tons of stuff out there already on the family I've found on ancestry.

We lost a lot of stuff but Dad was too deep into grief and giving up.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,263 posts, read 8,470,056 times
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Oh gosh keep it all! You never know what information could be lost to the mist of time and rediscovered in those old papers by a grandkid, great-grand kid, etc.

My grandparents kept EVERYTHING. The old pictures, wedding rings, lockets, military papers, portraits, etc., are all treasure to me and my family now. I have a poem hand written by my great-great-grandfather, stuff like that is irreplaceable.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:43 AM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
10,349 posts, read 3,570,285 times
Reputation: 15536
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?
Younger people tend not to be much interested in such things, but when they become older, this may change. I would hang on to all those items, as someday, they might be treasured by your descendants.
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