We have very few 'heirlooms' in our family, when I compare with other friends... No pieces of furniture, interesting sets of dishes, clocks from far away lands, jewellery, books signed by my ancestors, letters. No, there's none of that. But...
The biggest 'heirloom' I have and hold, is the incredible TERWILLIGER SOUVENIR ALBUM, from my great-grandfather, James Grover "Grove" TERWILLIGER. He is my mother's mother's father, and this line goes back to when our original settlers arrived in New Amsterdam in 1663, on the ship "Arent" [the Eagle]. Note the vertical wall boundary on the right - this, I believe, is the site of Wall Street!
To the right is a photo of the old, worn, Album. I am very grateful to have received excellent guidance in keeping the album 'comfortable' in order to reduce the deterioration. One day, perhaps, I might be able to pay for an Archivist to assist in protecting it further. Items in the Album are dated from 1840-the very early 1900s.
Here is a link to my other blog, where I am very slowly inventorying every page of this Album. It's a slog. Sometimes I'm very excited or amused about the pages, other times, I have no idea why I'm doing this. There are pages towards the back which contain wonderful details leading me to more of my ancestors: the ORMSBEE relatives, more of the GRAVES and TREAT relatives. I want to dip and pick which pages to do, but the truth is, each page needs to follow logically and methodically, so that it is - in fact - inventoried. At the rate I'm going, it will take 5 more years! Ah well. One page at a time.
Some pages include photos - here's one example, which I won't be getting to for many months. I have no idea who those people at the bottom of the page might be... not a clue. Dates? Names? Relationships? Reasons for the photos? Are they related to the various ephemera on the same page, or randomly glued down? No idea.
One page more or less in the middle of the Album which is particularly fascinating, is what I call his "Button Page".
Filled with various political buttons, this page has many names for political election compaigns, as well as other ephemera pinned to the page. But there are many pages to go before I even begin to inventory this page. And I'll likely need an American to help me with who's who when!
And, finally, here is the final 'page' - the inside back cover of the Album. Filled with newspaper articles, obituaries, and other details of people. I had no idea who most of these individuals were until I began my genealogy searches. I can hardly wait until I can inventory each one of those newspaper articles! Not all are labelled with dates of the publication, nor with the publication title itself. More research will be needed of course... Never-ending.
If any of these people are your ancestors as well, please contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments below. I would love to learn more about my various ancestors.