Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Heritage Treasures and Some Questions

Regular readers of my blog know that I've been working on a heritage/genealogy scrapbook. Before my mom passed away, I sat with her and helped her organize the family heritage pictures and identify the people who were in them.  I've kept them safely in storage, trying to get the initiative together to start the project.  I had assumed that I had everything in my box, but this past weekend, my brother (who lives in the house where my parents lived for 40 years) gave me a bunch more stuff!!!  There were some really awesome treasures, like my Uncle Tom's baptismal certificate at the top of the post.  Isn't it gorgeous? I'll make a color copy and then send the original to one of his children. 
I also found these:
A packet of letters written from my grandfather to my father (including some while he was serving in World War II)!  They're in Spanish, so I'll have to get my kids to translate them for me.  I was happy to find a bunch of prayer cards in the box:
I collect prayer cards and use the images on collage sheets and in my art work.  I was thrilled, though, when I discovered that what I thought was just going to be some nice ephemera turned out to be a treasure trove of family history.  The prayer cards were from my grandparents', aunts' and uncles' funerals.  So, I have more dates to add to my genealogy.  I'll color copy some of these and use them in my art work, but I want to add these to my scrapbook.  I'm looking for suggestions as to the best way to do that.  Should I do a page of prayer cards?  Should I put them on the same page as photographs of my various relatives?  What do you think?
The box also included a variety of framed portraits.  As I was unframing several of the photographs, I found that the frame contained another piece of paper which looked like some sort of blessing of the home or of the photograph.  Here's my dad's college graduation portrait and the additional document I found in the frame behind the photograph:
Here's a scan of what's written on the back of the document:
Again, it's in Spanish, so I'll need to get some translation help.  And I'm curious about the pairing of these documents.  Was it traditional to add a blessing to a formal portrait like this?  Or was the frame originally used for the blessing and then the portrait simply added because no one had another frame?  Anyone have any ideas?
Here's my other question - how many photographs should I include in my album? I originally thought I would scrap all the pictures I had of my aunts and uncles and that this would be no more than a page or two for each one, as well as a couple for my grandparents, great grandparents and great grand parents. I also thought they would all be old photos (say pre-1950).  Now, when I look at what I have, I am perplexed by two situations.  First, I have LOTS of pictures of some of my aunts and uncles (like my Aunt Vera and Uncle Nano) and don't want to include ten pages of them (no matter how much I loved them or how colorful they were).  Second, I also have an assortment of pictures that are "newish."  They are of my aunts, uncles and cousins taken during my lifetime.  I like some of these because they are representations of how I remember my aunts and uncles.  But, they don't seem very heritagey to me, if you know what I mean. I was thinking about some sort of arbitrary cut-off, say only including pictures that are more than 50 years old, but I don't know for sure.  I would appreciate your thoughts on these strategy questions!
I'll leave you with one last treasure.  It brought a big smile to my face and I hope it will bring one to yours, too.  But you'll probably have to click on it to make it big enough to read and you'll definitely have to read to the last line to get to the punch line.  Answers to my queries in comments or via email most appreciated.


Amy said...

First of all I have to let you know that my grandparents have very similar baptismal certificates, they are so ornate and beautiful!

Secondly, I hope Ruth sees this post because she does a lot of family history work and I am sure she will have great ideas and tips for you.

Thirdly, I would consider an overview page for each person/couple which provides all of the information/details and then pop all the photos together in simple slip covers or album pages. Scrapping each picture would be an almost impossible task - you could focus on ones that you know have a special story that is told through family folk lore.

Good luck :-)

Lizzie said...

What a lovely lot of Treasure you have!
The photos in frames, with pictures behind is intruiging... My mum has re-used frames, because she didn't have any other, so I do wonder if that is the story here - is there still an older relative around, who might know?
I love the Leave Application slip (and the heading at the top). What a wonderful item to have - so much scope for a fabulous scrapbook page here!
I wonder if the prayer cards would fit into ATC storage folders? Then you could put those in your scrapbook and be able to see both sides, with the messages on the backs. Or you could use a glassine/vellum envelope to hold each on, if you wanted them on the page for their respective relatives.
If I had so many photos of my relatives, I think I'd scan in my favourites and make pages about those. As for the heritage aspect, how about a pair of pages - one with the old photos and another to go with it, that shows those people as you remember them?
You could have some real fun with this stuff!

helena said...

how wonderful to have these decisions.

For all the photos I'd do one layout per person and then put all the other photos in simple photo page protectors.

For the more recent photos, how about one or two layouts at the end for those.

One heritage page I created that I really love was to find photos of all of the women when they were in their 40s and put them on one page

Having the blessing and the portrait in one frame is a lovely idea - even if it was originally done as a way to re-use a frame I think it would be a lovely practice to adopt

Sian said...

You have so much treasure! It is truly an amazing cache. I could do the librarian thing and warn you about acid free storage etc etc, but I know you are smart enough to have already thought of that!

I think I like the idea of the cutoff point too - that way you can always make "Part Two" if you want to.

It's a labour of love (I know, noit a labour at all!) which will be really loved

JO SOWERBY said...

wow so many beautiful things. i have photos which i have had to do loads of research about and make judgements on because no-one is alive to tell me exactly what happened. i love the verbal orders as they give u personal insight. i am lucky enough to have received both my grandfather's and great-grandfather's attestation papers (joining up papers) and they provide lots of extra info on their service. my grandafather was badly injured at dunkirk so there is stuff about that, i also found out my great-grandafather was AWOL for no apparent reason and that he had a daughter who died while he was in France. I am lucky enough to have a photo of him and his crew mending railway tracks in BELGIUM IN 1915.
Jo xxx

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Oh my gosh, Rinda. Once again I find myself envious of your collection of family heirlooms such as these. The request for leave certificate is priceless, as are all those lovely prayer cards!

Wow - I can't even begin to offer you advice as to how to document all of these lovely pieces. I'm overwhelmed just looking at them myself! One thing for sure - I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with. I know you'll make it good! xo

laurie said...

what a wonderful collection you received! i don't have any suggestions but am sure you will find a way to honor and remember your family members.

scrappyjacky said...

What an amazing collection, Rinda....and,like Deb, am quite envious of you still having so much of a heritage collection.
I think I'd have a cut off point as well....and also go with a couple of pages for each relative...but I'm not sure whether I'd do a seperate page for the prayer cards [I have some of these as well....over here they are usually produced for the baptisms and funerals of Catholics] or put them with their 'owner'....both would work well, I think.

Anonymous said...

Bwaahha! I LOVE the verbal orders! and the added art scribbles from a little one :).
It's hard to figure out what to do with that many pictures from a long timeline, but I think the idea of doing a montage of early photos with the prayer cards with each person might be nice. Then if you have room another set of newer pictures or maybe a *Family section where they are all together. Gee, think that might not be much help. Now it makes me want to go home and do something with our family photos! :). Hugs, Lisa

nancy y said...

what a great collection, and I have no answers for you right this moment.
The last paper is a hoot... and which one of you kids "wrote" on it LOL

Anonymous said...

LOVE that request for a leave! I'm in agreement with Helena. I'd do one or maybe a two-page spread for each person and then use the photo page protectors for the rest. We R Memory Keepers had a great collection of them with many different options. I bought a lot of them last year and put them aside for projects like this.

I think I might include a prayer card on the page with the person for whom it was intended. You are so lucky to have such wonderful treasures. My husband is the genealogist for this family. I suppose I ought to get more involved, but it seems like an overwhelming project.

Becky said...

Grr! I tried to post a comment yesterday, typed it all up and then Blogger went strange! Love the Baptism certificate and the last treasure too. You are so lucky to have such wonderful heritage treasures. If it were me I think I would do a double page of each person with the heritage photos and then perhaps put one of the more modern ones in a hidden pocket on the layout. Good luck anyway.

Anonymous said...

i'm not sure i'm helpful, but i do everything chronologically, so while the current-ish photos of my family do end up in an album, they are not in the "heritage" album ... what fun finds you have, Rinda!!


ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I was going to suggest chronologically as well. That would let 'fate' decide how many photos of each person to include, so if you 8 photos of your aunt form 1946-48 you just use 3 of them. It would also let you include the later photos as well.

That's what I ended up doing with mine. I have large numbers of photos from certain years and hardly any at all from other periods & while I'd love to include them all 1948 just isn't all that exciting & I have photos from 1946 & 1951 of the same people, only doing things as opposed to just a portrait.

Irene said...

Rinda - I also collect prayer cards given at funerals, except mine are not as old as yours. I store them in a business card holder and have wanted to do something with them. You are so lucky to get alot of treasurers from your parents. I have friends who have losts their treasured pictures in floods and storms that can never be replaced. My brother Roy scanned alot of my parents old pictures just in case something happens to the originals. I know whatever you decide to do will be the best solution for your.