Those old musty papers, why does anyone want to keep them?!!

What caused me to write this specific blog?

fathertenboombookI was reading a biography type book titled, Father Ten Boom God’s Man, by Corrie ten Boom. She starts off by writing,

Pages 14-16

 “Someone once asked me, Do you know anything about your background? Your story interests me.

I found much of my family background in the many letters from the old chest Peter [her nephew] found. They contain our whole family history…”nephewpeter.jpg

page 15

She goes on to tell about what was in the chest.

“It is as if we can reach back into the past. Old papers have a certain musty smell. As we remove the neat little stacks and finger the yellowed sheets, we notice the different styles of handwriting. Some are curly (and rounded), others are straight (and angular), some are scrawled so small it takes a magnifying glass to decipher them.

Here are letters written by my father’s parents and grandparents, and letters written by me many years ago. [Corrie was in her late 70’s early 80’s at the time of this writing].

There are father’s notebooks, with memories, illustrations, and stories he used in his talks. Here is a diary, which mother kept for twenty-five years, and in which she wrote about her children.”

If you have read my previous blogs, you know that something similar happened to my family. My grandparents had an old trunk filled with our families history.

My genealogy began with my earliest ancestor, but my own personal journey began…

When my grandmother passed away, my mom and her siblings were instructed by grandfather to go through the trunks and her things. There were many old, musty, yellowed papers, letters, photos, documents that one aunt started to throw in the already lit fire barrel! If it had not been for our other aunt stopping her– who had just a few months previously had to do the same for her own mother, so she understood the value of all of those old items – we would not know anything of our families history. Who knows what valuable information and photos that we had, that did get thrown into the fire. Like the one letter that was read by two different cousins contained a letter from Betsy Ross to our ancestor Sarah to help her make the flag for our country. No one has seen it since that day back in June of 1970.)

Corrie ten Boom then says this, which I think we need to quote,

“When we dig up the gold of the past, it must be beaten into useful coins for today.”

My challenge to you,

is out of your past,

make useful coins for your today

and for your generations still to arrive.

Published by humblegenealogist @ we do the digging so you can enjoy the tree

Starting in 1970, the experience and journey has created well-seasoned researching techniques. Current and active participation in continuing education, staying up to date with technology, and including weekly contact with other professional genealogists: including family historians, genealogy clubs and historical societies, keeps the knowledge and ongoing learning in an ever changing world up to date.

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