Are Family Heirlooms Hiding In Your Home?

 Posted by Alan Sack on September 20, 2018 at 7:44 AM

Have you ever asked yourself “Do I have anything interesting that truly tells a story about my life?” Most of us would say no. As we grow comfortable in our homes and nestle in over the years, we make memories, connections, and bonds that add value to life. In many cases, memorable moments are tied to an item of significance that tells a story or holds a part of history.

You could have an heirloom right under your nose without realizing it! We often think an heirloom must be an extremely expensive item to preserve or pass down. FamilySearch.org defines the value of heirlooms this way:

“Generally defined, an heirloom is an object of worth passed from one generation to the next. Dolls, dresses, photographs, personal journals, even recipes can be heirlooms. The object is given value by the receiver—the caretaker—of the object. Caretaking, then, becomes vital; heirloom recipients become archivists. The question quickly turns to what heirlooms to keep and how to preserve and share them.”

 

 

The important point to remember is value is assigned by those who nurture and care for the heirloom item. With emotional ties to a home you’ve spent your life in, it is healthy to sort or inventory items that can be preserved to pass on to loved ones or close friends. We have tips on the most common items used to share the story of any life.

Recipes

“Throughout most of history, bonds and shared cultures have been created when meals are prepared and shared,” says food historians at All About Cuisines. “Our heritage is often passed down and intimately bound up in the food we eat. Food availability, climate and cooking techniques, evolved over many generations have united individuals and groups of people into a distinct culture.” If you have recipes passed down to you, consider capturing those recipes and sharing them with the next generation.

 

Clothing

A scarf, worn leather boots, or a wedding dress are all distinctly different items with the ability to be conduits to history and the moments we hold close to us. In some cases, garments have been passed down over hundreds of years. If this isn’t a tradition in your family, you could be the first to begin a custom that lasts centuries.

 

Furniture & Household Accessories

From wall clocks to floor tapestry’s, a story awaits. In a recent article Bethany Joy Foss wrote, “One of the things that [make] family heirlooms so special are the stories they collect over time. Objects give us the ability to recall adventures that have been told and [retold] or spark the memory they carry. Cherished items often cross oceans, countries, and generations to create their stories, probably with a few scratches and bumps along the way. It’s as if these treasures traveled down the branches of our family tree and ended up in our living rooms.”

One great way to discover the heirlooms in your home is sorting and organizing existing items, then deciding which items to preserve or find a new home for. Experts with companies like Caring Transitions can help you sort, organize, inventory and sell the items in your home. Our trained professionals can help you find keepsake items to set aside that hold sentimental value and tell the story of your rich history. 



Sources

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3249835/Something-borrowed-tenth-time-Woman-11th-member-family-married-wedding-gown-s-handed-120-years.html

https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/9-stories-family-heirlooms/

http://www.designsponge.com/2017/04/10-family-heirlooms-that-tell-stories.html

https://www.allaboutcuisines.com/importance-food-preserving-cultural-identity

https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/timely-tips-preserving-family-heirlooms/

https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/preserving-artifacts/

https://www.familytreemagazine.com/premium/hunting-for-family-heirlooms/