Passed down from generation to generation, often with a background story, they help preserve our heritage for future generations. We recently wrote about bizarre places to find family heirlooms.
I grew up in a home where many pieces of furniture once belonged to my great-grandmother. I thought that it was strange to have such antique furniture in our modern home but, as I grew older, I came to appreciate their value and the importance of safeguarding pieces that once belonged to the matriarch of our large family. Little did I know that my family was not unique and that furniture is commonly passed down in families and cherished for generations.
My grandmother was recently searching for some old jewelry of her mother's that she had misplaced. She wanted to give it to me for my birthday to ensure it gets passed down to the next generation.
She opened all the closets, searched through kitchen pots, and even behind light switches! Where did she finally find it? In the pocket of a jacket she hadn’t worn in years.
Growing up in my house, we used a very old pop-up toaster to make our morning toast. When I say old, I mean very, very old. It was no longer shiny, but the metal and strong base shouted durability.
As a young child, I actually thought it was from ancient times. It turns out, it wasn't really medieval, but rather a present that my grandparents had received as a newly married couple in the 1950s.
Throughout October, we celebrated Family History Month, and brought you exciting competitions, webinars and tips to enhance your family history research.
We wrapped up our competitions last week by asking you to tell us about your family history finds to win a free PremiumPlus and data subscription.
We want to thank everyone who submitted meaningful stories and anecdotes about their precious family heirlooms.
Congratulations to our winner, Liz Zito, who wrote the following:
My Dad died when I was four, in 1965. In recent years I have become obsessed with trying to find out more about his life, his family in Italy and his loves. The youngest of nine, many of my siblings had told me that he loved to play the round-backed mandolin that had been passed down to my brother. I had seen it once but have no memories of my father playing it, holding it. In April last year, I asked my brother if I could visit and take photos of it and when I arrived, he handed it to me telling me I could keep it. I was so grateful. I've since found out that my father had sponsored an Italian friend to come to Australia from Italy and this gent had brought the mandolin for my father as a thank you gift. My plan is to get it restrung and to learn to play one of the songs he used to play on it. When I hold it now I wonder how it looked in his arms...whether he strummed it hard or plucked it gently and if it looked tiny against his hands. I often embrace it, closing my eyes and try to feel my father's presence. It's precious to me and the only thing of my father's that I have.
Many families treasure one or more family heirlooms passed down through the generations from their ancestors.
Whether these cherished items are personal objects, letters or photos, they hold great sentimental value and help preserve memories of previous generations.
In my family, we're fortunate to have artifacts and original documents from the older generations. We also love looking through the old family photo albums; it's interesting seeing the relatives, how they dressed and where they lived.
What about your family? Do you have family heirlooms?
Let us know in the poll below.