My mom’s family lives in Australia, so most of their family heirlooms ended up with relatives in that country. My mom did leave me a small collection of china that her mother received as a wedding gift. It is one of my most treasured possessions. My husband’s side of the family kept many heirlooms and passed them down to family members. His family still has a quilt created by an ancestor that carried it across the plains in the 1800s. My sister-in-law recorded information about the quilt and that particular ancestor so that family members will always know the significance of the quilt.
Women often made quilts to celebrate an event such as a wedding or anniversary. Friendship or signature quilts, created by a group of women, tell the story of a community or church. Quilts passed down from generation to generation become part of your family history.
Remember the old saying, “A stitch in time saves nine?” If you don’t want your family heirlooms to be lost, take some time now to document them. Fortunately, many families pass along their heirlooms, or museums preserve them for others to enjoy. Let the Midwest Genealogy Center help you preserve and document those family heirlooms.
For help in organizing your heirlooms, listen to Documenting Your Family Heirlooms. If you need help dating a quilt, try Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide, 1800-1950. If you want to see some family heirlooms, come check out a new display at the Midwest Genealogy Center. The display case contains handcrafted items such as a quilt, doilies, and an embroidered handkerchief. For some ideas on how to preserve your family stories, sign up for Collecting Your Family Stories Before They Are Lost at the Midwest Genealogy Center on Saturday, October 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
What family heirloom tells your story?
Midwest Genealogy Center