While exploring backwards, I have become the repository for some of our family’s heirlooms. I could not be more proud. However, in order to be a good custodian, you want to know the story behind the object or objects.
I have my great-grandfather Peter Kersten’s revolver. It is a top-break Iver Johnson. It is a very old gun. I suspect he purchased it so after he arrived in the United States. Peter immigrated in 1893. The model that I have is probably from 1895.As discussed previously, I am the custodian for the Whitehead Family Bible. You can read about it here: https://exploringbackwards.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/the-bible/
I also have two books that my grandfather, Fred Whitehead had in school. One that I received from my cousin Sara, and just recently, my sister, Kathy passed on the Fryes Higher Geography book. Inside the book, it has my grandfather’s signature and a date of September 16, 1913. That is over 100 years old that he was holding this book. He used this textbook in high school.
Most recently, my sister let me take home a portion of a tea set of two mugs and a sugar bowl. It is unknown if there were more pieces at one time. The history of the set as we know is that it came from my German Grandparents, Peter and Anna Kersten. After inquiring with my paternal Aunts, neither of them knew anything about it. I am stuck without a story. You see, the set has images of the Cherbourg Swing Bridge that was created in 1885 in Cherbourg-Octeville, France. This is on the English Channel. Therefore, it is unknown how my great-grandparents come to have this piece. I am left to wonder. Maybe it was a house-warming gift from a family member. Maybe they took a trip at one point after they were married; a honeymoon even. Maybe Anna found it at a flea market or estate sale. Who knows?
I think I will try to my second cousin, 2x removed, Father Ron. Maybe he can shed some insight.
Heirlooms. You do not need to fill your house with everything they owned, but to share these priceless family artifacts with each other is what genealogy is all about. Until later, I will be exploring backwards.