Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Own Cabinet of Curiosities

As we approach the holidays, my life--like those of many of you, I'm sure--has been busier than ever. I had hoped to write something for the many fabulous new genealogy-related carnivals that have recently been created; have you seen them? Lisa, at Small-Leaved Shamrock, has an Irish Heritage and Culture Carnival, Jessica Oswalt from Jessica's Genejournal has started one for Central and Eastern European Genealogy, and Tim Abbott from Walking the Berkshires just posted the first Cabinet of Curiosities Carnival, a kind of show and tell of genealogical and historical treasures. I misunderstood when the deadline for the Cabinet Carnival was and just got too pushed for time; I'll have to submit a post next time around. However, several months ago, I was interviewed by a local reporter about my family treasures--which I hope to share one at a time in future Cabinet Carnivals--and today that article was published in The Spokesman-Review's Home and Garden section (online version here).

It was a lot of fun to share with the reporter and photographer (both delightful individuals!) the stories behind the antiques and mementos that have been handed down through the generations to me. I was pleased that what I had to say about the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society was published, and I hope that it will generate more interest in the society from the community. The only quibble I had with the article is that the reporter and I did not engage in a discussion about DNA long enough for me to explain that one does not need resort to exhumation of corpses to obtain a DNA match for a deceased ancestor. This is where genealogy is so handy: by tracing the family tree, you can find other descendants of an individual, and by attempting to match your DNA with theirs, you can prove relationship to the ancestor! While you can only view one photograph in the online version, the print article had many detailed shots of various family treasures, including my 4th-great-grandmother's cross-stitch sampler, my great-grandmother's baby picture, and a genealogy bumper sticker on my car! I purchased several copies of the newspaper to share with family and friends.

This Thanksgiving, I hope you'll take the time to talk to your own family about your traditions, tales, and treasures. Don't forget to write down what you learn to preserve those things for future generations!

7 comments:

Sally J. said...

Miriam, Congrats on the press coverage.

I particularly loved this quote:

"There are people who have houses full of beautiful antiques, but they don't know the stories behind them."

A family story can make any heirloom more valuable.

-Sally J.
The Practical Archivist

P.S. The shortest pencil is better than the longest memory -- so write those stories down!

Lee said...

Congratulations, Miriam, on being the subject of such a great article! I really enjoyed it.

We've been busy here too, but mainly we've been sick. I think the little man has brought home every (minor) virus known to man since school started. Hopefully, I'll be good to go again after the weekend.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Terry Thornton said...

Miriam, What a wonderful article about you and your treasures. It is always interesting to learn more about one of the genea-Bloggers. The sampler photo shows a treasure --- you and your work and your treasures makes a super story written by Wendy Huber. Thanks for posting the links --- and congratulations for all the good publicity.
TERRY

Apple said...

They did a very nice article! I hope it generates some interest in your Historical Society. I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures not included online, and the stories behind them, in the future.

Craig Manson said...

A great story, Miriam! It helps people understand the substance of genealogy and family history. Thanks for sharing it.

Lisa said...

Thanks, Miriam, for sharing your "treasures" and also for the mention about the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. Looking forward to having you join us for future editions!

GreenmanTim said...

Miriam, I greatly look forward to your participation in the next Cabinet of Curiosities!