Family Heirlooms

Maybe I’m just lucky, but I am finding a lot of family at the moment! Along with the family come other blessings and memories such as photographs and ‘things’. These things at the moment include jewellery that has been handed down. Mostly female jewellery, but also the men hand down memories via watches, medals and the like.

I think the word is ‘heirloom’, but this implies great financial value. And a lot of the things I’ve seen photographs of probably have virtually no financial value, but are priceless to the family member.

Recently I found a lovely cousin in America called Heather. And Heather taught me a great lesson, because when you find one person in a family line, don’t ever think you’ve found everything! I already knew others in Heather’s family and then I found Heather, and she has something special to show. Something none of her family have.

She has this:










It is a necklace passed down in our family. The first owner would seem to be Charlotte Sampson, my gg grandmother. Charlotte was born in 1810 and died in 1886. It would seem she passed it onto her daughter Fanny, born 1846, died 1930. From there it was passed daughter to daughter until Heather received it from her mother.

What a beautiful thing! I can’t imagine holding something in my hands that is so precious and so old. The actual financial value is of no significance when it is something a family member would have worn around her neck. Heather seems concerned to actually wear it, in case she damages it, which I can understand.

Jewellery is something I have no books about, I guess I would need to spread my wings into antiques to learn about such things. But on a very basic level it is just the knowledge that such things are out there, that can be found. I didn’t know anything about my family history when I began my search. Who would have thought that you could find these heirlooms, these treasures that belong to your family.


About Jackie Dinnis

Welcome to my blog where I am enjoying meeting my family - past and present - one at a time. Join me as I learn who my ancestors were, where they lived, what their occupations were and what everyday life was like for them.
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7 Responses to Family Heirlooms

  1. Heather Gabrielli says:

    Thank you for sharing this Jackie! This necklace was given to me by my Grandmother Edith Stephenson (Saunders) on my 18th birthday! It is a gift that I truly treasure. It is the only piece of history, besides photographs, that I can physically hold in my hands!

    • Bless you Heather, I really relate to that – something you can physically hold in your hands. It makes you think about what you want to leave your own family. Although in these days we seem to have a lot more ‘stuff’ πŸ™‚ xx

  2. paulaacton says:

    Thank you for the delightful card and note I got home from work to today, you made me smile after a busy day at work πŸ˜€

  3. Luanne @ TFK says:

    I love that you gave you photos. I have a hard time getting photos of heirlooms and documents from people.

    • I know what you mean, I don’t think people mean to be possessive about what they’ve got, they just keep putting off taking photographs and sending them out. I am also guilty of this, there never seems enough time to contact the people you really want to talk to!

      • Luanne @ TFK says:

        Well, I’ve heard several stories of people destroying photos and heirlooms they knew other wanted. Maybe that springs from hostility toward the family in general, even if they don’t know the person.

      • What a shame, but families are strange things and everyone has their own point of view and personal memories. I guess I am lucky being an only child, I got all my parents memorabilia. No one to argue with!

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