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My mother's mother died when I was sixteen and we drove home from New York to Indiana for her funeral. My mom was naturally quite upset over her mother's death but she became even more distraught when she picked up her mother's very old Bible and saw that it was empty of all the newspaper clippings my grandmother had saved over the decades. All of the family obituaries she had lovingly clipping out of all the local newspapers were gone.
My grandfather had gone through the Bible and thrown them away because they were all yellow and brittle. It was the first time I had ever seen my mother shout at her father. My dad had to take her out of the house ...
The past few days I have been wrapping gifts and mailing them or delivering them next door. We celebrate at my daughter's house as she is allergic to our cats. Today is also their birthday, my twins are 38 years old today! Now that the last gift is wrapped my table is now clear for cutting and sewing. Next up, my SIL will be celebrating his 40th birthday on the 12th. And yet another birthday on the 28th, my grandson who will be 16. What a busy month.
Our DD has been using Ancestry.com and she found the ancestor that verified a bit of oral history that my DH's father had passed along.
Although that must have been horrifying to the family members who were alive or within living memory, it makes for an outstanding discovery for *us*, many generations later. A skeleton in the closet that we can be delighted over. :-)
All of the family obituaries she had lovingly clipping out of all the local newspapers were gone. My grandfather had gone through the Bible and thrown them away because they were all yellow and brittle.
oh geez. I am so sad for your Mom. I feel her rage, frustration, and anger. :-(
But for you .. and anyone else who has actual newspaper clippings to preserve ... I found a DIY acid-neutralizing procedure that will stabilize the acid in the newspapers (but not reverse it or get rid of it). To a quart of club soda mix in 2 TBSP of liquid Milk of Magnesia (I used Phillips brand cuz it was the only one on the shelf). Just pour the Milk of Magnesia into the quart bottle. Recap and put bottle in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, tip the bottle back and forth to mix up. Pour solution into a non-reactive flat container, big enough to contain the newspaper article. (I used a plastic 12x12 scrapbooking box because I have a lot of them. Glass or ceramic baking dishes are also suitable) Submerge the actual, honest-to-goodness newspaper article. No need to hold your breath .. the ink will not run! (as was my fear). Let it soak for at least one hour. Remove from the solution; blot on white paper towels to remove a lot of the moisture. Then transfer (gently!) to a clean, flat surface to dry completely.
When dry, the newspaper article will be "acid stabilized".
However, the tutorial I used also advised to "encapsulate" the newspaper article if it was going to be put next to other media (such as paper, photos). Although the acid has been stabilized, it is still there and can affect the other media. To encapsulate simply means to fully enclose it in a protective sleeve, such as what is used for scrapbooking pages or photo albums. I make custom sized ones by taking one of those scrapbooking protective sleeves and my wood-burning tool (scrapbookers also have a Fuse tool that is similar). I put the newspaper article inside the sleeve and run the hot tip through both layers of the sleeve, next to the newspaper article. The hot tip simultaneously cuts and fuses/melts the protective sleeve together. Voila .. custom encapsulation. I have a long, narrow slab of glass (with the edges wrapped so I don't cut myself) that I put under the sleeve. The glass provides a VERY smooth surface that won't melt from the heat of the wood burning tool. You don't necessarily need to do that step, just as long as the newspaper article is isolated from touching anything else.
If I remember correctly, the tutorial was comparing this to commercial de-acidifying sprays which are quite expensive for the amount of product that you get and the number of newspaper articles that you can preserve. Apparently, the commercial products contain ... magnesium .. which is the active ingredient for acid stabilization. Ergo, the reason why Milk of Magnesia is called for in the DIY solution.
I just got home from spending two days with my mom, and of that about eight hours sorting and scanning photos. Came across the name Tricia Jo on a couple photos of a little girl but mom had no idea who she was so filed in the box of unknowns. The next night I found another, mentioned it to mom, she tells me that's my cousin Patty . Moms side of the family used their middle names part of their lives, multiply generations back, so that can make it hard to keep track of. I know if someone met my mom before or after she was married by what name they use to address her by.
I found out that when one of my mom's aunt pasted, mom and a couple of her cousins cleared out her home, one cousin got there ahead of everyone else, just started throwing stuff in the garbage...including all the photos.......grrrrr
one cousin got there ahead of everyone else, just started throwing stuff in the garbage...including all the photos.......grrrrr
You'd be totally justified in castigating her severely. Sigh.
I have a cousin, the son of my aunt who did a MAJOR genealogical research project into her parents (i.e. my maternal grandparents) heritage. She hired a well known and reliable Russian researcher who had access to documents and files in Russia. (My mother's people originally came from Germany in the 1770s, when the entire village emigrated to the Volga River area of Russia at the behest of Catherine the Great.) This aunt gave me a copy of the German/Russian family tree chart and family group sheets before she died.
When she *did* die, after the funeral, I approached my cousin, who had inherited my aunt's house, along with all of its furnishings and items in storage in the attic, if it was possible **at some future date that was convenient for him** could he please go through his Mom's family stuff and let me have copies? Or if he wasn't interested in them (I knew he was not), could I just please have them? yeah, yeah, yeah .. a definite brush-off from my cousin.
I let it rest a couple of months and then emailed him. No reply. I contacted his older sister, whom I a closer with, and asked about the papers. I knew that she wasn't interested in her Mom's research either. But she said that her brother couldn't care less about their Mom's stuff. It was scattered all over the attic and he just was NOT NOT NOT interested in going into the attic to bundle the papers up into boxes for anyone. I then *called* my cousin and offered to drive up there (at least a 4 hour drive for me) and go through the papers myself ... if he would just let me have access. Nope. No way. He simply was not interested.
Sigh. I can only imagine what photos my aunt had and what documents. She was HUGE into genealogy. Since my cousins are my age, I have no viable expectation of "inheriting" any of those documents/photos in my lifetime. And once *I'm* dead, there won't be any one in that family line who would be interested. I know all that paperwork will get tossed.
Well ... gotta let it go because this is a situation that I have absolutely no control over. Darned annoying though.
Pirate (PIRATE_SR) said:
And once *I'm* dead, there won't be any one in that family line who would be interested.
you should make provisions in your will to ship all of your research and your scrapbooks to the Mormon Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City. My aunt put one of our family books there (it was fun to find it in the library) They take stuff even if you are not Mormon...
Wow! What interesting stories! It has been many years since I've messed with Ancestry.com. Get the holidays over with and I may have to do some more checking out. And Newspapers,com sounds good too. Thanks for the encouragement. We did find out on Ancestry that one of DH's greaty greats was sent to Newcastle prison in London for some minor offence. We surmised that he did it to be sent to America because when the prison got too crowded, they would ship them to America. His way of getting over, I guess. Thank you for sharing your stories.
So sad your cousin is being pigheaded about sharing those old photos and documents. Seems like most families have "one of those". I have one of those cousins like that. She would tell me about all the photos and documents she had, but she certainly wouldn't share ( too hard to look for). She was also a hoarder and a bit off her rocker. She would rather pitch things than share. When her nephews went through her house after she went into the nursing home, they looked hard for the photos and stuff but found nothing. Grrrr...
I don't know how long it's been since you originally reached out to your cousin, if it's been a few years you might try again. He might have come to realize that at some point he's going to have to or hire someone to clean out that attic if he's ever going to sell the house. Unless he's planning on making it his forever home, than other family will have to clean it out.