Friday, March 9, 2012

Which Would You Rather Have?

If you could choose only one for an ancestor you've never met, would you rather have . . .

. . . an ancestor's photograph with the person identified by name?
. . . a journal or diary entry?
. . . an heirloom?
. . . a one-page document with his or her signature?

We don't usually get to choose but if you could, which would you rather have in your possession?


  1. I'd love to have a journal entry. I think reading their own words would give such an insight into them and make that "name" on the pedigree chart more of a real person to me.

  2. Well, if I could have the entire diary I'd take that but if I could only have a single entry I think I'd rather have the photo.

  3. Hi Nancy,

    What a great thing to think about. I'd love to have a photograph. I often look at the photos I do have, fully believing in the idea that the eyes are a window to the soul.


  4. Boy, THAT is a tough question! The picture is probably the top of my list because it puts a face to a name. I love Jennifer's comment about the eyes to the soul. However, I am extremely fond of heirlooms because they are something that was theirs, that they at one time maybe cherished as much as I do.

  5. I'd take the photo, although a whole journal or diary might tempt me.

  6. I love when I discover or are given photo's of ancestors.

  7. Another vote for the photo! I love trying to find a family resemblance between my ancestors and my descendants.

  8. I'd definitely choose the photo. That's what I always long for.

  9. I think I'd choose the journal entry (even if I couldn't have a complete journal). It would give me some insight into the things that person thought were important enough to write about, and some insight into the day-to-day life of that person. Of course, I wouldn't turn down a photo, heirloom, or signature page either :)

  10. The journal or diary entry...I am always so envious of people who can transcribe an ancestor's diary.

    Dee at Shakin' the Family Tree

  11. I bet everyone would love to have all four...I know I would, and having to choose is tough, but a very good exercise in thinking about getting the most mileage out of your choice.

    As a writer, my first instinct is the journal entry. But, with the many sources available to us as Genealogist, a journal entry may not reveal as much as a Census report, for example. One of my favorite ways to tell my ancestors stories is through a Journal I write for them, so I won't choose that one.

    As a collector, I'm very attracted to antiques and vintage everything, so the quilt caught my eye. But since I've collected vintage quilts and fabrics for many years, and though none or made by my ancestors, I won't choose THAT heirloom either.

    Yes, I'd choose the photograph with the person identified. With the photo you get all the other choices in one. An Heirloom, with imaginiation a journal entry, a name and if you are lucky an ancestors handwriting and signature. Lucky me...I have my Great Grandmothers Heirloom Photo Album with over 20 photos which I have enjoyed discovery after discovery. Yep, I choose the Photography.

    I enjoyed browsing your blog and am a new follower. I hope you will have a chance to stop by my Genealogy Blog...CollectInTexas Gal-Tracks of My Texas Ancestors. I've seen your entries on GeneaBlogger Daily Prompts. Nice to meet you....Sue

  12. Such an interesting question. I think hands down I would have to choose the photo. There is just something wonderful about seeing the face of an ancestor.

  13. No question for me - a photo. I just love seeing their faces and thinking about all that they went through in their lives.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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