Connecting to my Family

Late last year I began to acquire some family heirlooms. I managed to fit a buffet, china cabinet, sewing machine, and secretary into my dining room. The rocking chair is in my entry waiting to be repaired. All of these items came from my aunt and belonged to my great-grandma (a few belonged to her mother). I was so thrilled to receive them especially because they would have just been tossed out if I hadn’t taken them. They had been in a storage shed for at least five years before I got them. The skeleton keys were tucked away in a drawer in the buffet which I didn’t know until I was able to borrow a skeleton key from my dad to get into that drawer. The knobs on the top drawer of the secretary were broken so I was never able to get that open until today.

Inside the secretary I found an old arrowhead which Wyatt is excited about. Then there was a very large stamp collection. Some of the stamps are from 1980s, I thought that was pretty cool to see what stamps looked like when I was little. Then there were ones from the 70’s. A postcard to my grandparents sent from Norway. A large book with stamps and my great-uncle’s name in it (he was killed in a jeep wreck in the military before my mom was born). Then I got really excited when I saw envelopes addressed to my great-grandma with  postmarks of 1918! I carefully opened the envelopes hoping that the letters were still in there but they weren’t. It’s still exciting to have those envelopes, its yet another link to my family.



A few weeks ago my uncle had delivered several books when he cleaned out his home library. Those books belonged to my great-grandpa when he was young. Wyatt was thrilled to get books that his great-great-grandpa read, several with his name written inside. They’re now in the china cabinet waiting for when Wyatt or I decide to read them. Some of the pages have come loose and my uncle did tell me that one of the books is missing a few pages but we’re excited to get to read these books. Among the books was a well worn copy of Gulliver’s Travels, Bar20,  Bonnie Prince Charlie, and several more.



I love discovering things about my family history and I really have been enjoying learning about my people. My uncle was telling me how my great-grandma was a journalist.

I can’t wait to see what I discover next! Have you ever learned about or received something from your family line that thrilled you?


About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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8 Responses to Connecting to my Family

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    Wow, that’s a treasure trove! Not only the physical items of furniture that have been in your family for generations… but those more direct connections of books, keys, stamp collections, and other memorabilia. Very cool.
    Wonderful that you are in a place and status when you have space and time to welcome these things.
    In my own life, there have been several points at which I could have inherited treasures of a different sort — specifically a 1938 Plymouth of my grandfather’s and an old Model-A Ford of my great-grandfather’s — but I had no means to haul them, no space to store them, no money to pay for either hauling or storage, and no means with which to “work on” them.
    So the Plymouth was sold to a stranger for a song… and the old Ford was given (by Mom) to a dear friend of hers. That friend DID have the means to haul, store, and RE-store, the vehicle — so it’s fitting that he got it, I guess.
    But of the treasures that I DID come across — even though I returned them after transcribing the — were letters written by my grandfather, in France, during WW1. Mostly to his mother in Alabama, but one or two to his younger brother. It was a labor of love to type them up, and make copies to distribute to my parents and siblings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    What wonderful heirlooms! We found a lot of this kind of thing when we cleared out my mom’s house last summer after she moved to a senior facility. Most of the furniture and my grandfather’s paintings were divided up between us three kids and our six girls. But I was sad to see so much written history tossed out – letters my dad wrote to his family when he was overseas, and letters a French woman wrote to my grandfather around the turn of the twentieth century. I salvaged some, but I only have so much room.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. From the time I was in grammar school, we kids would gather around the kitchen table sipping freshly brewed coffee (mostly milk), and indulge in some kind of Scandinavian treat (my mom’s side of the family 🙂 ) while the older women would talk about life when they were children on the farm up in Minnesota. I learned so much listening to them. So many stories I have yet to use in my own novels, but remembered well.

    Several items from my mom’s side of the family have been given to me. All of which I cherish. One such is my grandmother’s spinning wheel made (without a single nail) in Finland over a hundred years ago. It still has it’s original paint (without hardener, so I have to be careful what I place on it. LOL

    Books are another treasure from her side of the family, but they’re all written in Finnish.

    Yes, family treasures are very important. I wish all young people would realize that and treasure what is handed down.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, how wonderful! My mother was a keeper, but many family treasures got left behind in a badly handled move.My biggest, best treasure-find was all that my aunt had kept from her Italian-American radio show in the 1940s-50s. She not only saved all sorts of papers, pictures, certificates, playbills and programs, but she got to chatter about family,I learned details on my cousins wedding O learned what family visited at different times.I learned that my oldest aunt came in to care for my mother when my brother was born,(judging by the dates of the visit), and I called once older cousin and congratulated her on being valedictorian of her graduating class more than 50 years after the fact. She asked me how I knew and I said that it was in our aunt’s radio logs!

    Liked by 1 person

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