Family heirlooms are things to be treasured and appreciated; they will help you keep the memories alive. There are as many different types of keepsakes as there are different types of families. Important heirlooms could be someone’s favourite childhood book; an ancestor’s jewellery—including everything from valuable rings and bracelets to sentimental valuable costume or toy jewellery; perhaps a scrapbook or an old family photo album; or a love letter or certificate on fragile paper. These days, it seems as if everyone is into the scrapbook craze. Creating a heritage album, scrapbook that documents your ancestors story, is the most obvious way to record your family history and to pass on a valuable treasure. If fact, any scrapbook you create can become a family heirloom, you can create baby books to holiday albums, or use your imagination to create your own genealogy theme like a collection of family letters, an album of a particular period in time, or you could simply compile family photographs of each generation, clearly labelling and identifying each person.
Letter writing is becoming a thing of the past, now that emails and phones make communicating easier and quicker, but that is all the more reason to correspond in the old fashion way. Use letters to preserve a form of communication, as well as history. For instance, write a letter to the youngest person in your family for a special event, such as a birthday, tell the person or child what it was like when you were that age, be sure to keep a copy of the letter for yourself, and store it with other family items.
Family scrapbooks and photo albums are a treasure to look at, but often fall apart here and there. Always try to keep scrapbooks as intact as possible. This is not always easy, as many old scrapbooks were put together by children or by other family members using whatever paper and adhesives were available at the time, as a universal rule-of-thumb when it comes to storing family heirlooms; do not store your family treasures and keepsakes in the attic or basement due to risk of flooding.