What did you find in your grandmother’s trunk? Drew Smith, host of The Genealogy Guys’ “Genealogy Connection” wanted all the details.
My first inherited family collection was originally stored inside this large brown trunk. It was every genealogist’s dream-come-true.
I always enjoy talking with Drew and George G. Morgan, The Genealogy Guys, and often forget we’re recording an interview, not just chatting between friends. Their professional and engaging style has made The Genealogy Guys Podcast “the longest-running, continuous genealogy podcast in the world,” according to genealogy reference website Cyndi’s List.
In 2016, The Genealogy Guys added Genealogy Connection, a new interview-format podcast, and it was an honor to share my own genealogy and “archiving” journey and to talk about a favorite project, the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant. The Genealogy Guys have been long-time supporters of the student grant program. Listen to Drew’s recent interview with Mindy Jacob, 2017 Grant recipient in Genealogy Connection Episode #029.
Drew and I also talked about how I inherited my first archive, and what I discovered inside my Grandmother Arline’s trunk. But before we lifted the top of that old trunk, Drew asked me to help him envision the artifact that held five generations of family history.
I remembered it as a cloth, covered wooden box, painted a “miserable, sad shade of khaki brown,” about 4 feet long and 2 feet wide, standing about 30-inches tall. It doesn’t sound too attractive, does it? Maybe that’s why no one in the family seemed to want it, except me.
Later, I wondered if my memory matched the actual trunk sitting empty in our basement office. The measuring tape shows the trunk is actually 33 inches long and only 20 inches wide, standing just 24 inches tall. What seemed so large, was actually much smaller. I’m not really surprised that I remembered it as bigger, taller, and wider all round, because it seemed to hold so very many papers, letters, and photos.
I correctly recalled the trunk’s “miserable, sad shade of khaki brown” and I wonder when and why it was painted. I only inherited the contents in 2000, not the trunk. My aunt wanted to keep it for storage, and it only came to me after she passed away fairly recently.
What was inside? I had my first glimpse inside the trunk years earlier. It was an archeological dig of family heirlooms. Jumbled layers of paper, photos, and . . . more that Drew and I talk about. Enjoy the podcast, and join us as we dig down into Arline’s trunk of family treasures.
Listen to Genealogy Connections Episode #031 with Drew Smith and Denise Levenick.