My family legacy is preserved in some very old photographs that I recently from my mother. Since I am considered the family photo historian, she decided to send me a box that contained some old framed photos of my great-grandparents taken in the 1890’s when they were children. This was such a special treasure to receive as they had been passed down to my mother from her mother. Tucked behind one of the photos was a note written by my mother’s first cousin to my grandmother describing who was in the photo (the one on the left below – my great-grandmother is standing in the back row between her parents). The other photo had the names written on the back of it and is a picture of my great-great-grandparents with my great-grandfather and one of his brothers .
My great-grandparents were still alive when I was young and I know how very fortunate I am to have known them. Seeing them as children, though, is fascinating because it was so different back then. I remember visiting them at their homes in Florida and Massachusetts and how kind they were. I have some photographs of myself and my sister at their home on Cape Anne in Massachusetts as well as from their 60th wedding anniversary. Those photos help me to keep memories of them alive.
These photographs are a piece of my family legacy – they are a glimpse into my past. Legacy is anything that is handed down from the past. Family legacy refers to the accomplishments, actions, beliefs, and guidance that is carried forward to future generations. This includes our photographs and the stories within those photos. In order for future generations to benefit from our legacy we must pass along the legacies from our ancestors and add in our own stories, accomplishments and beliefs. We must preserve and share those photos.
Our photographs are key to our legacy and they help us remember. I don’t remember many things that happened during my childhood but I have photographs that I enjoy looking at and that help me to remember. Without those photos the memories and the stories would be lost. Taking the time to organize and preserve my older printed photos and those that belonged to my parents and grandparents is very rewarding as I relive those memories and then share them with my daughter and grandchildren. Note: that is me pictured on the right below with my mother standing behind me.
Family legacy is passed down to future generations through our photographs. That is why it is important to take the time to preserve the memories that are captured in our older printed photos so that our legacy is available to enjoy now with our family and for future generations. Take the time to preserve your family legacy – it will be worth it.