What Are the Artifacts of Your Life?

What Are the Artifacts of Your Life?

I am totally fascinated by the little things in our lives, especially the physical things that tell a story. I want to archive mine and write their stories before they are forgotten. So, the first thing I chose to record was this carved wooden box.

This box once belonged to by grandfather Farmer Greenwade. He lived with us for about 6 months when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I remember going into his room to pester talk with him a lot and a few things I can recall is that he had a large carved wooden trunk and a matching smaller one. I loved the little box and played with it often. One day I took a color crayon and scribbled wrote inside of it. I am sure that my graffiti artistic endeavor was what prompted Grandpa to give it to me.

Years later, my well-meaning mother in an attempt to beautify it for me, lined it with red velvet and covered up my crayon markings! I was horror struck that the one thing that I felt connected me to my now deceased grandpa was covered up. I ripped out the lining in the lid to reveal the markings once more. I am afraid that the teenager in me at the time did not handle this act of love on my mother’s part very well. Sorry mom! But, all of that adds to the story. To me, this is more than a small little treasure box, it something that physically ties me to my grandfather and now to my mother as well.

Then, there is the mystery brush that I also inherited from my mother’s side. This is a silver engraved brush, with the initials E.K. inscribed. I have yet to determine whose initials they are. Is there some missing family member I have yet to discover, or did they just pick it up at some garage sale or something? See why cataloging and recording the history of your family artifacts is important. I know there is a great story with the brush. I just don’t know what it is!
From my father’s side I have a small Bible, that is cracked and coming apart for much use. It was given as a Christmas present from my great, great grandfather Samuel Sylvester Brown to his 11 year son, my great grandfather Herbert Brown.


What I love is he gives a list of scriptures that he felt were helpful to him in his life! I never met gg grandpa Samuel Sylvester Brown, but just having that list helps me feel like I know him a bit.
So, pull out a favorite object that has a story. Take a picture and record it before you forget, before you leave an object that has a story untold like my silver hair brush! Today is never to late to get started.
You may notice I have a new look for my blog, a little cleaner look and hopefully it have greater focus. Everyone knows I love all things genealogy, but my real PASSION is all things family! Particularly how we can cherish them. So while genealogy research is always going to be a part of my life, this blog will focus more on family history and hopefully inspiring others to find ways to share their stories and preserve their heritage. What do you think?
©2011, copyright Valerie Elkins


  1. Love it. I remember the box and the hairbrush. I didn’t know the box was from Grandpa Greenwade. How special it is that you have that. I have so many things from Dave’s family that have no stories, but I like your suggestion. I will start taking pictures and write what I do know. Great post, Sis, and I’m looking forward to your new focus.

  2. Love this. Funny your reaction to your mom covering the inside. Thumbs up on sharing the family stories. Looks like someone is already with you.

  3. Thanks for this post Nancy. My daughter came over this week to help me do some deep cleaning and as we were going through closets I was grabbing things to throw out. She took several back and said “I remember this. I want to keep it – it has a story!”

  4. I am sorry I called you Nancy – Valerie! I was posting and talking on the phone at the same time to my neighbor Nancy! She said I called her Valerie! Hey I just realized – I bet you’ve been called Nancy before!

  5. Thanks everyone! That is so funny Ginny, yes my mom mixed up all our names on a daily basis, so I will actually answer to any of our names! Thanks Hummer and Suesan as well. I love the stories we all have, I even love hearing others stories who are not my own. They resonate in my heart just the same.

  6. I enjoyed this post but wish the photos appeared, too. There were triangles with exclamation marks in them instead of photos! I want to see the box!!!

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