The Treasure Chest

Hello everyone!

It’s great to be back after taking a short break. 

The break gave me time that I needed to think about all I’ve learned recently during a family visit.

One of the purposes of the visit was to scan my mom’s old family photos. 

Armed with my netbook and my sister’s scanner, I set about to tackle as much as I possibly could.

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Frankly, the amount of information was overwhelming. 

There was so many photos…so much documentation…so much memorabilia.

How would I organize it?  Where would I start? The photos below show just a tiny fraction of what was on-hand!

2012-09-06_05-31-42_628    2012-09-06_05-32-27_684

As I began to work through all the items I knew I was looking at a treasure chest.

I commented to my mom that she needed to help me figure out what the most important items were. 

Sure, it seemed like everything was important, but I was only going to be scanning and gathering information for a short time.

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For three and a half days my mother and I looked at documents, talked about the people in the photos who were frozen in time, reminisced and made discoveries.

Every now and then my father would make his comments, too!

Luis Perez shares a story, first week in September, 2012.

A few times I saw my mother looking very wistful.  She would occasionally comment, “I didn’t know we still had this..”

Every now and then when we were getting tired, but close to finishing something I’d laugh and say, “Mom!  Focus, focus, focus!”

Mary Perez, first weekend in September, 2012.

By the second night my mother would bring things to me saying, “I absolutely want you to scan this!” 

I would reply, “Okay, just add it to the stack and we’ll talk about it once I get there!”

One day, Aunt Sheila, my father’s sister, came to visit.  I asked her a few questions about my father’s family tree.  I also asked her if she wouldn’t mind writing down the information.  She was happy to do so.  In addition, she gave us an incredible surprise!

Aunt Sheila writes down the Perez Family Tree

A while back I wrote a post about my father’s grandmother. In the post I stated that we didn’t know her name. Well, Aunt Sheila did!

My great-grandmother’s name was Maria Gomez Cobián. 

Aunt Sheila also told us her grandmother’s mother came to Mexico from Austria! 

Aunt Sheila didn’t know her name, but wanted us to know where she was born. 

What an important piece of information!  I now know that more of my ancestors were born in Europe than I originally thought!Maria Gomez Cobián, mother of Jose G. Perez

Among the precious treasures were two (tin?) photo plates. 

One of them, shown below, is one inch in size. 

I decided to see what would happen if I saved the scan as “a negative.”

The result shows the only image of my mother’s paternal grandfather, Arcadio Lopez.

Even though the result is grainy, we now have an idea of how my great-grandfather looked!

My mother was delighted! She thought the plates were lost.

Arcadio Lopez, paternal grandfather of Mary PerezArcadio Lopez

Those of you who follow my site are aware that I’ve been documenting my family’s history.  As you may imagine I came away from this experience with many more details to share!

A few weeks ago I felt humbled, amazed, surprised, overwhelmed and exhausted.

I also felt privileged.

I held photos and documents from my family that were up to one hundred years old.

I learned things about my grandparents and parents that I had never heard previously.

I was honored to capture was what precious to my mother.

It’s going to take me a while to organize all the details…but I’m excited to get started!

I have plenty of stories to share, so please stay tuned!

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About

I've always enjoyed writing and finally decided it was time to blog! As part of my profession I write every day, but I'm now trying to take the time to write creatively. My family and friends have been very encouraging as there is little that is written down in the way of a family chronicle. This is a favorite topic of mine! In addition to family history, I write about life, family, friends and faith. My husband is a full-time parent to our special needs daughter. I’ve explored this topic, too. I also enjoy music, crocheting, reading and relaxing with my family. I hope you enjoy what I have to offer!

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Posted in 2012, Family history, Musings, Personal, Thoughts
24 comments on “The Treasure Chest
  1. Northern Narratives says:

    You are so lucky to have all this family information. Love your photos.

  2. Wow. You had your work cut out for you! Job well done, Cathy. Love the vintage photos. G

  3. adinparadise says:

    How wonderful to have all those photos, and people who remember, Cathy. A worthwhile project indeed. 🙂

    • Cathy G says:

      Thanks adinparadise! I guess you can say I came into this somewhat naturally as I love to tell stories, and I love to write! One of the things I’ve had to think about is how to carry this forward long-term. My blog is turning out to be a great vehicle for this! 🙂

  4. cobbies69 says:

    Great collection Cathy, love this and all your history, great share oh and welcome back..;)

  5. scrapydo says:

    This is sp wonderful. I am so sad that I haven’t asked my mother all the family things while we were still together. She passed away in 2006 and with her all the family stories.

    • Cathy G says:

      Hi scrapydo! I’m fortunate that my parents and aunt are able to share what they know. When my mom was telling me some stories she realized she didn’t have all the details, so she called her cousin. It was amazing to hear some of the bits of information from my cousins’point of view. I’m convinced that I need to make more visits in the near future so we can continue the storytelling. I know I won’t manage to get everything, but I’m grateful that I’ve had this time with my parents. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  6. Iñigo says:

    treasures indeed! i hope my family keeps amazing treasures of the past for younger generation to keep 🙂

  7. I love that you were able to gather so much information in one visit. It’s wonderful that your family responded so well and got involved in the process. How precious to have documented your family history and memories for future generations.

  8. […] I shared I was at my parent’s house scanning family photos, they would occasionally respond differently to the same […]

  9. Treasure chest is right, Cathy. How fortunate–and smart–you are to dig up this gold while you can. So many people wait until it is too late.

    • Cathy G says:

      Hi Naomi! As I’ve been writing posts about my family, a number of bloggers have commented that they wish they knew more about their family’s history. It’s given me a perspective on being able to gather as much information as I can “now.” The next step will be ongoing – creating the posts that I have running through my head! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Priceless treasure filled with beautiful memories. I was hoping to do the same the last time I went home. Pictures are irreplaceable. If we loose them, they are gone forever. I’m glad you did it. Everyone will be so grateful and happy that you preserve all these. Now there is a way for the younger ones to appreciate how beautiful your family is.

    • Cathy G says:

      Hi, island traveler! I was glad I did this, too! Even though I accomplished a lot I realized how much more there is to do! it is my hope that I can share as much as possible so different generations in my family will learn our stories. Thanks!

  11. […] my post, The Treasure Chest I shared that my mother possesses two tin photo […]

  12. […] A few years ago I made a visit to my folks house with the intent of scanning family photos. […]

  13. GadareneDream says:

    It’s so great that you had so much available to you! I have the opposite problem. Good luck piecing it all together! 🙂

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