Your Quick Tips, 03 September 2007

Mummers Parade Philadelphia, Pa., 1809Month-by-Month Scrapbook of Tradition
My parents, born in the early 1900s in Newfoundland, Canada, rarely talked about their lives growing up. A few years ago, as scrapbooking came into vogue and with so much info available on the Web, I thought, “Why not do an album based on the months of the year in my parents lives?” I loved the project and it took about six months.

Life was very hard for my parents and fishing was paramount, so weddings, parties, etc. were done in the off-season. I found out what a wedding entailed and what clothes were worn, etc. I looked at deaths (viewings at home), and related traditions. They held a “Mummers’ Parade” at Christmas. There were so many traditions that I’d known nothing about–what their daily life was like, how important the church was, singing–they loved creating songs–and having ‘kitchen parties.’
I learned so much that I’d never known and recommend this to your readers.
Carolyn ‘Whiffen’ Murray

Water Can Make Tombstones Legible
I’ve found what I think is a very good way to take a picture of a tombstone without doing it any harm, which is the purpose of preserving our history. Take two spray bottles and fill them with plain water; nearby spring or creek water will do well. (I take two because one might quit spraying while I am out on my mission.) Take a soft bristle bench brush and lightly brush stone to get particles off, spray with water, and gently wipe off excess water with cotton cloth. Water will stick in the low letters and when picture is taken will stand out very well. I haven’t tried with raised letters.
Thanks and good hunting!
Graveyard Junkie,

Keeping Heirlooms Safe
With the recent floods in so many parts of the country and fires in others, in addition to the suggestions in George Morgan’s article on computer back-ups, take a look at the more material aspects of your family history. Light, dirt, temperature extremes, and humidity are the enemies of just about everything we have to save, from photographs and old journals and letters to wedding dresses, quilts, linens, and other heirlooms. Make sure these valuables are in the safest storage conditions possible, and take photographs that can be disseminated amongst other family members or offsite. That way if a disaster were to claim them, there would still be a record of their existence.


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One thought on “Your Quick Tips, 03 September 2007

  1. I am very interested in Carolyn Murray`s scrapbook idea on a month-by-month Newfoundland tradition album as my father grew up there as well. I have found many sites online but not as detailed as she suggests.I would appreciate knowing where she found her information.

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