Monday's Mention... A List of... the Longevity of... Animals?

I was poking through my genealogy files this morning looking for specific hand written letters (which I still haven't found) when I came across scans I made of my Lundberg grandmother's photo albums and scrapbooks last summer. You may remember me mentioning the hundreds of photos and albums I scanned that belonged to this grandmother and her parents. I remember scanning over eight hundred items. Between last summer and the prior year I am amazed my scanner still works. Oh, it whined and cried at me at times, but it has toughed it out through three major projects thus far. I have another major project still but I will wait to start it until maybe next fall.

While I was doing all of this scanning, I don't believe I mentioned any of the articles or items my grandmother saved. Some seemed, to me anyway, rather strange items to keep. There were articles written about and/or by people with absolutely no connection to the family, not even as a friend, as far as I know. I try to mentally throw myself into their day and time to make sense of it all, but it doesn't always work. Sometimes part of the reason, I have concluded, has to do with the fact that I am not a country girl. Part of the reason is that times were different back in the day and, of course, part of the reason could just be lack of knowledge or understanding on my part.

My grandmother had at least one album with various articles pasted to it's pages. Many of you I am sure have old albums like this. There was absolutely no way for me to remove any of those items to scan, so consequently whole pages were scanned instead. In this particular instance there were many newspaper articles pasted to pages with good ol' fashioned flour paste. I was very grateful to have the opportunity to scan these even if it meant doing it as pages, I knew I could always cut and separate articles later. 

One of the items I found this morning was a scan that encompassed several different lists. One of those lists I posted below. It is a prime example of something I would never save. Who knows why it was pasted in the album? Grandma and grandpa were long past the farming stages of their lives. Maybe it was just an educational bit of information...or maybe it was something my great grandparents had originally saved. Maybe it had been saved since the very early years of my grandparents lives together, or maybe it was saved because of another list that happened to be on the same brochure or flyer.

It was saved because grandma wanted it, for whatever reason. I have to say, this list tickled me! Maybe that was why it was kept, did it tickle her too? It led me into deep thought regarding items people save. My mother and my mother's mother didn't save much of anything, at all, so when I come across many of the articles and things my Lundberg grandmother saved, it is quite intriguing to me. I can see a veterinarian or veterinary technician owning and keeping a list like the one below, but there were no such occupations in this particular line, at least not that I am aware of.

Suddenly, I am wondering what I would find in the scrapbook I put together when I was in school. It has been many moons since I looked in that scrapbook. In fact, I am sure it is not put together with anything that is archival safe. (Sounds like another fall project to me) What is in my scrapbook that descendants would question my purpose in saving? (I can think of one item, but that will have to wait for a future post) My bottom line answer? 

"Everything in the scrapbook means something to me!" 

That is all that matters! The items in a scrapbook and or a photo album all mean something to the person who put it together. We may not always understand or learn why something was saved, but we do know the item meant something to the original owner. 

When I redo my scrapbook to make it archival safe, I think I will add little snippets explaining what each item means to me...

For now, the list is below, go ahead...check it out! Haven't you always wanted to know the life span of a swan is 20-50 years?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Letter Graphic provided by the Graphics Fairy

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved


  1. Who knew a pearl mussel could live 60-70 years? Who knows what a pearl mussel even is? :-)

    Fun stuff!

    Debi Austen (I don't know why it's not letting me post this as myself rather than anonymous)

  2. I had no idea that an earthworm could live 10 years. The things you learn in genealogy! lol

  3. The thing that surprises me is that geese live so long....

  4. I've long been fascinated by what my relatives kept. It's a little window into their minds and personalities - especially for those I didn't know. Great post, Cheryl!

  5. Debi, sorry about the signing in issue. I am guessing it is blogger? There have been issues with it lately I noticed. I agree, what is a pearl mussel vs a regular mussel? Google time!

    Earthworms, geese...I have never thought about how long any of these live, until now. Never to old to learn!

    Susan, until I started doing my family history, I thought most things my relatives kept were weird. Sometimes, even now, I think some of the things they kept were weird. I think there is a difference in the items we are each looking at! As you say though, it really does give a bit of insight as to who someone was or may have been.


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