Tag Archives: memoribilia

Yvonne Richards holding John Allan's Freedom of the City of London

Did I steal this? Should I give it back?

Yvonne Richards holding John Allan's Freedom of the City of London

Yvonne Richards holding John Allan’s Freedom of the City of London

Did I steal this? Should I give it back?

Over 25 years ago, my husband and myself were avid antique collectors, we already had an impressive collection of coins and stamps and other bits of memoribilia, mainly family tree that had picqued our interest in all things old. We didn’t have children, seemingly had no intention of having any and were happy working and living our own lives. We regularly attended antiques fairs and began collecting pearl handled cutlery, Mah Jong tiles, land deeds and wooden items, which we both loved. On one such occasion at an antique fair in Stafford, we spotted a beautiful picture frame. We both spotted it at the same time, and both fell in love with it, the added bonus was what it contained.

The Freedom of the City of London, granted to one John Allan, a Spectacle maker in 1898.

This ticked both boxes for us, history and wood and the deal was done. The said picture was brought home and has sat on the same bit of wall on our hall, stairs and landing since then and has been lovingly dusted each week.

Recently, however, we felt the need to re-organise and re-structure all of the family memorabilia that we had and to clean our existing RootsMagic databases. During that process, we have wished many times that relatives had not given things away or sold them or even dumped them in skips or landfills.

And so, our attention turned to our Spectacle maker and his Freedom of the City.

“Many people assume that the Freedom of the City of London is purely an honorary award, presented only to the great and the good, or for particular bravery, for example. However, this is true of only a very small number of City Freemen. The Honorary Freedom of the City of London is indeed the highest honour that the City can bestow, but it is granted very rarely. The vast majority of City Freemen were, and are, admitted by other means, and represent a very broad cross-section of the population. Over the last 300 years, about 300,000 ordinary people have been made Free of the City of London. Even today, many men and women continue to be admitted to the City Freedom, although most of the privileges and practical reasons for doing so have now disappeared.Before the mid-19th century, the Freedom of the City of London was a practical necessity for those who plied a trade or made their living in the City of London. Indeed, certain groups of people were compelled, on pain of prosecution, to be Free of the City, including:” To read the rest of this article, originally published by London Metropolitan Archives go HERE

To put your mind at rest, no I didn’t actually steal it, I bought it quite legimately for about £30, if I recall. However, I feel like I’ve stolen a piece of this family’s history. Both of us were astonished that a family could actually put this on the market for sale, but then you never know people’s circumstances. Still, we would ultimately like it to be returned to its rightful family. We have done some research on it so we have a fair idea of its provenance but are drawing a blank on finding a family connection on Ancestry as none of the family names seem to tie up.

So we are appealing to the social media network and hoping that this post will go viral in the hopes that we will be able to reunite such a fabulous piece of family history with John Allan’s rightful descendents. There is no doubt that we should give it back, though it will be with a very heavy heart and its long-held place on our wall will never be quite the same without it. Suffice to say, that should we not find its rightful owner, we will continue to keep it as safe as anyone can keep their possessions in this day and age until such time as it can hang on the wall of his proud family once more.

allan_john_award

Transcript: John Allan, Citizen and Spectacle Maker of London was admitted into the Freedom aforesaid and made the Declaration required by Law in the Mayoralty of Sir John Voce Moore, Mayor and Sir William James Richmond Cotton, Knt Chamberlain and is entered in the book signed with the Letter K1 relating to the Purchasing of Freedoms and the Admission of Freedom (to wit) the 22nd Day of December in the 62nd Year of the reign of Queen VICTORIA and in the Year of our Lord 1898. In Witness whereof the Seal of the Office of Chamberlain of the said City is hereunto affixed. Dated in the Chamber of the Guildhall of the same City the day and Year abovesaid.

What do you think?  Should I be trying to reunite this with its rightful owners or am I just wasting my time?  The family sold it once, do they really want it back?  Let me know what you think on our Facebook page.

Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

Oral Histories…

Learn how to take an oral history.  Record the memories of your living relatives to pass down the generations.

Are you a jumbled genealogist?

Need more structure in your paperwork?

Never have time to do more than record what you’ve found?

Let us help you overcome the jumble of paperwork and memoribilia that you have.

Let us help you create a system whereby everything is at your fingertips and you, and more importantly, other members of your family, will know EXACTLY what everything is, the significance of it, who it belonged to and who they were.

Sound good?

Head over to our Creating Your Legacy Training Course at KajabiNext and watch the first module for FREE.

12Mar/15

What Every Grandparent Needs to Know….

What every grandparent needs to know….about passing on their family tree.

You’re going to discover 5 easy ways to engage and inspire your grandchildren to be more interested in family stories that will hopefully lead to them being more open to the idea of eventually becoming a genealogist, or at least looking after what you have spent so much time lovingly crafting – your heritage.

How do you think you’d feel if you saw your descendents eventually throwing all of your hard-fought family tree research on the skip? Think it won’t happen? Go to any carboot sale or charity shop and you’ll see books with inscriptions in them dated back to the 1800’s. Go to any antique fair and you’ll find war medals with inscriptions on sale. One dealer I spoke to said he buys them up just so they won’t be melted down!

How sad is that?

But the truth of the matter is we don’t have space to keep these things right now.

But we need to hold space for those things because they are so important to us, they connect us to where we came from and maybe even where we’re going. The only way to guarantee that won’t happen is to engage and inspire your descendents with the stories and the emotions behind the memorabilia and then the paperwork sort of becomes a necessity, a bit like a provenance.

Are our children really interested in family? I firmly believe they are, nowadays children are far more connected via social media to their friends and family than ever before. And in this increasingly disconnected world we live in, there has never been a better time to nurture those family connections than right now.

But how to do it? Or even, more to the point, can I do it?

Yes, yes, and yes again, you absolutely can.

Whether you live around the corner or in different continents, you can absolutely keep in touch with your grandchildren and pass on family stories to them and it should be a priority to do so, which I’m sure it is.

Assuming you have a great relationship with mom and dad, you can work together to plan how you manage this whether local or long-distance. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the five how to’s.

  1. Skype each other. It’s free and you can even record the conversations. Set aside a time each week, or more frequently if desired, to talk to your grandchildren. You can even make it a celebration sometimes, perhaps you can celebrate a birthday online. Skype is such a fantastic tool for bringing people together. I couldn’t live without it, knowing that at any time I can speak to my son at university is absolutely brilliant.
  2. Set up a memory box. You can either do this online or physically. Get them to send photographs and scans of the pictures they draw so you can keep them, or maybe even scrapbook them and send that through the post or hand it to them when you or they visit. What a fabulous birthday present to get presented with a scrapbook of the previous 12 months of your life?
  3. Get involved. Are they currently involved in a history project at school? Can you contribute anything to that? Perhaps you could hook them up with an older relative for them to interview them about their experiences? Do they have themed book days at school, like Victorian Days. You could maybe find some pictures of your ancestors to give them some ideas about what kind of dress to wear for the day.
  4. Interview them. Yes, interview THEM. Make them feel important, they love to feel that their voice is being heard, get them to a do a scrapbook or journal of their life.
  5. Create a family cookbook. This is something that can be achieved physically or online. Gather recipes together and make sure you tell them that this one is Auntie May’s Magical Mince Pies or Grandma’s Gorgeous Granola (give recipes interesting names). Again you could print this out and send it off in the post, but both of you can print it out at home.

 So it’s not soo difficult to keep your grandchildren interested and engaged in family matters. Make it fun and be enthusiastic and they’ll come back for more.

Don’t make the mistake of ramming family tree connections down their throats, they won’t thank you for it and it will turn them off. Just gently ease them along getting them more and more interested in what’s happening in their own lives and it will create a sense of belonging and closeness that money just can’t buy.

What price for not having your stuff thrown on the tip or end up at the charity shop or carboot sale?

Only you know the answer to that.

 

 

 

Memoribilia…

Preserve your mementos – let us show you how in our easy-to-follow course.

Are you a jumbled genealogist?

Need more structure in your paperwork?

Never have time to do more than record what you’ve found?

Let us help you overcome the jumble of paperwork and memoribilia that you have.

Let us help you create a system whereby everything is at your fingertips and you, and more importantly, other members of your family, will know EXACTLY what everything is, the significance of it, who it belonged to and who they were.

Sound good?  If so, head over to our Creating Your Legacy Training Course at KajabiNext and watch the first module for FREE.

 

Memories…

Don’t lose your precious photographs, digitise and organise them; keep your memories alive.

Are you a jumbled genealogist?

Need more structure in your paperwork?

Never have time to do more than record what you’ve found?

Let us help you overcome the jumble of paperwork and memoribilia that you have.

Let us help you create a system whereby everything is at your fingertips and you, and more importantly, other members of your family, will know EXACTLY what everything is, the significance of it, who it belonged to and who they were.

Sound good?  If so, head over to our Creating Your Legacy Training Course at KajabiNext and watch the first module for FREE.