In my hands is a small plate with a yellowed note glued to the back:
“This was my Grandmother Hough’s cup and saucer when she first went to house keeping in 1820.” My great-aunt May wrote this note. I still recognize her beautiful handwriting but my children and their children will not. They also may not remember who wrote the note, as Aunt May did not sign her name.
Today I’ll add the information that I have to this piece of our family history and make it more meaningful for my children and grandchildren. I hope, someday, one of them will do the same, carrying these shared stories and their relevance to new generations.
Using a Hannah Bergen Heirloom tag, my Book of Provenance and an archival pen, I number the tag, then add a corresponding number to a page in the Book of Provenance. Under “This Item” I write: “Very old glazed cup and saucer that belonged to Mary Hough of Pennsylvania. She brought these with her when she married Jacob Hendrickson and set up housekeeping in New Jersey in 1820.” I add my name under “Recorded by” and write today’s date under “Date”. On the back of the tag under “Additional Info” I add: “The note on the back of the saucer was written by my great-aunt, Clara May Hendrickson Sage, b. March 26, 1881 d. April 17, 1971. Mary Hough was her paternal grandmother”.
In the Book of Provenance I write the same information, adding a line or two about my great-aunt May, a woman with staying power, who left a legacy with the little notes she jotted and carefully placed with family treasures.
I am leaving the “Save For” line on the Heirloom Tag and on the page in the Book of Provenance blank for now….