The “provenance” of a family heirloom, picture, etc. is “how you know it is what it is and how you came to have it.”

Think about the provenance of every item you have. A relative pointed out to me that I have quite a few pictures from my Ufkes family. They came from my maternal grandparents.

Then it dawned on me. The family home burned in 1924 and most of the pictures are from before that year. Did the family get the pictures out? Did other relatives share pictures with them or give them pictures? I’ll never know, but just thinking about who else might have had the pictures in 1924 got me to thinking about various family members who might have had pictures.

And thinking about provenance is never a bad thing.



2 Responses

  1. I have an old chest very much of the same genre of the one pictured here. It is not from my family but I am interested in tracking down the family to which it came. Are there any sites that could help in that?

    • Start with what is written on it. Names(s), any dates, any locations. Use census records and other data that you can find (free) on or ($$)

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