Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One man's junk is another man's treasure...

My grandfather, Elmer Anthony Gorry Jr., died four years ago, yet somehow we're still sifting through the "junk" he left behind in his house. Obviously, I don't consider it junk. My grandfather was quite a pack rat, though, and he saved, probably literally, everything. My father inherited that trait from him, which is why we've still got most of this stuff in our garage. I admit that I, too, inherited the pack rat Gorry gene, which I often try to keep under control but which always breaks through around old family stuff.

If you love genealogy, you have to love the pack rats in your family, because while photos and vital records and the obvious stuff are all things you want to hold onto for future generations, it takes the true pack rat eye and mentality to realize that almost everything can have genealogical value for future generations. So while my father rather rightly finally threw away some real junk my grandfather had held on to, I'm thankful for all the helpful things we did find after my grandfather died. In fact, it was the funeral cards and funeral bills and clipped obits and letters my grandfather held on to that really got me started on the right road researching his side of the family - without them, I wouldn't even have known where to start, and so much of it helps to round out the story of the people the Gorrys (and forebears) were. So since I've been sifting through his "junk" lately, I'll be posting every now and then about the stuff we have now because he saved it for fifty-odd years, as a thank you to my very own pack rat and as a reminder to you to talk to your own family pack rats to see what kind of "junk" you can find amongst their junk.

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