Furniture - Family Items

I never really thought of antiques or family "treasures" passed along the way in terms of my family research before. That did change this past spring.

My visit to Oxford this spring gave me several stories about furniture. To be more specific of a chair. To be honest it is likely to be a chair I have seen several times over the years and never thought anything of it. Well this chair had a story. It had a matching cradle, high chair and matching chair to go with it. Many Henley children were rocked to sleep in the cradle and had their meals in the high chair.

Anyway, back to this chair. It is said that Captain William Bickford Henley purchased these or made them on his own. (Wasn't the most handy of men it is told) It has since been bumping around in Henley houses for over 100 years. Not a chair of financial value but worth a thousand of them in my eyes. I can't remember when I put it together but I actually have a picture of this chair taken in 1932 with my Great Grandfather William Hart Henley sitting in it. This could possibly be one of the last photo's taken of him since he died in 1934.

I have an old coffee cup which my great Grandmother Mabel Henley bought for my mother in 1976. It is a funky blue and orange pattern and was bought at a small shop in Pugwash. I remember that day and no matter where I go that cup goes with me. (Currently on top shelf in kitchen next to my fancy martini glasses.) I also have a glass jar filled with ocean water and shells collected with my Great Aunt Jean. My first trip to the ocean. My son Sloan has taken on some of my habits. He will pick up a rock at every special place we go. He can tell you where most of them came from too. His rock collection. lol.

So, the point of my story I guess is to take a look at some of the things you have laying around. Take pictures and document some of these items. Years from now your descendants may wonder why they have an old tea cup and saucer. Who did it belong to? More than likely it will end up at a yard sale and the story of who it belonged to and how it came your way is lost. If you don't want to be a "pack rat" take a picture, document and give it to good will.

For myself, the journey of my research has been so rewarding. I have met many cousins and learned so much about my relatives and in turn myself. A truly rewarding experience.

Good luck in your family search everyone.

Would love to hear if any of you folks also have that jar of water lurking around. :)

Valerie Newell (Henley)