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During the month of June, we took our family on a cross-country road trip. 1 RV. 9 people. 17 days. We included many family history activities along the way. To catch up on our trip so far:

Preparing for Our ‘Relative Race’

Our ‘Relative Race’: Treasures Untold


Our next stop was at my Aunt Judy’s home. She is my father’s older sister. I hadn’t seen her in person for over 8 years, and had not visited her home for over 20 years. Oh! What memories visiting her home evoked for me! I spent time in her home many times as a young child, and a few times as a teen; it was always a very welcoming, comfortable place for me.

We enjoyed a nice lunch and a chat down memory lane together. I pulled out my iPad, which I had loaded with unidentified photos and videos, and went through them with Judy. Unfortunately, she could not identify any of the truly unknowns, but she did confirm the identity of several individuals that I had made an educated guess at.

Then, Aunt Judy surprised me by inviting me to her living room where she had a gift for me. Folded neatly in a large white box lined in tissue lay a simple, colorful, handstitched, hand-embroidered quilt. She explained that this quilt was given to her by her mother (my grandmother), Billee Barton Corn, who inherited the quilt from her mother (my great-grandmother), Bessie Stevens Barton. Aunt Judy wanted me to be the 4th woman in our family line to be caretaker of this special quilt. (More on the story behind this quilt to come in a future post.)

Sid and Bess Barton Quilt

She also had one more packet of documents labeled for me from my grandmother, Billee. When Grandma Billee passed away at the age of 92 in 2010, Aunt Judy arranged all the final affairs for my grandmother’s household. Among all Billee’s possessions, Judy found many genealogy items labeled for me. She sent me a number of boxes of these items within a year after my grandmother’s passing, but this last remaining packet of documents had escaped that shipment, and now Judy wished to turn them over to me.

As we debated whether to find yet another space in the RV for these important items, or to ship them home via a parcel service, I remembered a narrow space in a cabinet above the DVD player that had remained empty the entire trip. I carefully fitted the document packet into the quilt box, and then tried to fit the quilt box in the empty cabinet space. It fit perfectly! Hooray! All my precious, unexpected gifts came home with me!

It was a lovely visit with my Aunt, and I am so grateful for her cherished gift!


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