More Empty Boxes and Family History

In the continuing effort to declutter and organize, I emptied two boxes yesterday, throwing away some things, settings aside others to donate to the thrift store, and saving a few things to give to David. Today I reboxed four boxes today, condensing them down into three boxes that are labeled and organized and now they are stored in the closet.

These last boxes today were family records, wedding albums, genealogy items that need to be saved to future generations. Amongst them were the Gibson-Darrow genealogy books that my Great-Aunt Irene (Irene M. Gibson) researched and wrote. She had five installments and gave copies to any family member that requested them (and probably some that didn’t request them!). When she died, I inherited all the remaining copies. Today I went through them, trying to collate all the installments into actual sets and discovered that, while there are approximately 15 copies of most of the installment, there is only ONE copy of the second installment.

I am glad I took the time to try to collate them, as I could have very easily given away the last remaining copy of #2 and not realized it. I think I will scan all the pages of all five installments so that I have backup copies, just in case. And then I think it is time to begin typing up the copies and uploading them into a site like to create a permanent book, and so extended family members can get their own copy.

Of course, ideally I should pick up recording the family history where Great-Aunt Irene left off, which is why she gave the copies to me in the first place. I believe she thought I was THE person in my generation to pick up the genealogy torch, so to speak. It would be quite a massive undertaking, as she followed so many extended branches of the family and it has been close to three decades since she wrote the last installment. That would be a lot of catching up! And I do not have the correspondence and records that she had; she was a prolific letter writer and lived to be 96 years old! But, with the Internet and sites like, I should be able to find enough information to at least make a bare bones record, if not in all the detail that she provided. Just what I need, another project!

Speaking of projects, going through these boxes also reminded me that I had intended to scan ALL of my Grammy’s (Mabel Gibson, my dad’s mother) art work and sketches and oil that I have stashed away. I did some of that a couple of years ago, but when I went to Alabama last May, I shipped to myself more boxes that were in storage and in some of those were more of her art work, including this:

This was obviously just a rough draft, as on the back of this canvas there is an oil painting of a large bottle and many written notes about the picture. Birds were her specialty, though, and even if it was a rough draft, I think it is pretty lovely and plan to get it framed.

And since I am on the topic of family, I thought I’d share this picture of my Aunt Violet (my Mom’s oldest sister), whom I visited last week.

She is looking pretty good for seventy-eight, don’t you think?


  1. Carol

    Yes, do scan all of the genealogy related stuff that you can – this coming from a genealogy widow. 🙂 DH keeps hard copies and digital copies (an backups of the digital copies in the safety deposit box). He’s not big on uploading things to ancestry; let me talk to him later and then I’ll share his thinking.

    Your aunt is so lovely! With genes like that, you’ll age into a lovely woman too.

  2. Cee Gee

    You are lucky to have family records. I wish I had something.
    Good work!

  3. Missus Wookie

    I don’t think that duck is a ‘rough draft’ although your Grammy may not agree. Aunt Violet definitely is not looking bad for 78 either!

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