52 Ancestors – #38 Yes- We Definitely Have Some Unusual Items!!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you have realized I have a lot of stuff. What may seem like useless ephemera to some is most certainly a genealogical treasure to me. You may recall my post on the ashes I found in my mother’s attic. That find allowed me to make a few connections on my uncle’s tree. Six years later, I still have the ashes, carefully encased in the knotted handkerchief. At some point, I will try to reunite Mania Nebenzahl with her descendants.
Despite attending several workshops and reading an entire book on downsizing written by Marian Burk Wood, I still can’t part with some of my “unusual” items. [1]

Prompted by the topic for Week #38 of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks blog challenge, let me share with you another item in our “genealogical treasure chest.”
My Grandfather’s Urology Reports From 1930 and 1931.

By the way, I did translate these. All I got from them was his counts on certain levels were “somewhat low.”


Now, most people would have tossed these out immediately upon finding them among their family papers. I felt like I should do the same. But. I just can’t do it. A couple of years ago, I posted my dilemma to a Facebook group. Most people said, “Digitize then toss.” So, I digitized the reports. 
Then, I did not toss them.
I attended a talk given by Devon Noel Lee of Family History Fanatics at RootsTech 2018.[2] There, I learned about a helpful “test” to help determine whether an item is worth keeping.
Keep- It’s “Genealogical Gold”, if:
  •     It’s original
  •        It’s unique
  •        It’s highly sentimental

Don’t Keep- It’s “Chrome Plastic*”, if:
  •       Copies are available
  •        It’s available online
  •        It’s of limited sentimental value

*chrome plastic: looks valuable, but it’s not
Made a lot of sense, so I “ran” the “test” on the items featured in this post.
  • It’s original. CHECK.
  • It’s unique. CHECK. (Pretty sure no one else has one!!)
  • It’s highly sentimental. UM. HMMM. WELL. I know it shouldn’t be sentimental. But… it is to me!!

Not surprisingly, I kept the original reports. 
I’d like to suggest a couple more items for the “Genealogical Gold” category:
  •        It’s part of a
    collection
    • Not only do I have the two reports, I also have a prescription from the same lab. (Did my grandfather not get it filled?) I also have some sort of document from a “sanitorium” dated 1935. Perhaps he was admitted there for treatment? So – a collection, right?
  •        It might be a clue to a story.
    •  My grandparents got married in 1930. Was this test part of a health exam in preparation for marriage? My grandfather died at work of a heart attack in 1959. He was only 58 years old. Did this “illness” (whatever it was) contribute to his weak heart? I haven’t done a lot of work on that branch, yet. What if these reports are part of a larger story?
There. I feel better. I think my two additions are quite plausible. And they certainly justify my decision to keep those urology reports!

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