Garage sale season is in full swing right now. I have had a number of garage sales over the years. The last garage sale I had, my mom sent a couple of boxes of things over for us to add to our sale. I was unpacking the one box and at the bottom were vintage tablecloths. I thought they were beautiful. I called my mom and asked her about the tablecloths. She said they were hers and most of them had been wedding presents. I was like "Wow, I have to keep these". There are family heirlooms and over 50 years old. They were in excellent condition.
The tablecloths got me thinking about what else my mom had that might be family heirlooms. The next time I was at my mom's I asked her if she had anything that belonged to her ancestor's. She showed me a vase and told me it had been in my Grandma Bell's family for years. She wasn't sure who had originally owned the vase, but said it came from Ireland. My grandmother, Sarah Lilla Watt Glover Bell, was the daughter of David Watt. His family was from Scotland. Sarah's mother, Catherine McGee, was from Ireland. Was it her mother's, Sarah Jackson McGee? Or possible her grandmother's (Unknown McGee or Elisa (?) Jackson)? I will never know who owned it originally, but I am happy I talked to my mom. I would have never known about the vase if I hadn't asked.
Have you asked your family about family heirlooms? It is a good idea to do it sooner rather than later.