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August 06, 2006



It is an extraordinary archive, and I am constantly astounded at what members of our family thought to save, not to mention the fact that the collection has remained intact through many generations. Among the items in the collection are a pair of earings made from the uniform buttons of an unidentified Union officer who escaped from Libby Prison (a beau of a gr-gr-grandmother, perhaps?) and a letter from a family friend travelling through Arizona in the 1880s and some flakes of what resembles degraded parchment but which the letter writer explains are examples of Zuni flat bread!

There has always been at least one family geneaologist in each generation able and willing to take on archival responsibility. My great Aunt Margie fulfilled this role for many decades, as did her mother and uncle before her. The obvious choice of archivist in the generation before mine was my mother's cousin John Bell Henneman, Jr., a Princeton professor and librarian who sadly passed away before my Great Aunt. Now it falls to me, much to my delight, to conserve and make sense of this legacy for current and future generations of the family, and one of the wonderful benefits of caring for the accumulated records of our tribe is that it keeps me connected to 2nd cousins and their families in ways that would otherwise not have happened.


It's wonderful that you have these old family papers. That was very interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

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