Randy Seaver says
Hey genea-philes – it’s SATURDAY NIGHT!! Time for more GENEALOGY FUN!!
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to respond to Bill West’s Genealogist’s Time Capsule Challenge - read his post on West in New England. Answer these questions:
1. Make a list of what you would put in a time capsule and why you’d choose each item.
2, What would you use for the time capsule? Where would you have it kept?
3. Write a blog post with the above information. If you don’t have a blog, send your time capsule idea to me as a comment to this post or email it to me. If you do have a blog, make sure to send me the link to your time capsule post. (West in New England.)
1. a set of today’s current UK coins, a copy of the local newspaper, menus from restaurants (we have a great Bangladeshi nearby – yum), some photos of local landmarks as they are at the moment (the War memorial, ruins of Cousland Castle), a printed report of my family history, a pair of my favourite vintage US-made cowboy boots (but not my current comfy favourites), a bar of Green & Black’s Organic 80% cocoa chocolate and a bottle of 20 year old Macallan. I’m not a whisky drinker, but it would be nice for those opening the time capsule.
2. The time capsule would need to be a heavy-duty metal waterproof acid-free (of course!) box surrounded by concrete (just in case) but with an electronic tag (like the ones we tag our pets with, and it seems that we will be tagging our dead relatives with in Woodland graveyards so that folk can find them via GPS) and buried several feet down. The electronic tag would need to link to a database which would be kept up to date.
3. I’ve written the blog and will submit as a SNGF blog via Randy.
I actually have first/second-hand experience of finding time capsules – my Dad farmed in Lowland Scotland and bought another farm nearby when I was in my teens and it backed onto a cemetery. The cemetery wall was very old (1750′s or thereabouts) and was supposedly maintained by the local Council. Dad employed someone to re-point the wall and he pulled out various items from the wall, which had been cemented in for posterity but the cement had come loose – a pair of baby’s shoes, and a silver spoon. There were no further clues as to who the shoes or spoon belonged to, so there’s no clue to identify who the items belonged to, and why they were left there. I bought a cottage in a nearby village, which had been renovated in the 1960′s and a “lovely” massive wall-to-wall fake stone fireplace built. When we took it out, we found a beer bottle with the label torn off and scrolled up inside – on the back in pencil it read “I had the beer” but no name or signature. My sister lives in a house that my family have lived in since the 1940′s. She took the decision to brick up the cellar under the stairs, and included my Dad’s vintage collection of miniature Scottish whiskies (in boxed sets) along with current newspapers and a letter from her. Who knows who will unlock these treasures 50/75/100+ years on.
I think the main point is that if you’re going to leave a time capsule, please at least identify yourself so the next (next, or next) generation might have half a chance of identifying you in the records. The more clues, the better. Thanks in advance