A couple of years ago I started a project for my sister-in-law's family. There is a rose point lace wedding veil that was purchased in 1921 by Abe and Minnie (Eising) Meier for their daughter Jeanette to wear on her wedding day. The family story is that Abe and Minnie were on vacation in Europe. When they were in Brussels, Belgium, they visited a museum that was selling off some of their holdings. They needed the money to repair their building that had been damaged during the German occupation in World War I. One of the items was a rose point lace wedding veil.
There is a list of names of all the brides in the Meier family who have worn the veil. My sister-in-law's mother wanted to do something with the list of names. It was decided to create a photobook of the brides and I was tasked with the job of locating photos of all the brides wearing the veil and then write a little bit about how each of the brides was related to the Meier family, how they connected.
While searching for photos, I blogged about The Importance of a Wedding Veil to Family History. I had all but one photo of the brides wearing the veil. Sura Rubenstein in Portland heard about my search for that one elusive photo and was able to locate one for me.
Two and one-half years later, the book was finally published privately. Sadly, my sister-in-law's mother passed away before we finished the book. But it was her wish that every bride still living and all of the descendants of the brides receive a copy of the book.
There are many family members who live in the Portland, Oregon area so my sister-in-law and I drove to there to hand deliver the books. Copies of the book were also delivered to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon, the Jewish Museum of Oregon, the Genealogical Forum of Oregon and the Oregon Historical Society.
It was pure joy to work on this project. One of the brides from the 1940's is still living and I was able to personally give her a copy of the book. When she turned the page and saw herself - the smile on her face - made all the hard work worth it.
It is so important to keep family traditions, artifacts and stories alive to pass on to the younger generations. Whether it is a wedding veil or grandmother's cookbook - they all tell stories of our ancestors lives.