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The Fun Extras - Set One

6. What does Heritage Mean to Me

Today's discussion is another super thought-provoking one with regard to why we scrapbook with regard to its relation to heritage.  Please do take time to really think about your answer before answering AND before reading other's answers AND before reading my answer.  This is how we will all learn from each other.  This is how you will learn better.  Take it seriously now!  You won't be inspired unless you take the time to soak it all in, including your own thought process.

STOP: Don't read any further. Go ahead. Type in the comment what heritage means to you before reading any further.

OKAY: Now that you've considered it for yourself and shared, read what it means to me:

Click here to read .pdf article


Here are your comments!


Heritage means memories of days gone by. Heritage means seeing how others lived long before I lived and preserving that for future generations. Heritage means keeping in touch with the past. Heritage is a walk down memory lane. NancyP

Heritage is my past. My family, my history, my memories, those people around me their recollections and stories that I have been told by family members past and others. lynnedbears

Heritage to me is what I grew up knowing about my family and it's past. Since I never knew my grandparents, it was almost entirely about where I grew up in New England. The exception was the genealogy book we had of my maternal grandmother's family, who were Scottish in roots. I read that book avidly growing up, and even went to a clan reunion with my mother. Consequently, I grew up with a strong feeling for my Scottish roots, even though that was a small part of my family past. I have since learned that my paternal grandfather, who I thought was of English origins, was entirely descended from the French and German settlers of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. In spite of that, I struggle to feel any links with the Germans or French. But I still find it fascinating how history, personal beliefs, and family circumstances led to my parents meeting and marrying and me being born where I was. Janet MM

Heritage means to look back at our ancestors, because everything we are today is a collection of all the people who came before us. That's why I love capturing the moments that convey our essence. g_robb53

heritage to me is all about those precious stories about past generations in my family, I want to record them for my children before they are lost for ever. Janen

I know heritage means different things to different people, but to me the first thing that comes to mind is anything that happened to previous generations, however small and apparently insignificant. It can be the tiniest glimpse of anything that has happened in the past, as everything influences what and who we are today. Though really it means anything that has happened before the immediate moment, because that will become the heritage moments of tomorrow. I am off to read your ideas now Hummie, I bet they will show things in a completely different and obvious way, that I would never think of, but are so relivant to us today. sujay

Just read it, and it is brilliant Hummie. All of the things you say are so true, and you have a brilliant way of putting them. I wish I could think like you do, hope you don't mind if I keep a copy of the article to refer to. Some of the things I know I do, I see so much of my Grandad in my youngest daughter it isn't true, from her character to the way she sits in a chair (always cross legged like a young child, and she is 18. My Grandad used to sit in any chair in exactly the same way until the day he died), even some of the things she says. She never knew him, he died many years before she was born, but I have always said 'he lives in her' in almost every way. Thank you so much for giving me some inspiration this afternoon sujay

Heritage.....hmmmm My mind immediately goes to my family that I have known through the years that are now with Jesus. I was so fortunate to have such amazing men and women in my life who were such outstanding examples to me of allowing others to see Christ in them! I love to sit back and think about my grandmother most of all. She and I connected in so many ways and the memories of her and I making cookies or doing a sewing project or swinging on the front porch is so comforting. I guess others may think of a family tree, which unfortunately for me, I haven't had the interest of researching yet. I'm sure the time will come when I will want to know, but for now, I'm very satisfied in remembering those close to me. I love to honor my grandmother and other memories of my family with beautiful pages that represent their beauty. scrapnfool

It means knowing my family history. Jaclin

Heritage to me means your family history and a piece of who you are. There are so many resources out there now that you can find out so much about your heritage. To me it shows how to preserve the memories of your ancestors. Jesska

Not a lot. I come from a family who took very few photos. Both my grandfathers were dead before I was born and both grandmothers before I was seven so I have few memories of them and no photos at all. I love seeing what wonderful records and memories are held by other people. Perhaps my generation (74 next week) had less chances to keep records and take photos in the forties and fifties during the war and postwar or, maybe they were just not that way inclined. Hummie, I find it wonderful that heritage means so much to you and that you have great photos of your boys through all their younger years and your older family members. Do hope they appreciate all the work you put in for them. Cheers Eileen etw36

Preserving the past for the next generation and giving a feeling of "roots". t5454

In a nutshell: for me, heritage is what people who have gone before have left behind - intentionally or unintentionally. It might be buildings, achievements, creations, people, letters, photos, laws, ways of living - just about anything that gives us a window into the past. Could be yesterday, last century, or in the Dark Ages! It's there whether we like it or not. Mole

Heritage is who I am, who the people are that came before me and who the people are that will come after me. It's not just family... it's everything about me, my life, and what I did. In short, it's everything that I am... past, present, and future. DigiDeborah

heritage to me means the people who have gone before, within my family. Not just the people, but the lives they led and the experiences they had. Like a lot of other people I suppose, I have old old family photos and no idea who the people are. Or even if we do know their names, we have no idea of their actual lives...what they did for a living, what their hobbies (if they had time or energy for that!) were etc etc. My DDs have both discovered a love of riding horses, and my eldest inparticular seems to have a real affinity with horses and loves to help correct bad habits in them or ride young, inexperienced horses and bring them on. It's so much more than a learned skill IYKWIM! Neither my DH nor I have ever ridden, and being so close to such large animals does not fill ME with joy, LOL, (although I am getting braver, depending on the horse, LOL). My parents have never been around horses either. So I always wondered where this particular vocation came from. Then we found some old old photos of my great grandfather, and he was leading a horse that he used for work. It's a little hint that people before the living generations were comfortable around horses! This is the aspect of heritage that I find fascinating - it's like a tiny glimpse into your past and a link to past generations! So now I like to do LOs not just about the big events in our family, but about the everyday things as well, or just about nothing in particular, but which show eg. flowers that are around now, or just how the children are looking at a given age....or even just pieces of art for their own sake which please my eye and maybe show a little of what I'm like, seeing that I feature in so few photos, LOL!!! Bernie x

Heritage is the key to who I am based on those who came before me. Heritage is what I am giving to my current generation and passing on the treasures that had been discovered in the past in the form of family. Ever single current living relative has heard and learned about their heritage and to take it seriously in preserving the legacies that have been passed down and passed onward. Each new generation is brought up on the same principles that came before, to love God and one another, to be a blessing whenever possible, to forgive at all times and to strive to do your best, even when you are not considered the best and to not be ashamed when you fail. I try to capture the beauty that is around me in my layouts. My layouts shows my family who they are and where they come from. They have a rich ethnic heritage of all nationalities running in their veins, and therefore not one of them can ever be prejudiced against another because of race. We are a blessed family and I hope to depict this for them and to leave them a wonderful pictorial heritage. ccynden

Heritage is my family and the memories and stories passed down from one generation to the next. I hope to keep some of those memories and stories alive in the heritage album I am working on to give to my children. Belle33

Heritage means where I have come from, who I come from, things I have learned, stories I have heard from relatives...things passed from generation to generation whether by story or physically like a quilt. It also means what I and my husband do today becomes my son's heritage. What we teach him, where he comes from, etc...Loved ones we might never have known, loved ones we have lost, loved ones we still have with us we can make memories with. Heritage is memories, I guess, ones we are making and ones we are saving. froggymamma

Heritage well thats a tuff one, stories and mermories pasted down. my grandparents on both sides died when both my
parents were young I never met them and a lot of broken homes along the way including mine. so maybe it can start with me thourgh my scrapbooking Dawn Miner

heritage is my past. heritage is what my parents and grandparents have left me. heritage is old. heritage is when i sit with my mother in law and she tells me stories from her past and then tells me that memories are wonderful things that she visits everyday. Debbie46

When I think of heritage, I immediately think of genealogy, all of my family who came before me. I often wonder what traits of theirs that I have, especially when I see my daughters and grandchildren showing some of my traits or those of my parents/grandparents. Heritage is what makes us who we are and it will shape the generations coming after. PammyJ

Heritage encompasses all the people before me - who they were, what they've done; and it is all so much a part of me!! My younger daughter looks VERY much like my great-grandmother; my youngest brother looks incredibly like his great-grandfather; but even more compelling are the 'gifts' that have been passed down - love of reading, musical talent, things that are a combination of natural talent and intentional nurturing. Somehow, knowing more about my ancestors helps me understand myself - and my children - better than before! AnitaB

Wow - I just downloaded and read your pdf - so much there - as usual, I identify with so much of what you say, but am unable to express it like you do! I want to re-read the points you've made, to be sure I'm including all the things you pointed out (as much as possible) in the heritage book I'm working on. Funny note on dancing - my great-grandmother loved to dance, so much so that when she was supposed to be sweeping the floor, her mother would come in and find her dancing with the broom! AnitaB

Heritage really means to me "our heritage" when thinking about my children and grandchildren. I want them to have a way to remember who we are and who we came from. I want them to get to love their g.g.g. grandparents and learn about how they lived their lives. Most people get bored when reading a book about their heritage so I'm learning to do digital scrap-booking so I can "write" a family history for my descendants. I can put it on a CD or on a website somewhere and it will be available for everyone, hopefully for a long time. Jatwin

i've been working on my mother's family tree for 8 years now- the 35page scrapbook is just about finished - what heritage means to me is a sigh of relieve- and an oh my gosh - i have to starrt on my father's cyn (mcnana)

I'm going to get all deep n stuff in my post....Heritage, for me, is an unknown. At least on my fathers side. You see, my dad died 2 months before I was born. I don't want to get into details here about it, but my mom told me that since my fathers death, none of his side of the family (other than his parents) wanted anything to do with my mom or me. I don't remember my grandparents because they died when I was still an infant, and I don't have any pictures. The only photo I have is one of my dad in his navy uniform. I would like very much to find out about my dads side of the family, but at the same time, I'm really hesitant about it. On my moms side of the family, I know more. Especially because I have an aunt that keeps track of the family tree. I have not seen it, but I'm sure all I'd have to do is ask. Maybe I should do that, huh? Dawn

hmmm heritage huh. When I think of heritage I think of where I came from. Who I am related to and where they came from. kkangels

Heritage is who I am based on the family I have come from; and the family that I will leave behind. I am the link to my past for my children and the link to my future grandchildren. dlynne

My heritage is a link to not only the past generations but also to those who yet lie ahead of me. All those wonderful family members who have gone before me, who have given bits of themselves to me, and me passing those on with my children. I have a dear mother who has tried very hard to make scrapbooks or compile histories of those family members who have now gone. Since she is the last of her generation she is now the only member of our family who knows and has this priceless information/memories of those family members who laid such a foundation for our family to be who we are today. Her gift to our family of these histories and scrapbooks is wonderful. These books helps us learn more of who we are. As I think about these books it helps me realize that I should do my part to record my own history while I am able, so future generations will know better of their heritage. I started putting simple scrapbooks together for my children when they were very young. They loved when I would get out the books and create pages that spotlighted them as the main focus. Over the years they love getting these books out and remembering things they would have otherwise forgotten. My son (who is turning 18 today) often reminds me of the time that he got into the flour and shortening in the kitchen and had a big mess all over him and the kitchen. He was only a year and a half but he says he remembers it. I know it is because I took the time and made a scrap book page of it. To me being able to remember things that otherwise would have been forgotten is priceless. April

i just finished reading your post Hummie. You were very thoughtful and again covered the subject so well. The one thing that hit home for me in your post was the need to record my thoughts with journaling. This is one area I really need to be better at. Your thought have made me rethink about that and that I do need to take the time to record not only the moment but the feelings of the moment as well. A goal to work on. April

To me, heritage is my families past and that history has helped create and shape me, into who I am today. It is the photos, stories, memories that have been past down of my family (the good and the bad) to me. Part of scrapping is leaving behind a heritage for those yet to come, and I pray I will leave a good one. I try to faithbook when I scrap in case I am not around someday to share in person. tlcmom

What does heritage mean to me? Well I am 3/4 Cherokee. So it's very important for me to share that with my children, the customs, beliefs and story's of my people as much as I can. Secondly it's important to share family traditions old photos and the like. GIN daretobeme71

To me, it means our past. Memories. Family history. MalinB

Wow! After reading that, I feel guilty that my answer is was so short and sweet. You made me think a little bit more about the definition of Heritage. Thanks!! MalinB

Heritage means honoring my parents by preserving memories and creating continuity for future generations. dianelmann

For myself, heritage is knowing more about my family's history. My grandmother on my dad's side died recently, and I was amazed at the things that she had gone through and done while growing up. It's made me want to know more about both sides. lulubelle

Heritage mean days gone by and all my family members even the ones we did not known. Jules

Heritage to me means a blast from the past. It is the ablity to see and compare the past with today. Thank God for digital photography. There is no reason for us not to capture today for tomorrow. With things evolving as quickly as they are, we can step outside our comfort zone and photograph our environment. I consider this a part of my heritage. I can barely remember Shreveport without the casino hotels. Tallest hotel was 3 stories before the casino hotels. Shopping areas that were cotton fields; Interstate highway that was just wooded areas. So I guess heritage is a form of history. 204cg

There are tangible items, photographs, pieces of jewellery, ornaments and such like that are passed on from generation to generation, there are traditions memories and stories which, all together, form your heritage. All these things need to be preserved for as long as possible, once they are gone they are gone and sometimes it's too late before you realise how important family history is. DH and I each have our own heritage but those in turn are joining together to create a new heritage for our kids. Take a close look at yourself in a mirror and you see the likenesses between you and your parents, look at your children and see family characteristics emerge as they grow. So to me this is heritage too, a time when past meets present and becomes now, constantly growing and changing because what I do today affects what happens tomorrow

Heritage, for me, is a collection of items, actions, and ideas that were somehow saved from the past that represent a collective memory of how I got here and came to be where I am, through my ancestors or the ancestors of others who have influenced my life. It's so broad, just about anything that has influenced me or the most important people in my life can be a part of that collective influence. I think the most important parts of that meaning come from it being collective and from its shaping on my life and lives to come. Taking time to highlight, remember, and document heritage are important ways to allow someone the gift of finding the roots of so many different parts of their lives. Scrapbooking, even when done in the moment as I tend to do it, is a crucial way to record heritage, especially in this day when what is modern is normally what is most highlighted and revered. We must never forget that we are standing on the shoulders of giants. mawkinberd

Heritage is the stories of my family, all of them, whether lovable or not, whether they love me or not, young, old, infirmed (mind or body). Almost all of my scrapping, no matter what it looks like, is heritage scrapping. If it's not a story about my family or me, including extendeds and add-ons, for me it's almost not worth scrapping. Hummie, i think your paper about this was great, especially the questions at the end. I will use them for prompts in future LOs. lovinlifegurl

Heritage means to me those who went before me and sacrificed and worked to give me the opportunities I have. It means living up to the opportunities they gave me and greeting them again in the next life with pride and the knowledge that I did nothing to tarnish or diminish their efforts and names. it means a worthy gift from the Lord that I need to embrace as mine and make of it the best I can. Craftmomma

To me heritage means my roots, where my family came from, where they lived and who they were. I know very little about my heritage from my Fathers side, and only a little from my mothers side. When I was young, if I asked family about their family, they would just say "the pasts the past, its not important". Such a shame. I have gathered what information I could and I will pass it on to my children, who I hope will be more interested than my antecedents. As I said I know very little really, and have a mere handful of photos of family. Most of what I had was destroyed in a cyclone (hurricane), not that I ever had very much. JodyT

I am a family historian of sorts. I have been researching family roots since 2004. My heritage, or family tree, consists of Danish, English, and German ancestors. I consider them all to be pioneers. I have Mormon pioneer heritage, too. So what does heritage mean to me? Because of strong and faithful ancestors I am able to live in a free country (I have Pilgrim ancestors), worship how I want, and live wherever I want. The heritage (the things I have inherited) they left me is not to be taken lightly. I must do all I can to preserve freedoms for my family and to give them an untarnished name (at least my husband's name!). I have a responsibility to preserve memories of them and me for future generations. rejoyce

Heritage, to me, is family traditions and remembering the ones we have lost. In my family, most all I have are the ones we have lost. I don't have living parents and most of my grandparents are gone as well. So passing on my 'heritage' to my children is talking about my parents and grandparents and even aunts and uncles with them. Also, continuing the family traditions that I loved the most growing up is important to me. Heritage is also, in my opinion, about making new traditions with your kids because these new traditions are what they will carry with them all their lives, and hopefully they will be good memories and something they will want to share with their kids. (Nice run on sentence!) And heritage is also in the very few things that I have that belonged to my mother and grandmother. My granny is still alive and she has been sending me her Christmas house that she used to put up at Christmas. I expressed an interest in them about 10 years ago and I'm the only grandchild or greatgrandchild out of the 24 or so to have done, so she has been sending them to me over the last year or so. I will always remember they were hers, I plan on writing on the bottoms of the houses where they came from when I decorate this year. Now, I have houses that were mine, my moms, and my granny's. To me, that is heritage. Someday I will have enough to split them up between my three kids and their families. JustaMommie

To me, Heritage means family, especially the people that came before me: my parents, grandparents, etc. It can also apply to the heritage I plan to pass on to my children, grandchildren, Etc. Heritage is one generation passing on to the next the things that they value. This is not only personal items such as a grandmother's handkerchief or a piece of jewelry, but the life's values such as belief in God and the Bible. Another way of providing a heritage is through the photos we take. That is why I love to scrapbook. It is a way to visually remember those that came before us as well as show the many blessings of our own lives, such as the birth of our children and the wonderful things they have done as they've grown. Heritage is a way of showing love to the past as well as the future. jldream

Wow - I totally agree with you. In fact, that last statement is very profound: preserving our heritage is a way of showing love to the past as well as the future!!! anitab

This is a sad topic for me because my mother died about 3 years ago and my Dad can no longer speak. My grandparents are all long gone. There are very few photos and most are not in my possession yet, if ever. I have decided to research into the history of my family so that I have some facts to remember and pass down to my children and grandchildren. me the heritage most tangible is that of my childhood. I do have some photos of myself and my brothers and sister growing up. They are meaningful memories of a time gone by. I love the "snapshot" feel of most of the photos. They seem the most true to the way things were than studio portraits. I have a box of photos that needs going through again and I believe there are a couple of photos of my childrens' father's grandparents that I would love to scrap for the kids. And though my parents preferred to focus on us kids, they did share a few stories from their childhood. I want to create some journaling pages to preserve those stories. Heritage means, to me, something to hang on to that tells us where we came from and who we are. It consists of our memories and the memories that are told to us in the form of stories and photos. Kimm23

Thank you, Hummie, for your thoughts on your heritage and what it does and can mean to us all. It ocurred to me while I was reading that, since I don't know a great deal about my own family history, that getting to know myself probably tells me something about those that came before me. For example, the fact that I enjoy creative things, art, writing and such, I likely share with some of my ancestors. I also love that you give importance to preserving your own life and stories. So that is what I will do. Kimm23

Heritage is the path that leads to who I am now and where I started. Up until the past few years, I was somewhat aware of my ancestors, but now I am curious. My mother holds precious memories that I encourage her to share because once she is gone, there is no one left that 'remembers'. I love listening to my mom recall the stories of the past and try to preserve those memories in writings and photos (when I can find them) for future generations. There is no one left to 'listen' to from my father's side of the family. I have started following the trail left behind from my mother and father's families. The Internet is a great asset to all of us who want to know more. Heritage is recognizing that you are part of a long line of people who lived and breathed, hoped and feared and worked hard so that I could be writing this to you today. Georgia

Heritage is a family classroom where you can learn not just about your anscestors but what made them who they were, why some things they did failed or suceeded. Its a connection to the past that can help your present and future. Heritage is more than stories and a list of whose related to whom...but its a picture that lets you see why your tall or short, have a certain eye color or temperment. ( I take after grandma eg). Its wonderful to trace your history back and learn from it and teach the next generation from it as well. I didn't know any of my grandparents except for my maternal grandmother. I have no pictures of anyone except for mom. I don't even have a pic of dad.....or my aunts or uncles.
So like Jeanette said.....we can start new traditions and make our heritage begin with us. Wingz

Heritage is what I leave behind for my family and what my family and my husband's family left behind for me - photos, written words, stories. Tammyshere

Heritage to me means family and my world around me such as family, friends, traditions. It's what scrapbooking is to me. Newenglandmomma

My heritage is the person I have become because of the people who came before me. I am a member of a family, and a citizen of a community, state and country, and all those things contribute to my heritage. EDIT: I enjoyed reading your article ... and I need to add to my list of things that contribute to my heritage. I am a member of a church, Immanuel Lutheran in Killeen, TX. My paternal great grandfather immigrated to America as a Lutheran missionary headed for Texas when he and his young wife arrived at Ellis Island from Germany in October 1872! He began the work of the church in Killeen as a shared minister with another congregation 60 miles away, and as a full time farmer. My maternal grandfather became the first full time minister in that same church in 1946. I was raised there, and along with my Dad's family am still a member of that same congregation! I have recorded much of the heritage of our congregation and presented a PowerPoint presentation at the congregation's 115 anniversary celebration in 2004! It was a FAMILY history as well as a church history project! Poki04


Family - past, present, and future.
All that we have been,
That we are,
Or will be.
The sum of many
Influences, and

ahhhh Heritage, one of my favorite hobbies. I enjoy researching and learning where my ancesters lived, & what they did for a living. I've made a family tree so I can pass this onto to my children & all the stories I have heard so they can to pass this onto their children. Heritage is where we come from & keeping the memories alive so they are never forgotten. I do not have photo's of my past generations & this is why I started scrapping so I can give something for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren...& so on, to pass on & keep our memories recorded in some way. Willogem

Heritage photos are what got me started on my digiscrap journey. Both my mother and my MIL left lots of photos; some date back to 1800's. They are wonderful because they bring alive people you only knew as "old folks". I have made many layouts with these and had them made into books. My cousin and I even did a collab....she searched out more family pics and did all the writing for me and I did the PSE work. The photos my mom kept of my childhood are wonderful because they trigger memories. My kids are grown and their pics when young also trigger my memories and theirs, as well. Digital has done so much to preserve our memories in photos.....scanned in heritage, or old, photos can be fixed up to be as good as new and enjoyed for even more generations. Nanscraps

Heritage means..what the previous generation in my life have done, their life, their memories. Something that could be reflected on my own life (for example a "family" recipe). It means traditions, and in my own family it's also a name (mine--> Chiara, it's an heritage from my grandmother, and now it's my name and the name of several cousins) Chiara Castelluccia

Heritage has deep meaning for me. It is my nationality, family history, my decedents, my legacy, and my "story". I love history, therefore I am deeply interested in how my ancestors played a part in history - what they thought, what they did, how they dressed, how they worshiped, and how they interacted with others. I have had my DNA tested to search ancient connections - I belong to the Haploggroup "H", which is linked to Helena, one of the seven daughters of Eve. Heitage study makes me more aware of how the entire planet is connected to one another - We are all family. Cabin Fever

Heritage means to me... leaving behind stories, photos, ideas, etc.... of our families. we can learn from the past that our family members have left behind. I don't have a lot of photos of my past family and that is why I am scrapping and journaling so hopefully future generations will continue to do so.... scraphappee

humm heartiage means to mean the older generations and what they did and how they survived -older pics you have to admit some of the old pics are very interesting to look at, maybe even more so than our present pics confettirose

TO me heritage would mean, keeping alive the most important glimpses of past, to cherish in the present and preserve for the future.

Heritage to me is learning more about my family. Right now I know so little about either side of my family and as my folks age it becomes more and more important to record this information. Kellie Linn

Heritage to me means all those ancestors who came before. I believe that they all contributed to make me as I am today. Although I live in a big, spacious, modern house, I am also drawn to old houses from the 17th century etc. I used to own an antique shop because I have a great love of all things old. Oma Ali

Heritage means receive so many beautiful things from past. Sorry, it's difficult for me to tell you in English what it exactly means for me. (i.e. what is the difference between heritage and legacy in your language?) I think my English is not good enough to explain. AMarie

Wow! What a great question! I think of heritage as something that we receive and a legacy as something we give. I suppose then we could receive a legacy too! I think legacy to me means only a positive something and a big significant something. A legacy is more left on purpose. A heritage is something we receive because of line of lineage. I think sometimes they can be used interchangeable.
Heritage to me means knowing where my roots are. Family is important to me & knowing who my ancestors were, what they did as a living, where all the descendants live now is something I have always been interested in. Unfortunately our heritage has never been very well documented. Photos and information are very scarce. I would love to have my children & their children know their roots from both sides of the family. I think I am the only one interested though so that's sad Maggie

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