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  • Writer's pictureKatie

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While things are as busy as ever here on the homestead, I've been digging deep into the past. Learning about people, where they lived, what they did for work, etc. has always fascinated me. Just a history nerd here. But why is learning about the past, specifically our genealogy, important? I'll give you 3 lessons I've learned from my recent research and you can make up your mind from there.

1. I've learned more about myself.

Lately I've been wondering why I have such a desire to build things and grow my own food. Where does this trait from from? Or am I just weird. Yes, but it's also in my blood. If you believe in that sort of thing. On my paternal side I've found my 10th great grandfather, Pieter Claesen Wyckoff, came to the new world in 1636 from Germany/Holland. He was an illiterate indentured servant who worked his way up and built a home which generations farmed from the 1660's until 1901. Discovering this opened my eyes and helped me understand more about why am I who I am.

2. It brings family together.

My mom was the one who really sparked my interest in genealogy. She's been working on it for years and would talk about it. But it wasn't really until the pandemic hit that I got deep into it myself. We talk about interesting facts we've found, walk through cemeteries together, and its really nice to have that connection. Maybe we can team up with other extend family members to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

3. We can preserve traditions, landmarks and history.

The house I mentioned in number 1 still stands today. It sits in current day Brooklyn which in 1636 was called New Amsterdam. It is the oldest house in New York State and the oldest wooden structure in the entire country. Descendants purchased it in 1937 and it was designated as New York's first historic landmark in 1965. How it escaped demolition to build bigger and "better" things in NYC is beyond me. But it is truly inspiring how it has preserved. I hope it stays safe for many generations to come. And continues its mission to

"build cultural and agricultural connections within the community, emphasizing immigration, family, food and community though history".

How this all ties back to fashion and jewelry making, I'm not really sure. Maybe I'll uncover a lost family heirloom through my research. But I do find it unbelievably intriguing, and inspiring.

My call to action today is just to open it up to further discussion. Share in the comments below your family history, traditions, research tools, etc.


Owner, Designer, Maker

Hammer & Heart Heirlooms

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