Valentine’s Day is coming up! And as it approaches, and we reflect on love, this quote might come to mind:
Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.
― Linda Hogan.
Your ancestors have a love story, every one of them. If you access these love letters, you can learn these stories for yourself. And better yet, you can tell them to others!
With the holiday approaching, now is the time to go to your grandparents, parents, or aunts and uncles. Ask them if they have any love letters, written either by ancestors or by themselves to someone they love.
Preserve those letters for future generations with a scan, if you are able to do so. You can type them up as well, making them legible for every reader. This preserves them so that your children and other future descendants can enjoy the story of how your ancestors fell in love.
Remember that not every love letter might be between boyfriend-girlfriend or husband-wife. Some very touching letters and stories of love might exist between parents, children, and grandparents.
Read these carefully, and in order if you can. How did your ancestors fall in love? Were they childhood friends, or did they meet later in life? Was it love at first sight, or a labor of love to come together? You can use these letters as a sweet narrative to tell one of the important parts of your ancestor’s story.
Look for those precious details in your ancestors’ letters. You might find clues to how they lived their lives, or whether they were witness to any fascinating historical events. You might find insight into how someone wrote a letter. For example, you might learn that they were left-handed, or that they only had access to certain writing implements. That can tell you interesting little details about their lives!
As you search for love letters, keep an eye out for Valentine’s cards! The tradition of sending valentines is not a modern one. You might find mailed postcard Valentines from the 1890s up to the 1920s or 30s! These are treasures worth preserving for your family’s future.
Want to share an ancestor’s love with the rest of your family? You can create a calendar or a book here on MyCanvas full of those letters and quotes. If you don’t want to transcribe every letter, you can insert scans of the letters and use block quotes to highlight special details or particular sentiments. This is also a great place to insert images of vintage Valentines that you find in your search!
Ready to share your family’s love story? Visit our main site to begin creating a Valentine’s product!