Journey to the Past: Donating Artifacts

Now, my mother will probably kill me with this, but I truly feel I was doing what was best. My mother was given a journal, pocket diary, and a billfold belonging to Marion Mulford. Now, Marion is the father of her uncle's wife. So, Marion really isn't a 'family' member per se. He's a collateral line. My mother's Aunt Harriet and her siblings never had any children. Since my mother was interested in genealogy, these items went to her. 

Large Journal, Pocket Diary, and bill fold belonging to Marion Mulford
of Huron County, Ohio donated to Ohio Historical Society

Over the years, my mother kept these items in a china cabinet in a plastic zip close bag. And there they remained. We never looked at the items or read the journals. My mother mailed these items to me a few years ago and they've sat in my family history box untouched. I can't read the script. I just can't. I'd love to transcribe the journals and find out if there is something of value, but I just can't read the handwriting.

Since I was going to the State Archives, I wondered if they'd accept these items or knew of some where else to donate these artifacts from the 1860s. The staff at the OHS were pleased to see these items. The pocket diary was missing the front page which could have had more specific details about when it was kept. The journal covered the year of 1860 but would it go to 1863 and the Civil War? If it did, it would be extremely valuable. The curator thought the writing was well formed and easily readable (were we reading the same book?). So, the items were accepted for review. If the OHS decided it would be a valuable addition to their collection, they would care for these items. If not, they would see if another collection would like to have these items. In short, I found a home for these items. I found someone who would actually be able to read the journals and know what was written.

Marion is a son of Phebe and Thomas Tillinghart Mulford who were early settlers for New Haven, Huron, Ohio. If anything, the items would go to a Huron County collection to support Phebe and Thomas who are already spoken of in a printed Huron County History. YEAH!!!!

I know these items are in good hands. Now, to tell Mom.

This is another installment in a lengthy multi-series post about the fantastic research trip I took to Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. If you're just joining the this series, you'll be able to see every post under the label Research Trip.


  1. Well, Devon, you are braver than I could ever be! Perhaps your mother will never again ask about the journals and billfold?

    1. Thanks Nancy. I felt a little brave. And I know my phone will ring when Mom reads this blog post. I'll have to share what happens then. But I do hope she will see that the items are in good hands now. Otherwise, their might be a funeral card post in the future. And it will be mine. ;)

  2. Kudos to you gor making the time and effort to find these items a home. Good luck with your mom. I'm with Nancy. Maybe she won't ask and you won't have to tell!

    1. Michelle,

      Thanks. I do feel the items are where someone else can take the time to read them and then put them to good use. And hopefully, a Mulford family member will find them and have easier access than stored some where in my home.

      Again, hopefully mom will see it that way. I wonder if others don't donate more of their collections for fear of offending the persons who gave them the items?

      - Devon


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