Do You Have A Collection? Did One Of Your Ancestors?

Over the years I’ve collected a few things; spoons, coins, and thimbles when I was younger and now I collect Oriental vases.   A person who collects objects is called a “collector” or a “hobbyist.

People collect things for many reasons. On the site; Know Myself, it says that people collect; because life is uncertain and can easily make a person feel helpless some people use their collections to create a private comfort zone that they can control. I think that many people have collections of things that remind them of their childhood and sometimes just because they enjoy them. My collection of vases aren’t necessarily worth a lot but I collect them because they please me.

Wikipedia tells us; the hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining items that are of interest to an individual collector. … Collecting is a childhood hobby for some people, but for others, a lifelong pursuit or something started in adulthood.


One collection I came across in my travels was this train collection in North Bay, Ontario. It was the brainchild of John Kennedy going back to 1975. He was the owner of the Pinewood Park Motor Inn (now the Ramada). His idea was to have a display in his 45-foot hallway located between the reception and the founder’s room. The collection would display model trains with a pushbutton so motel patrons could run the trains.

As you can see the display is quite elaborate and actually, there are two working trains. The train has survived because of the continued support of the hotel as well as the North Bay Model Railway Club.


Another impressive collection I came across was at our RV park in Arizona. A lady that organized our woman’s tea had a collection of aprons from the 1800’s to today. Some she had received from her mother and grandmother, others from friends and some she had purchased.

Apron Collection

The only person I know in my family tree that was a collector would be my grandmother; Mary Middlebrough (nee Beaton). She had a collection of spoons of which I received half the collection of and she also collected salt and pepper shakers. My mother ended up with this collection and now that my father is moving into a senior’s residence the shakes have come home to my house. All 8 boxes of them. I’m not sure how many there are but I know there are hundred’s. I know I don’t have the space to keep them all but some of the special ones will be kept and we’ll see what happens to the rest.

Did your ancestor have a collection? If so, what did they collect?


  • My grandmother collected thimbles. They are still on display at my aunt’s house (where my grandma lived).

  • Greenhill39 says:

    I am the third generation collecting Presidential Election Result Newspapers. I have a Wednesday morning newspaper for just about every election back to Woodrow Wilson.

  • Mimi Miller says:

    My mother collected antique patterned glas, lamps and clocks. When she passed I received her collection of 1800’s “thousand eye” patterned glassware, over 100 pieces. My kids want me to sell it and take a trip. Some are worth $75 and up. I can’t bring myself to betray her memory by selling them. If they chose to sell them after I’m gone, that is their choice, but for now they will,stay in my china cabinets and I will think of her.

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