Updated 20 Jun 2005

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Sell or Keep??

I own 3 "birth cups", they've been in my family since before 1920. But the people named on the side were unknown, and not related to me. With the help of Gendesk QueryBoard and this website I identified the people. Then a descendant emailed and said she would like to buy the cups. I wanted to keep the cups, but felt I should give them to the descendant. What should I do? In my perplexity, I wrote to the genealogy Agony Aunts and Uncles in DERBYSGEN. Their replies are given below but their names have been removed to preserve privacy.

    Email from the descendant

  1. Dear John I have just found your web site and I am very interested in the Gayler birth Cups, they belonged to my great grandfathers family, John Henry Gayler was the youngest of the children and born in Bath in 1852. I am very excited about this find, would you please be able to tell me where you came by them and if anyone else is searching the Gayler family. I have documented details back to 1700's, and would be more than happy to share my information, should anyone be interested. Do these cups belong to anyone? or are they part of your collection. I would obviously be very interested in purchasing them. I look forward to your reply. Thanks and Regards ****** ----------------------------------------------------------

    My problem, sent to DERBYSGEN

  2. Hello Folks, My family has owned 3 birth cups for 100 years, but the people mentioned on them are not related to me. Now a descendant of the people named on the cups has emailed, and wants to buy them. She has given me a Pedigree that seems to prove her descent. See: http://www.wirksworth.org.uk/B27-CUPS.htm If she owned the cups, and I were descended from the people named on the side, I know I would want to buy them. But if I sell the cups I shall really miss them, tracking down their history has been such fun. But I feel mean not selling them to a descendant. Their intrinsic worth is not great, and I've said she's welcome to visit and see them. What am I to do??? I need an Agony Aunt in Genealogy. Anyone else been in the same situation? Yours in Perplexity, John Palmer, Dorset, England ----------------------------------------

    Some answers from DERBYSGEN

  3. Hello John I have a metal "stamp" that was used to name a joiners planes etc. I was given this a few years ago and was told that the name on it was a relation of mine. If he was, it was very slight connection.By marriage. I now know a close blood relation and feel I should let it go to them, however, its taking me a while to do as, like you, I did a lot of research and like having it on my shelf. I will get round to it, but I can see your dilema, couldn't you split them? one each? Regards ****** from Somerset ------------------------------------------
  4. Oh John! What a difficult position for you to be in. But on the positive side. They have been in your family for a century, so you and generations before you have had the pleasure of enjoying them. But as you have admitted those people mentioned on the cups aren't related in any way to you. The person who contacted you has given you proof that she is related to them. I know that you have become attached to them, but it would be a really nice thing for you to do if you allowed her to have them. I think it is a wonderful thing to have something that once belonged to an ancestor. If you were to do this good deed, you would still have all the memories and photo's of the cups. No-one would be able to take that away from you. Anyway, I'm certain you will make your decision and do what you believe is the right thing to do. Best Wishes, ****** -----------------------------------------
  5. John, If you hadn't tracked down their Pedigree the descendant would not have known about the cups. Much as I too would want to buy them if I was descendant, I can understand your desire to keep them. Perhaps you could bequeath them to the ancestors in your Will!!! They should eventually go to the family or they will be lost to them for ever. Are you sure there is no connection to your family? It seems very odd that they've been in your family for over 100 years if there was no connection. Send the family photos of the mugs. My family in Chesterfield own the original photo on glass of Richard Kirk, towncrier of Chesterfield...you can imagine, anyone with ancestry to him would be very eager to get it...he's my 3xg grandfather. They kindly gave me a photocopy of the photo and then another member of my family painted him in oils...the colours taken from the Minutes of the Meeting which organised his livery. I now have a lovely oil painting...I had quality prints taken off and framed one, sent that to the daughter of the owner of the original photo to say thank you. I took other prints as well and offered these to other members of the family at cost price...they weren't interested. I've found the ancestors of my house...would I give them my house...No! If you like the cups...keep them. Cheers ****** ------------------------------------------------
  6. John, I feel your pain, however good thing to do is to let the family have them. I too ran across a very large beautiful family bible in an antique store on Portobello Road, purchased it for about 150 pounds because it had all this family information printed in beautiful script. Went on the counties genlist and posted a message and don't you know within about 2 days a woman sent me her family gedcom files, it was them!!! So I felt compelled that they be reunited for the cost of the bible and shipping. God is smiling too. Hope this is of help. ****** ------------------------------------------------
  7. John - I suggest that you provide her with pictures and allow her to visit and leave the cups to her or her decendents at the time of your death. ****** ------------------------------------------------
  8. John Have you ever sat and wondered why they have been in your family for a Hundred Years. I am very sure that you have!!!! Don't give them up. There has to be a very special reason why you have them. And why they were given to a Family Member in the First place. I have a box that was given to me as a gift of thanks. From my best friends Grandfather, I would never part with it. She would like me to, But it was given to Me. Did you stop to think that they were a gift to a family member. Maybe one of your relies, was given these as a gift of Love. I would be very sad to part with them, and let the lady look . but do not part with them, They are yours by right of a Hundred years of ownership within your family. And I would be checking a little further, there may be a connection after all. ****** Cambridge Tasmania ----------------------------------------------
  9. John, No doubt you will receive loads of advice regarding the cups. All I can say is that I found a memorial ribbon in our family bible years ago and only recently have I been able to hand it to the person's direct descendant (found through Derbysgen!). I was a little sad to see it go but I do believe I did the right thing. If you do hang on to the cups I think you will occasionally have a pang of regret about not having let them go. You will miss the cups, of course, but think of the joy it will bring to the family concerned. One of many Agony Aunts! ****** Still haven't tracked down the two poeople on my PARKER mug! -----------------------------------------------
  10. Hi John, Before you give them to her, take some digital pictures of them and then enlarge the pictures to the actual size and have them nicely framed and displayed in the same area where you had displayed them. Or take several pictures and make a collage in a large frame to hang in the same room. I wish that someone had told me to do that decades ago when I was trying to save all the art work that our five elementary age children created. Of course, our technology has advanced so much further now and pictures are so much better and easier to take and print out now than they were then. Just my thoughts.... ****** - from across the water...IN, USA -------------------------------------------
  11. Mmm. Its a tricky one and I certainly don't have any answers. Like you I enjoy researching this kind of thing, and if they were related to my family I would also want to buy them. Perhaps the way forward is, not to sell, perhaps create a web, just like you have already produced. We collect Queen Victoria memorabilia and last year I bought a delightful little mug. I transcribed the names from the mug and placed the details on the web site http://freespace.virgin.net/anglers.rest/Horton.htm If you have any doubt about selling them then don't! -- Regards, ****** ---------------------------------------------
  12. Hi John I followed your original story on the identification of these cups some time ago with interest. I also understand the dilemma you are in with regard to their 'rightful' ownership. It can only be assumed that they came into your possession by normal and legal means. That being the case they 'rightfully' belong to you and your problem is should you sell them to the lady who has demonstrated her descendancy from the line they represent. She is in theory one of many who could claim ownership through descendancy ( I note that there are many unextended branches in her tree), but my feeling is that if you are reluctant to part with them, that is your right. Perhaps you could let the lady concerned see them on a 'by request' basis and either - a.. bequeath them to her in your estate, or b.. ensure that they are preserved in some manner that will be benificial to everyone in times to come. I realise that I am being rather unemotional and objective in my assessment of your problem, but ultimately you may have some form of intrinsic attachment to the cups which overides any wish to part with them in the forseeable future. That is your right. Whatever you do, don't ever leave yourself 'feeling' the loser. Regards ****** ---------------------------------------------------
  13. Hi John, Agony-uncle? I don't think so :-) Well, I must say that I pretty much expected this to happen eventually. To be honest, I would be inclined to agree with ****** comment and say that you should keep them if you feel that way. However, you don't say exactly what relationship ****** has with the people for whom the cups were made. If she is a direct descendant - or possibly a direct descendant of one of their siblings - then perhaps I would feel some sympathy for a person who feels they would like to recover some of their ancestral heritage. However, if the relationship is a little less direct - for example, a descendant of one of their cousins, then I would be far less inclined to such a feeling. The call is yours, if course. I don't think you need to feel any guilt if you do decide to keep them, but on the other hand you might actually get even more pleasure seeing them going back to the family. What I would appreciate is if you let me know what happens, as I do feel some gratification at having this result from the research that I - oops, sorry, Fred - did. Regards and best wishes, ****** -----------------------------------------------------------
  14. John, I've just had a look at the pedigree supplied by ****** the link for which I missed when reading your email originally. The thought that immediately occurs to me is that I wonder what happened to the birth cups for the other two children. Were there any in the first place? She does indeed seem to be directly related, so it's s difficult matter to decide, isn't it. I suspect what I would do is make her feel welcome to come and see the cups, and then if I liked her, decide on the spur of the moment to let her have them :-) That's just me. Regards and best wishes, ****** ---------------------------------------------------------
  15. Hi John, What a problem. Suggested final answer to keep both parties happy - leave them to her in your Will and tell her what you have done. This should guarantee that she will keep in touch with you. Best wishes Aunty ****** ---------------------------------------------------------
  16. Hello John...know how you feel. Only in my case I *was* related to the individuals. In one case it was a beautiful book owned by my Great Aunt...this auntie had died in 1914, I have no picture of her (other than a picture of her at about 2 months) or other family memorobilia. What I finally ended up doing was photocopying her signature and giving the book to her daughter, who had been only five years when she lost her Mom. It may be of interest, if you havent already done so, to see if any of those people were close neighbors of your rellies in any of the censuses. Perhaps they were given to your rellies for safekeeping, or bought from the family involved to help them out in a financial pinch . At the very least, you perhaps should photograph them and put the photo with the pedigree as part of your own family history before letting them go. Hope you had a nice holiday, and many thanks for the post card...and no, I havent seen the film! Kind regards ****** in USA -----------------------------------------------------------
  17. I agree with Julie. If you're fond of them, don't sell them. If your family have had them for 100 years they are yours. You don't have to part with them and don't feel guilty. They are lovely I certainly would hang on to them if they were mine. ****** -----------------------------------------------------------
  18. I have replied to John off list! What a lovely collection, I could see them in my china cabinet, related or not!! Agony Aunt ****** in NZ ----------------------------------------------------------
  19. A wise old sage once said; "when in doubt, don't". Agony Aunt ****** ------------------------------------------------------------
  20. G'day John.. Re the cups.. I understand your problem, but if you tracked down your birth cups , I think you would offer a squillion to get them back where they belong.. Think about this, When you pass to the happy home of your ancestors, will your children feel the same about these items as you do ? or will they just put it in a box of "Dad's old junk " ?? Some children do not have the same interest as us.. Think how happy you will make this other family . ****** far North Coast of .New South Wales OZ --------------------------------------------------------------
  21. Hello John Since you clearly love the cups, I agree with the advice to Will them to the Gayler descendent, so the family eventually have them but you can enjoy them whilst you are around. But if you do decide to sell them you should have them valued, because they look good quality china. Best wishes, ****** ------------------------------------------------------------------
  22. I think it would be a good idea to make a video of them on a turntable so that you can look at them when ever you like, and also have a professional photo done of them and put same in a nice antique frame. Hang this on your wall and give the originals to the people who can prove 1,000% that they are rightfully theirs. If they should insist on giving you money for them give this to a well-known charity of your choice and thus you are being a very good Boy-scout and doing 2 good deeds at one go. ****** in Germany where I am just about snowed in - must brave it though as I have a dentist's appointment. ------------------------------------------------------------------
  23. But, just think, if it hadn't been for John's work on family history the family wouldn't know anything about the cups. They should be grateful to him that he's traced their family history. I think he should keep the cups and bequeath them to the family...this way everyone wins. ****** -------------------------------------------------------------------
  24. Dear John, I have desisted from joining in the advice on list. It is indeed a problem needing the wisdom of Solomon. You obviously enjoy collecting and researching so you might: 1. Have them valued and offer ONE of the cups to the family at a price they would have to pay plus a small extra for your time/effort, etc. Include with the sale a nice photograph they can put alongside the cup in their china cabinet. Similarly you can place the photograph at the side of two remaining cups. 2. Find and buy another birth cup which you can then spend time researching with the hope that you will be able to do likewise. 3. Put a clause in your Will that if your family do not want (or likely to squabble over) them they have first choice of purchase. Then, you still have the pleasure of the cups PLUS the knowledge that you have brought happiness to the original famil, and the challenge of new chase. Good Luck Regards, ******, in Somerset. PS I have willing paid high prices to copy original photographs loaned to me by other members of the CUTTS families I have traced just so tht I can have a photograph that I would otherwise not have been able to add to my researches. -------------------------------------------
  25. Hello John I too think you should keep the cups so make that 14 for keeping. I would agree with the argument that it is your hard work that has allowed this family to know about their ancestors. Also they will still have the knowledge about the cups & no doubt a photographic image. best wishes ****** ---------------------------------------------
  26. Hi John, I sympathise with your dilemma. we to have an heirloom in the form of a silver watch that was presented to a private C. Lewis in 1899 for being the best shot in the regiment (Shropshire light infantry) and as far as we know he is no relation to us, but it has been in our family three generations now. I don't know why we have it, but I am sure it was given to us to keep as it meant something to my Grandfather, as he willed it to my mother who in turn willed it to me. I would keep the cups and bequeth them to the family of Gaylors in your own will. kind regards ****** ------------------------------------------------
  27. Good morning Listers, Just an idea on a type of sharing which has worked well for me. My aunt inherited some vases from my grandmother - beautiful pieces, and obviously something I would have liked if they had come my way. However, they were rather largish and a little awkward for our home, besides which I didn't want to deprive my aunt from what she obviously valued very much. Because I am very strongly into collecting records and the things from the past I had a problem. I solved this by taking several high quality close-up photographs from different angles, to show all the details possible. I could have had the pictures enlarged and framed to hang up, but, even in my album I had quite a satisfying reminder of these items. Advantages included the convenience of storage and a much less likelihood of the items being broken or stolen. Also I did have a tangible memento which could be duplicated and passed on if my children want them! ****** -------------------------------------------------
  28. Hi John, I have read with interest the replies to your original email. My first feeling (sentimental) would be to keep the Cups, but, then I imagined how I would feel if someone had something that even though it had been in the family for a long time was not part of their family history but was part of mine - I would really want it, but of course you have to make that decision, happy hunting ****** --------------------------------------------------
  29. Dear John I've been reading on your Wirksworth website about your dilemma over the Gayler birth cups. I looked at the tree that [the descendant] has provided, and I see that she's not descended from any of the three children whose births these cups commemorate. According to her chart, she's the second child of the third child of the fourth child of the brother of the three children whose birth cups these were. Well, I hope you haven't let [the descendant] have (or even buy) these cups, as her relationship to Louisa, Caroline and Edward George Gayler is not particularly close. One day, someone who is descended from one of those three may come knocking at your door, and will wonder why you sold the cups to someone not even descended from one of the three children. (There are also the descendants of the older siblings in her line, who would rank before her in terms of inheritance - although the cups are rightfully yours, anyway. She seems to think that the Gayler name is more important than the closeness of the relationship. And she wants all three cups!) I'm sure [the descendant] would like the cups. So would a lot of people. They're very attractive, and worth a few bob, I'll bet. I suggest you have them valued professionally. And hang on to them. Best regards ****** --------------------------------------------------

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