Friday, June 24, 2011

Breadcrumbs: Etched in Stone

[Breadcrumbs is a series on the Marian's Roots & Rambles blog that looks at ways to leave tangible breadcrumbs behind for your future descendants to find.]

I love the concept of intentionally leaving breadcrumbs for our descendants to find. I especially love the kind of breadcrumbs that help the present as well as serve as a clue for the future.  How many of you have received a flyer or email about buying a brick?  Maybe you tossed it in the trash and didn't give it much thought.

Next time you receive a flyer to support a fundraiser for a local charity, take a second look.  A park in my town was raising money for improvements.  They decided to sell engraved bricks to raise funds.  The donors could have whatever they wanted put on the bricks.  I chose a very simple "The Pierre-Louis Family."

Wouldn't it be fun if generations from now my descendants discovered where I lived in census records or city directories and then decided to take a ride and visit the town?  If they happen to stop in the park they will find our family legacy.

It's fun and feels good to know that I am helping the park where my children play right now and that I'm also getting something back in return - a little monument to the future.

The next time you get a chance to buy a brick for a fundraiser - do it!  Leave a legacy behind etched in stone.


  1. I love the brick idea. We have that all around in our county. The new library has bricks and my favorite is the new Confederate Memorial. Our state park used to be a Confederate Prison Camp and they built a new memorial that's beautiful and one half is bricks of the prisoners names and mixed in the other half is donors to the memorial.

  2. Brilliant! You've left a wonderful "bread crumb", and supported a local charity.

    Cheers to you,

  3. Good for you! When I visit an ancestor's town the first thing I do is to stop on the common to read all the names on the war memorials, names on benches, and then peek inside libraries and churches to see if there are names on the walls (benefactor plaques, names on pews, contributions to stained glass windows, etc), and then I hit the graveyards and town hall. I never fail to find similar surnames, and often matching names somewhere! These bricks are exactly what folks will find in the future.

  4. My siblings and I just purchased 3 bricks for my father and his two brothers for a local Veteran's Memorial Park. All three served in WW II. The bricks have their names, branch and service years. Will be a great clue to some future researcher.

  5. My dad purchased bricks in the names of our Chickasaw ancestors for one of the Chickasaw cultural buildings. It was really moving to see those names in stone. Thank you for suggesting it to others!