One family heirloom in my possession is "Detsie's cup." I don't know anything about this cup, except that it supposedly belonged to Detsie Ballein (pictured at right), the eldest child of Elma and Hite Ballein and the sister of my paternal grandmother, Jennie Esther Ballein. It's just a small metal cup with a little handle and some engraving on it. Perhaps it was a gift from first time parents to their little girl. Detsie was born January 10, 1897 and died on August 27, 1899. It occurs to me for the first time that I don't even know where Detsie is buried. A little lost life; one of many in the days before advances in medicine. And, sadly, a life often forgotten in the course of genealogical research.
Family trees are full of these little lost lives. We know little about them, except perhaps their birth and death dates. However, we need to honor the memory of these children and the families who loved them by remembering them as more than birth and death dates in the family tree.