Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories: Granddaddy Bryan’s Pocket Watch

When “heirlooms” aren’t identified, and their stories never told, then they often become items that are tossed or sold – as they have no history, no ties to the family. So take the time to identify your family heirlooms history and memories so your treasures aren’t tossed in the trash. They are just as valuable as your family photographs and also need to be documented. Sometimes it’s not even the value of the item in question; it’s the story which holds the value.

Friday Night Family Heirlooms: telling their stories…

Granddaddy Bryan’s Pocket Watch

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Granddaddy’s watch  was manufactured by The Waltham Watch Co. in Waltham, Massachusetts; he always called it a railroad watch as it was open-faced. The company began in 1850 in Roxbury, but later moved to Waltham where they remained until late 1950’s when they closed their doors.

I saw this watch often as a young girl following around behind my grandfather Paul Pinkney Bryan. Whenever he wanted to know the time, out it came from his bib overalls. You could always see his watch chain hanging near one of the pockets – and you knew his favorite watch was tucked inside. Granddaddy was never without a watch, and through the years he had several, but I believe this was one of his last ones he had for a long time.

Granddaddy was always a watch man, he probably didn’t consider himself dressed unless he had his pocket watch in one of the pockets – either his pants or overalls. I remember it being more in his overalls and specifically the ones marked Pointer. That was the name brand that he was partial to and when he had his watch tucked inside a pocket – he was dressed!

Whenever granddaddy was headed somewhere, you’d see him tug out the watch and check the time. I could be sitting next to him waiting for Grandmama to call us for Sunday dinner, but before she’d call, he’d would pull out the watch. He was a man that ran on time, and probably his inner-self was telling him it was dinner time – but he had to double check with his watch to see if it really “was time.”

Funny how some people are watch wearers- I never was. I tried wearing a watch at work, but then I’d stop and still look at the clock on the wall – never the watch on my wrist. My father also always wore a watch every day, it was a part of his regular dress wear.

One of the last times I visited granddaddy, I remember sitting next to him on the couch and he pulled out this watch – I looked over at it  and said to him, “I really like that watch.” A few months later I received a package from my father with a note – “granddaddy gave me this watch to send you, he said you liked it and he wanted you to have it.” It touched me so much that he gave me his last watch he’d worn for many years.It brings back many good memories every time I look at it.

Click Friday Night Family Heirlooms to read more stories…

Click 52 Weeks 52 Ancestors to read family stories…

© 2016 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

Family Heirloom Bloggers:

I started a Family Heirloom challenge in November 2015 asking fellow bloggers to join me in telling the stories of their family heirlooms. Writing the stories of the family heirlooms I’ve been entrusted with, has been on my mind for a long time; the time is now and I plan to write their stories on a weekly basis.

Please check out the weekly Family Heirloom stories of…

Blogger: Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls
Blogger: Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher
Blogger: Kendra Schmidt at trekthrutime
Blogger: Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree
Blogger:  Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees
Blogger: True Lewis at Notes to Myself
Blogger: Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons                              Blogger: Heather Lisa Dubnick at  Little Oak Blog
Blogger: Kathy Rice at
Blogger: Mary Harrell-Sesniak at  Genealogy Bank Heirlooms Blog
Blogger: Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Check out her Blog at –  52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap  for links to more Heirloom posts.


About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at:
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2 Responses to Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories: Granddaddy Bryan’s Pocket Watch

  1. treeklimber says:

    Beautiful story. I can picture the scene you describe.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting to read the story of your Granddaddy’s pocket watch since TIME has been going by so fast lately. I skipped this week’s post but will be back with another heirloom on Tuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

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