Family Antiques

Family Heirloom Exchange


As most of us know, thousands of identified family antiques and artifacts exist in the hands of antique dealers and collectors around the world. How sad to hold an identified 1880’s cabinet card photo offered at an antique store for only $5.00 to a collector, when somebody, somewhere would consider it priceless!

Antique dealers, also, who are generally not genealogists, often mourn the impossible odds of finding the family who would recognize a magnificent “Orphaned Heirloom” as a part of their own family’s past.


JustaJoy Family Heirloom Exchange Family Heirloom Exchange is a subscription website that was developed to solve this problem. Born in the antique world, JustaJoy actively solicits listings of identified items from quality antique dealers from across the United States and in other countries. Heraldic English silver? No problem. Original minutemen signed document? We got it. Wanted posters – Of course!

The site has successfully matched family Bibles, photos, documents, Civil War letters, yearbooks and other artifacts of all kinds, yet thousands still await discovery. Everything from baby books to dog tags are listed and each is indexed by the associated surname or surnames making searches easy and fun.

Items can also be searched and sub-searched by place, date, war, school or any other criteria. JustaJoy is designed to provide correct search results, even for surnames such as White, Bell, House, etc. – names that render other “for sell” or auction sites difficult to navigate when looking for family artifacts.

24 Hour Alerts members are notified by emails called “Joy Alerts” as items are posted associated with one or more surnames from a member’s pre-listed surname group (up to twenty). These alerts are important because of the individuality of each item posted – there is usually only one Bible or one Civil War sword, for instance. It is also likely that is not the only outlet the antique dealer is using to sell his or her item, also creating urgency.

Fortunately, the site does not delete information or photos on sold items. Members can always print photos and learn information a sold artifact reveals. On occasion, the new owner will also leave contact information and offer scans, etc. of the original item.

Navy Sword

JustaJoy Angels

We, at, have learned that, like antique dealers, genealogists cannot throw anything away (smile), so all members are invited to post, as well. It is free for members to list and sell items, though JustaJoy bylaws prohibit prices that exceed the item’s true market value in the antique world. Genealogist to genealogist matches happen regularly and bring happiness to everyone involved.

“The Heritage Room”

JustaJoy also provides an informative monthly newsletter, “The Heritage Room” with features on the history, acquisition and care of collectibles, celebrity dealers, special offers and much more. “The Heritage Room” enjoys a strong following and helps to create dialog between the site and its members, who often offer great stories of their own, along with suggestions for the website.

“But I have everything from my family!”

We want to congratulate you if you have become the caretaker of your family’s tangible heritage. It is an awesome responsibility and we appreciate that you have stepped up to the plate. But, we can tell you from experience, that you probably don’t have “everything” from your family. JustaJoy has matched WWII regimental photos that were likely never in the family to begin with, shaving mugs, golf trophies, etched cranberry glass from the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933, newspapers, etiquette cards, pension applications and many other ordinarily mundane articles that are now considered quite precious.

Civil War Letter and Genealogical Societies

JustaJoy offers free memberships to genealogical libraries and many societies use JustaJoy as a fundraiser by posting and selling donated items. This is done at no cost to the Society except acquainting their members with the Family Heirloom Exchange.

Your Facts, Our Artifacts makes hunting for “orphaned heirlooms” possible and a lot of fun with a treasure chest of goodies that grows daily. What better reward could there be for all that hard work than by finding and recognizing an item that actually belonged to an ancestor – a reward that could last for many generations yet to come.

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