A Special Family History Gift Fit for a Queen

What gift do you give to a nine-year-old queen? Why, a copy of your just-published book of family history, of course!

Gift to Queen Wilhelmina, New York Tribune newspaper article 23 November 1899
New York Tribune (New York, New York), 23 November 1899, page 5

We remember Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (1888-1962) as a kindly, matronly woman – but at age nine she received a special gift.

What young lady wouldn’t be thrilled to receive her own copy of the newly-printed Swartwout Chronicles, 1338-1899? It was presented to her by Major William Merrill Swartwout of Troy, New York.

photo of the Swartwout Chronicles
Source: Library of Congress, American Memory

This handsome family history book was published in a limited edition of 100 copies. According to the New York Tribune article:

The book is 11 inches long, 8 1/2 inches wide and 2 1/4 inches thick. The linen coated paper is of a superior quality that will, it is said, last for centuries…It is bound in full crushed levant, with leather double and fly and richly handtooled in gold. The outer cover, dark brown in color, is embossed in antique, with the Swartwout coat of arms.

This must have been a special day at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

According to the article it was “claimed that there is not one typographical error in the volume.”

All kidding aside – this was a terrific honor.

How many families have the opportunity to present a copy of their family history to the Royal family of their homeland?

Did You Know?

Family history books still make for excellent gifts to give to family and friends. You can have your own family history printed in a hard copy book format by several publishing services nowadays. See Cyndi’s List for a list of family history publishers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *