I have researched my various lines of family ancestry now for over 27 years. The whole extended family are aware of this.
Recently a close family member came and spoke to me at a family function and showed me a newspaper article relating to an award my Grandmother was given. I had never read the article but was aware of the award. They then continued to share with me details of a collection of things they had from my Great Grandfather, war items like medals, coins, bullet cartridges. I was very thankful as I did not know these existed, they went home and emailed me photos which was wonderful within the email there was a photo of my Great Grandparents I had not seen. You can imagine my happiness. BUT then came the Surprises!!
In the emails that followed they sent me photos of my Grandfather as a child, my other Great Grandparents, at various ages and of a wedding gift my Great Grandfather received from the officers of the ship he had been on in 1902! To say my weekend was made is an understatement.
But it has reminded me that as the ones in the family researching we need to continuously be vocal, especially with the older members of family. Be vocal in what you would love to have - photos, mementos - not to keep but to photograph and/or scan! You never know what is hiding in biscuit tins and cupboards!