You may think divine providence caused you to obtain that picture of great-grandma or that family bible, but provenance is what we usually call the "chain of ownership" for a family relic or document.
The provenance of a family heirloom shows how it came to us. It's important to track as much of the provenance of an item as we can in order to know what we have is really what we think it is. The provenance for item indicates we know who the previous owners were and how we came to acquire the item ourselves.
After all, is that great-grandpa's hayhook, or did you just pick it up a farm sale?