Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Unusual Sources

Public Service Announcement: The New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists is offering a webinar by Thomas W. Jones on CD. I have just ordered my copy. I have heard Thomas Jones speak before and he is good. Please take a look at Seeing the Forest AND the Trees (and Their Leaves): Mastering the Craft of Genealogical Documentation, a Hands-on Workshop.

Loyal blog reader Trudy sent me a very interesting email. I am not including the letter that she attached to protect the privacy of anyone that is still living (the letter was written in 1971) and to not violate any copyright. I changed the names of the persons from the letter that Trudy mentioned.

I wanted to share with you a letter I found in a box that I purchased at an auction (I’ve attached a scan). When this letter was written I believe there was only the intent to inform the readers that a family member had passed away. The writer of the letter, Gloria, included tons of genealogical information. I’ve highlighted some of the areas that include family information. Some of the information gives specifics, such as date of death. Other information gives you clues, such as Morton and Gloria having more than one child. I searched for a “Smithers” family member and was able to locate one. The original letter will be in the mail tomorrow to this family member. I sent this to you in case you might want to do a blog about unusual sources."

You were right, Trudy. I would love to use this in a blog post. I know that the family member you tracked down was just thrilled to hear from you. There are genealogists that do this full time. They look for things just like this at auctions, estate sales and on Ebay and many treasures have been saved from possible destruction. They take the time to track down the descendants and return the items to the rightful descendant just as you have done.

I hope this story will encourage the readers of this blog to always be on the lookout for things like this when they visit flea markets, yard/garage sales, estates sales and while browsing on Ebay. It is such a shame when historical artifacts are discarded and destroyed.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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