Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Feature

                                      Genealogical Research

Boxes hidden or stored in the attic or basement can contain valuable information you may have never dreamed possible to discover. They may prove to be an invaluable wealth of knowledge when beginning a genealogical project. While some of the information is piecemeal and perhaps some of the contents divided between family sides, but there are probably enough clues to lead to others who have what you need and other potential sources. Listed below are additional items that you might find around your home that can help you create your genealogical history.

*Old family Bible with names and dates handwritten inside.
*Births, deaths and marriages dates recorded that occurred in the family over the years
*Birth certificates of great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, etc.
*Application for naturalization; books and papers associated with this history, a
  train ticket, ship manifest, and other travel documents
*Last Wills & Testaments; major and primary documents
*Military enlistment and discharge papers, medical records, group & individual    
  photographs, weapons, uniforms, letters and postcards from military bases or units
  providing histories that put an individual at a particular place and time
*Licenses; old driver's licenses, professional licenses, or hunting/fishing licenses
*Property deeds, rental agreements, property records or census information
*Old newspaper clippings on current events, local politics, world happenings, weather *Hand-written  
  business ledger with notes on prevailing business practices, contracts
*School records, report cards, papers, yearbooks, certificates of achievement, diplomas
*Religious items; baptismal, communion, confirmation, marriage certificates,
  burial Mass cards, obituaries. 
*Letters of all kinds: friendship, love, family correspondence that may yield valuable  
  insight into the relationships, unique glimpses into personalities
*Scrapbooks; some of the most interesting and useful information can be found in these
  mementos that many people keep. They provide documentation of certain events in that
  person's life such as athletics, vacations, and entertainment. These certainly provide a
  unique peek into one's life and add wonderful anecdotes to a family history.
*Keepsakes; jewelry passed down from parent to child-each with its own story. Some  
  have engravings that provide valuable clues, furniture, artwork, clothes, toys, books, etc.

Study the history of your family . . . all sides . . . using whatever documents to discover the relationships between people. When you have all your ducks in a row, start a Family Tree. When that is finished, frame it by itself or incorporate into a shadow box where you can add small items that will lend more interest. And don’t forget to involve the whole family; after all, it is their history, too.

Next Post: A brief hiatus and I will be back with more fun and interesting aspects to creating your family museum.

1 comment:

Ronda Parsons said...

Great post! In an age when we are taught to purge everything, I love your suggestion to search through paperwork that may be hidden within our homes. It is so much fun to explore the stories of distant family members and sometimes we see their traits in ourselves. And most importantly, it makes us grateful!