I open Google Earth at the same time I log on to Ancestry.com. That way, I can place push pins in the map of places in the archives, and get a feel for the terrain.Â Those little 360 degree photos also help you get an idea of the locale. There is a measurement device on Google Earth that will compute mileage “as the crow flies” right down to hundredths of a mile. (e.g., 35.21 miles)
Save Local Information
In my city of Everett, Washington, the local sea port, the electric company, water quality board, and the local school district all send the occasional newsletter to all residents. While most of it is frankly rather boring, do not ignore it as a genealogical resource. For example the local port newsletter mentioned the fund raising efforts for a fisherman’s memorial monument. This might help me find out where related fisherman in extended family disappeared.
Most of them will contain a history article every so often, which could give you valuable information. Also, even if you are not of that age, check out the lobby of a senior center or nursing home. While visiting the apartments where my dad lives, I found a free newspaper put out for seniors that contained reminiscences of a senior who used to be a wildlife agent for the state. In talking about a lake where he had worke, he mentioned it was created when a local mill dammed off a creek. It happened that the company was owned by my great-aunt’s family. So donâ€™t overlook local information you might normally discard as â€œboring.â€
Teri Anne Beauchamp
Treasures in â€œOld Stuffâ€
I found some â€œold stuff” nobody seemed to want in my mother-in-lawâ€™s belongings after she died.Â My father-in-law didn’t want it, so I took it. In it I found ledgers that people signed at the funeral home during visitation, listing their names and addresses from the 1950s. When I asked current relatives, they knew very little about these people.Â Among the pages were cards from the flowers received, one was from “Your niece Ella Eppley.” Ella was a lost relative. No one knew who she married, just that she had gone as a child to live with “Aunt Ann” in Zanesville, Ohio after her mother died. After I found the card, I was able to find (through Ancestry.com) Ella Eppley in Ohio in the 30s.Â Iâ€™m still looking through the “old stuff” for bits and pieces of family information.
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