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10 February 2013

Those Artifacts Could Be A Distance Away

It's possible that a family bible, set of letters, or other artifact from your family is housed a significant distance from where your ancestors actually lived. An aunt of mine lived her life in western Illinois. A quilt she made in the late 19th century is in a museum in Michigan. The reference came up on a Google search and I almost ignored it because the location "wasn't right."

It is hard to tell where ephemera from your ancestors ended up.

Tombstones are usually in the "right place." Other items can be up for grabs.

1 comment:

  1. This is so true! My family has a huge collection (over 1,000 items) of letters, bible transcripts, wills, business papers, etc covering the 1820s to the 1950s. I'm currently digitizing and cataloging it, with a view to eventually depositing the originals in an archive, historical society or research library.
    Although all of the branches eventually ended up in Milwaukee, WI, the collection actually includes material from a number of states, including Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.
    To cap it all, in the 1960s and '70s most of the family members moved out to the west coast, although some went "back east"!
    We don't want to split up the collection as it forms a unique interconnected historical resource - and in any case it would be very difficult to do so as there's no clear focus for any one branch. So wherever we decide to place it, the collection be at a distance from where at least some researchers might expect material to be, but hopefully they, like you, won't ignore the possibility that it's relevant just because "the location doesn't match"!
    ----------------
    Deb Stock, UK

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