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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning - A Genealogist's Nightmare!

It happens about once a year, my mom decides that the house, basement or garage is too cluttered. Since I live in Florida and mom lives in Illinois I am not always close enough to stage an intervention. Thank goodness for my sister Mary.

Family Intervention

One year mom decided to start cutting up family pictures and make a collage, thank goodness my sister had already scanned them. At that point Mary scanned every picture in the house.

Another year when I was visiting she told me I might want to go through a box in the basement in the basement she was going to throw out. The box had wedding, graduation and family pictures of my aunts, uncles and cousins. The entire box went home on the plane with me.

Bunni Keteri Orloski, Sharyn and James Orloski- Photo Saved by Pattie

Genealogy Treasures in Your Own Back Yard

When was the last time you did genealogy research in your own home? How about your parents, grandparents, uncles or aunts? I had not seen my Aunt Sharon in over 40 years and was lucky enough to reconnect with her a couple of years ago.

Aunt Sharon's closet was full of obituaries, correspondance, photos of her trips to Finland, family pictures and hand written family trees. A genealogist goldmine.

If You Don't Ask...

As a genealogist we are not bashful about calling cemeteries, county clerks and other archivists - why not ask your family for help?

Here is a list of items that may be gathering dust on someone's shelf:

* Address Books
* Family Newsletters
* Guest Books - Wedding, Bridal or Anniversary
* Baby Shower Memorabilia
* Christmas Card List
* Invitations - Wedding, Showers (baby or wedding)
* Autograph Books
* Family Albums
* Military - Scrapbooks / Albums
* Postcards
* Certificates - birth, death, communion, etc.
* Newspaper Clippings - births, deaths, sports, school, scouts
* Yearbooks

Any of these items could spark a memory, mention a woman's maiden name, provide a date or date range for an event or help round out a family story.

You might want to do some genealogy research a little closer to home, before the cleaning bug bites.

Take Care,
Pattie

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