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Monday, February 7, 2011

Genealogy, eBay and Harvey Hampers

Have you ever used eBay?

I started using eBay years ago to buy bisque, albums, replacement parts for computers, etc. Then one day I was bored and I put in "Barrington Illinois", the town my dad's family migrated to in 1864 from Germany.

My search yielded cookbooks published by various local groups, keepsakes from the town’s Centennial, unknown photos from the turn of the century and a sewing basket made at Harvey Hampers. My mom not only worked at Harvey Hampers when she first moved to Barrington from Michigan but made those sewing baskets. Mom was totally shocked when I told her not only were the sewing baskets for sale on eBay but I had bought one. While mom may not have made the one I bought I can share it with my grand daughter and tell her that Nan used to make them!

While I have not found a family bible or a complete family tree for auction the items I have found helped round out my understanding of Barrington over the years. The added bonus was that the cookbook contained recipes contributed by family members. While I attended the centennial celebration as a child I did not have a souvenir. Thanks to eBay a commemorative plate hangs in my kitchen.

eBay can become addicting but it can also help flesh out your research. Search town names, surnames, counties, etc. and see what you find. Postcards, photos, books, maps and even family bibles are being auctioned daily - you just have to start searching eBay to find them.

Take Care,

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