Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Home Sources

Start to gather tidbits of information about your family that you have floating around your house. I call them HOME SOURCES. Look for certificates, news articles, obituaries, letters or post cards, old photo albums, programs, invitations, etc. Put them in a box, folder or large envelope by family surnames to sort later. (Hint-Include scrapbook stuff about yourself in case you decide to write your life story later. )

Old family bibles if you have one or can locate one from your older relatives have wonderful information including names and dates of important occasions such as family births, deaths and marriage. (Sample on the right is from my Dad's bible-shown above. His mother had written in the vital record information on his parents, and grand parents plus his marriage to my mom and my birth. It was published in 1926 when he was only 10 years old. Don't know when she gave it to my dad, but he read it clear through before his death in 1945.)

Now would be a good time to visit or contact your parents, grandparents (if they are living) or any elderly aunts, uncles and cousins who might have this kind of information around their homes before they die and it gets lost. Remember it's never too late to start as long as YOU are still living. Write what you remember about your family members-parents or grand parents who may be deceased. Later we'll talk about Internet cousins who are distant relatives that you can find while doing family history research online. I've received wonderful old photos and histories that way.


  1. Great advice! I just wish Nonie and I had started earlier. I didn't get serious about family research until I got my first computer in 2003. By then, almost all of my relatives were gone.

  2. This is great advice..A lot of our stuff was lost when my mother had a house fire..

  3. Relatives that have passed on... Family bibles that have been lost...

    I don't think I ever thought about what histories are left untold, unable to be passed down to new generations because of these factors.

    It makes me sad. I see so many family portraits, books with notes in them, souvenirs of treasured moments, sold at garage sales with no thought to what connection to the sellers past they may hold.

    This is a good series, Lin.

  4. This makes me think of my great-grandparents' habit of tucking bits and pieces into their favorite books. Reading their books meant finding odds and ends that told me about oil changes, furnace repairs, and the like. Great stuff. Put me there.

  5. WOW, Lin. This is great. Who would have thought of certificates, news articles, obituaries, letters or post cards, old photo albums, programs, invitations, etc. And, now that you said it, it makes perfect sense. You are a great teacher.

    Thanks for caring and for sharing.