It is amazing how many of a family’s heirlooms; such as photos, journals, silverware, letters, samplers, Bibles, etc. can eventually belong to a collector, be in an antique shop, sold in an auction or in a yard sale. Fortunately, there are many individuals who have made it their mission to attempt to get such family artifacts - their ‘treasures’ back to the rightful descendants.
On the web site, Ancestors Lost and Found, through the USGenNet (non-profit genealogy site) this large undertaking is being accomplished. It is not the only one that tries to match family heirlooms with related present-day family members; these additional sites are also listed as a links on the Ancestors Lost and Found website. What helps set the Ancestors Lost and Found apart is that they offer a place on the Internet for anyone to post a request for lost family memorabilia. This section is titled ‘Lost Treasures’ with many submissions by family researchers trying to locate certain items from their ancestors. Most provide enough known information such as names, locations and dates that someone with such an item could identify it. A contact address and / or phone number is included.
The next category is ‘Treasures to Share’, where an individual has found photos, autobiographies, GAR ribbons, journals, letters, etc., that they are interested in sharing with anyone. Along with that is the next category of ‘Found Treasures’ where such found artifacts would actually be returned to the descendants. All types of found items, including marriage certificates, letters, photo albums, scrapbooks, birth announcements, etc. are listed.
Separate categories are designed to assist family researchers in identifying items or people in photos. This category is ‘The Mystery Galley’ where a person is just requesting information or answers to certain questions relating to a family lineage. The last category is about the family Bibles. Many have been located in garage sales and attics and now wish to share them with the appropriate families. There are also requests for lost family Bibles.
With these many requests with numerous surnames in the different categories it could be quite difficult to search all of them. That problem is solved with a search box titled ‘Search Ancestors Lost and Found’. Place a surname or even a hometown name and see what comes up. Be creative in searching names, especially unusual given names as well as any places your ancestors lived, you can also put just state names in the search.
It is an interesting site to explore as well as place your own requests concerning your ancestors. You just might be able to link up with someone holding a family treasure.