A family historian is always on the lookout for any photo, document, vital record, letter, or receipt that helps piece together the threads of life about an ancestor. Besides checking with other family members, including some newly located distance cousins, one never knows where the next fascinating old photo or letter might surface on today’s newest means of communication, the Internet.
There is the favorite eBay auction site with countless family items; bibles, photos, books, letters and certificates available. The number available varies. On any given day there could be over a thousand family bibles on eBay. Of interest is the many auction items related to a town or region where an ancestor lived; postcards, photos or history. For example, Cleveland, Ohio could have over 300 different vintage postcards on eBay.
Using Dead Fred, this genealogy photo archive will provide over 17,000 surnames and nearly 101,000 various records. The site provides several different ways to search; by surname or location. Many of the images on the site are posted for the sole purpose that actual descendants might be reunited with a family heirloom.
Ancestor Genealogy Photo Archive is a free database of vintage photos, gathered from flea markets and those donating them. They even have a list of professional photographic studios and their location to help track down possible ancestors’ photos. In My Heritage there is a separate section of genealogy and history with obituaries and photos; some identified, others unknown.
Check various sites, like Frontier Vintage Photos then click on the ‘identified genealogy’ which has many photos labeled with names. You just never know what might be discovered. There is the free photo sharing community called Ancient Faces with over 52,800 photos online; from portraits, military, families, homes and towns. There is a collection of family tales and stories also submitted by other researchers. A search button is available to search by surnames, locations or military eras to narrow down the assortment.
An additional Internet site to examine is Ancestry Bank with scanned copies of pre-1885 documents, letters, records, all listed by surnames. Those copies (not the originals) can be purchased for $5.00. That is a small payment to have a copy of a document, personal letter or receipt, not ordinarily found in a courthouse or other governmental institute.
Some non-Internet locations to browse would be the traditional flea markets, garage / yard sales and on site estate auctions running every weekend across the country. The best items, such as receipts, books, photos, documents or yearbooks to try and locate would be those with a surname, full name or at least a location labeled on them.