Use eBay to Search

You would be amazed at what is offered and sold on eBay -the online auction site. You might not be aware but photos, postcards, documents and even actual personal artifacts from your ancestors could very well be found for auction on eBay.

Some of the more common items include a family Bible, personal journals or letters, items related to a family owned business, photographs, previously written family genealogies, church or town history books which have info about your family.

Not every item has to be purchased, sometimes just a digital image of the item is useful. Do a ‘Save As’ to have a copy on your computer. Look over the seller’s description of the time can also provide details.

You might wonder where the seller gets an item that once belonged to your ancestors. Most eBay sellers are antique dealers, going an buying at estate sales, garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores. By putting them for sale on eBay, they are hoping to help reunite these things with their family of origin while making a little money at the same time.

If you find an item before the end of an auction time, send a message to the seller and ask if they have information or recall where they located that item.

To find items of interest to you is to place alerts with eBay to send you an email anytime an item related to a family hometown or a specific surname. That way you do not need to search for your everyday. New items are posted every day on eBay. If you have a usual surname you are less likely to get unrelated items with that name.

Even if you find an item and have a photo of it but would like it to remain with the family is to contact other family members and see if they are interested in putting in a bid for the item. That is so much better than the items stay with the family rather than it going to a collector in another region.

One of the most prized item to be located would be something made and signed by an ancestor. A good example is a hand sworn sampler.  

Photos: eBay, disc for sale on genealogical topics; and a sampler from 1914 done by Charlotte Schmidt.

Related Blogs:

Heirlooms on eBay

City Directories on eBay

Family Heirlooms – Artifacts

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