19th century

  • Strange Valentines of the 1800s

    Feb 12

    Valentine's Day - February 14th is always a favorite holiday for everyone. It is a method of sharing your deep loving feelings with any family member or friend. During the 1800s, with the use of cards and postcards sent for Valentine's Day, secret admirers had an opportunity to confess their love without fear of direct rejection. However, ...


  • Bottle and Canned Foods Thanks to Appert

    Oct 23

    Nicolas Appert—the inventor of hermetically sealed food preservation and the "father of bottled - canned foods"—was born November 17, 1749 in France. He was a chef in Paris, France 1784 to 1795. In 1795, he experimenting with ways to preserve foodstuffs, succeeding with soups, vegetables, juices, dairy products, jams and syrups. He...


  • Great Book Scare – 140 Years Ago

    Oct 13

    It sounds a bit like something just before Halloween but instead was truly a major event not just in 1879 but lasting well into the 1880s and 1890s. Your ancestors, especially if they lived in a larger town or city may have been directly affected. If their hometown had a public library and your ancestors liked to read the borrowed books, th...


  • Medical Treatments for Our Ancestors

    Oct 3

    There are many common and not so common medical treatments used over the decades. Some started off from nature and were developed into well-known products. A good example is the chewing the white willow bark to help relieve pain. Willow bark would eventually become the basis for one of the most widely used painkillers in the modern world ...


  • Double Beds vs Twin Beds

    Sep 15

    Here is an idea most people have not thought about and how it affected their ancestors. Did a husband-wife relative sleep in a double-size bed or two twin / single-sized beds? For years, decades ago, most slept in a double bed. The vintage four-poster bed I inherited from my 3rd great grandmother, made by her father for her wedding in 1849...


  • US Naval Ships Personnel

    Aug 13

    You might have an ancestor who served on a US Naval ship either in the 19th or 20th century. There is available a database of personnel, some 36,991 and growing. Included is the person's full name, their rank, their years of service, the name and where they were stationed – such as the Atlantic coast, African coast or Pacific region. ...


  • Strange Sideline of Asylums of the 1800s

    Aug 7

    It might be hard to imagine, but during the mid to late 1800s, in America and in England, it once quite the form of entertainment of many middle-class and upper-class Americans during the 1800s, to tour the grounds and even the facilities for the insane – asylums. There were created stereoscopic cards announcing the glory of newly-built gro...


  • What is a Delayed Birth Certificate?

    Jun 11

    You may or may not have come across an ancestor with a 'Delayed Birth Certificate'. This type of record came about when Americans needed to prove when they were born for passports (beginning in 1920s) and registration with Social Security (in the 1930s). From the Dept. of Health and Human Resource – a delayed birth certificate is any b...


  • Telegrams

    Apr 29

    Due to the loss of his wife in 1825 when he was away and there was no quick method of informing Samuel Morse of his wife's death, he vowed to develop a means of communication that was faster than a letter. He would on the concept and developed the telegraph between 1830s to 1840s. Beside a better means of communication, there was a whole new occupa...


  • Hair Art

    Apr 21

    Known as 'hair art' it has been a form of art that began in the 16th century or earlier, and flourished in the Victorian era (1800s). It was used by people wanting to keep a memento of a loved one before the invention of photography. Hair art originated in England and France and then made its way to the United States. This form of art can take the ...