How I’ve Used eBay to Find Family Treasures

How I’ve Used eBay to Find Family Treasures

When you start researching your family history, eBay may not be the first website that crosses your mind. However, I think if you keep your mind open you can find family treasures anywhere! Occasionally, I even get an email from eBay alerting me to a piece of our family history that is available for auction. While it’s not a daily occurrence, when it does happen I think it’s pretty darn cool.

Here are a few more examples (below) that are available right now.

Here is a lovely little book written and illustrated by Mrs. Henry Morton Stanley aka Dorothy Tennant (who is my 1st cousin 4x removed) called “London Street Arabs“. It was printed in 1890 with beautiful illustrations depicting children in London in the Victorian Era.
The above painting, done in 1927, is available on right now on eBay. This Impressionist Artist’s name is William Malherbe. He was married to my Great-Grandmother.

If you’re interested, here is how you can set up alerts of your own. It’s very simple really.

On eBay in the search field at the top of the page, enter in the name or item you want to search. For my searches I entered “Dorothy Tennant” or “William Malherbe.”

Sometimes you’ll need to get creative with your keywords in the search field. I have even tried something like “Wright Family History.”

After the search results populate there is a “save this search” link with a little heart. Click it and you’re done!

With any luck, you will begin getting notifications on your email with family treasures just a click away. The possibilities are endless – think postcards, photographs, books, family bibles, paintings, maps, etc.

Happy hunting!

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Book Review : “The Family Tree Problem Solver 3rd Edition”

Book Review : “The Family Tree Problem Solver 3rd Edition”

The cover of “The Family Tree Problem Solver” seemed so bright and cheerful, it grabbed my attention from the start. Early on in the book the question was asked “Has your family history research hit a brick wall?” Why yes, it has hit some brick walls, a few of them if I’m being honest. I’ve also had other problems with my family tree, so I was eager to see what solutions were available inside the pages. This is the 3rd Edition, which has been revised to include guides and recommendations on recording hints from Ancestry.com and other genealogy websites. There is also an added chapter on DNA results and a glossary of genealogy terms.

Inside you will find many research tips and learn the difference between search and research. You will learn how to avoid common mistakes in your research, and where to find valuable information in unlikely places. There is ample information on gathering data and evaluating the information you compile. “Analysis is the most crucial step in the research process.” The author(s) goes into great detail using case studies and examples on how pursuing the trail of clues (often overlooked the first time) will lead you to find the solution to your problem. It inspired me to start back at the beginning of my research. I highly recommend having a notepad ready while you read this book. My mind was spinning with ideas that I was eager to write down.

When I began my journey up my family tree, I was so excited to find ANY information. I would attach sources and censuses to my growing family tree, eager to just keep moving back further and further. I was on a mission to go as far back in time as I possibly could. In my haste along the way, I can see how I neglected to properly analyze what I was saving. What had I missed the first time? I learned to Read. Every. Word. Don’t just skim, but read it. I have my work cut out for me, but I am very excited to see where it leads. Who knows, I might just break through a few of those brick walls.

I found the book informative and useful, although I have to admit that in reading through all of the case studies in the The Family Tree Problem Solver, I found myself wanting to skip ahead to the “good stuff.” But then, I had a lightbulb moment… isn’t this skipping ahead what got me into trouble in the first place? Wanting the trophy at the end without actually having to run the entire marathon myself? Couldn’t I just piggyback? The short answer is no, nothing good comes easy. If I want a complete, and more importantly accurate family tree, then I need to take each step along the way.

Just another quick note on the formatting… I think that I would have preferred the physical version of the book over the digital. I tried to read it on both my iPad and my Kobo and found the formatting to be choppy. Sometimes it was a word or two jumbled, sometimes sentences were interspersed and choppy. The physical book looks to be much more clean and neat, including the charts, map, screenshots and photographs.

I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. #TheFamilyTreeProblemSolver #NetGalley

Immigration to Canada

Immigration to Canada

I’ve often wondered exactly how it is that my family found their way here to Canada.

My direct line of ancestors hasn’t been in Canada for very long at all really, particularly my dad’s side of the family. Grandma and Grandpa Apps came over from England, in 1947… directly after World War II. I can only imagine what life had been like for them, after losing countless friends and loved ones in both WWI & WWII. They must have wanted to move someplace far away from the horrors that they saw and lived through.

Some years ago I was able to find my grandparents names on the ship manifest (see below).

The Apps family comes to Canada via the Steamship Line CUNARD WHITE STAR LIMITED
  • Name of Ship : “Aquitania”
  • Date of Departure : 10th March 1947
  • Steamship Line : Cunard White Star Limited
  • Where Bound : Halifax
  • Embarked at the Port of Southampton
  • 1,396 souls aboard

One of the wonderful things about researching your own family history, is that you learn so much more than what you thought you would. In finding out the name of the ship that my Grandparents came to Canada aboard, I became interested in the Aquitania and dug a little deeper. A quick search on YouTube gave me an idea of what a voyage would have been like for my Grandparents aboard this ship.

  •  the Aquitania was in service from 1914 – 1950
  • her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York was on May 30th, 1914 (the DAY AFTER the sinking of the RMS Empress of Ireland where 1,012 lives were lost!)
  • during World War I, she served as both troop transport and a hospital ship (see below photograph)
  • she returned to passenger service in 1920
  • during the Second World War and until 1947, she served once again as a troop transport. She was used to bring home Canadian soldiers from Europe
  • after the war, she transported migrants to Canada (including my grandparents)

Aquitania was retired from service in 1949 and was scrapped the very next year. Having served as a passenger ship for 36 years, she was sent rather ironically to Faslane, Scotland to be dismantled. (The ironic part of that in my family’s story is that if you read my previous post “The Abandoned Mansion” you will see that Faslane is directly across the street from where my Grandmother grew up at the Shandon House.)

I feel very lucky to say that I grew up in Canada. I suppose I am a second generation Canadian. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa, for embarking on the voyage across the ocean…

I suppose then..unless you are First Nations, we are all immigrants.