Friday, November 26, 2010
Adding a House History to Your Genealogy
Unfortunately, Grandma's house burned down about 10 years ago. She had died years before but family members lived there and it was still referred to by us as "Grandma's house." When that house burned down so did a lot of memories.
As I was pulling old family photos out of a magnetic album this week and scanning them to preserve them, I came across pictures of her home. That mint green with white trim house brought back memories. There were pieces of petrified wood on the outside facade (she lived in Arizona where you could find such materials and people in the early 1900s used it for decoration). It got me to thinking how important a family member's home can be to our genealogy. Yes, the names and dates are important but the stories of where our family lived, where we sat with them, where we had meals and laughed can be so important.
Your inclusion of a house history with your genealogy can include photos (inside and outside), drawings, deeds, newspaper articles, plat maps, and remembrances. I wrote a brief article about researching a home for the WorldVitalRecords newsletter that you can find here.
A house history can add more detail to your family history narrative and help your children and grandchildren to know why your grandmother's house (or even your childhood home) was so special to you.