Saturday, March 03, 2018

Women's History Month 2018: Home Sources

I know my automatic reply when a discussion of home sources comes up is that I don't have any. But when I really think about it, I realize that I do have some. No, they aren't the naturalization certificate of a great-grandparent or a collection of old photographs but I do have some items that have genealogical value.

There's the grade school math book of my maternal grandmother that she signed her name in. The surname she used wasn't her own but that of a step-father. That signature reminds me to look for her in those few childhood years, under a different surname.

There's a postcard for a Reader's Digest subscription my great-grandmother send to my parents in the 1970s. Tucked away in a family history book and used as a bookmark, when I open the book, it falls out and provides me the address she was living at at the time of the gift.

And then there's the beautiful hand-painted china bowl, that was given to my great-grandmother on her 50th wedding anniversary that provides her date of marriage. It's beautiful but one side provides that date and my great-grandparent's names.

Photo by Gena Philibert-Ortega (c) 2017

Photo by Gena Philibert-Ortega (c) 2017

So, looking around your house, what do you have? May I suggest that you photograph and document those home sources? I wrote recently about being evacuated for a nearby fire and it was difficult because I couldn't take everything. If I had documented these treasures and stored that documentation in the cloud, I would have at least had a copy should everything that was left behind was destroyed. Also, some genealogically/heirloom items of importance won't seem important to my kids. Like the piece of soap my grandmother made as a young woman or the Holly Hobby quilt she made me as a young girl so documenting their importance is crucial.

Home sources are easily forgotten but help us document and tell the stories of our female ancestor's lives.

GenealogyBank Blog: Genealogy 101 Home Sources
GenealogyBank Blog: What Would You Take? Evacuating Your Genealogy in an Emergency

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