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When researching our family roots, we tend to look in the typical places. Census reports, ancestry.com, libraries and oral histories from your family members are the best sources for building a foundation. But how do you add flavor to your research and how do you illustrate the lives our ancestors lived? Looking at the non-typical places can be a needle in a haystack, but it can bring a pleasant surprise.
One of our member’s mother was recently touring the Texas Energy Museum and discovered a photo of her grandfather. Imagine walking by photos and seeing a photo of your grandfather hanging on a wall. The photo was of men working on an oil rig and there was Grandpa Tom right in the middle. What a great surprise and a wonderful image of seeing your grandfather in his youth.
Some ideas where you might find your Great Grandpa
- Libraries with manuscript collections – For example, the Library of Virginia has a large collection of personal and random items. Not scanned, but an amazing collection to visit.
- Small and state historical societies – A lot of these collections are getting bigger as people are sharing personal items and photos.
- National Archives – Records, maps and photography.
- The Texas Energy Museum has photos available on CD.
Keep your eyes open, you never know what you’ll find.
*Please remember most images are copyrighted and some are public domain, so always ask before using.