Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge ~ E

E is for ephemera.


    noun (plural) /əˈfem(ə)rə/ 

    1. Things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time

      • Items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity

    Ephemera can be a very important part of family history.  I am lucky enough to have had a great-grandmother that saved all kinds of ephemera.  She saved postcards, letters, genealogy notes, greeting cards, even an old embroidery catalog, and of course photos.

    If she hadn't saved these things, I would never have known about the mystery man in her life before she married my great-grandfather. I also learned quite a bit from this 1918 letter she received about the death of her brother.

    I was also lucky enough to find a shoe box full of ephemera that my grandma Smedley had saved.  This ephemera included tax papers, letters, court documents, mortgage receipts, etc.

    So you've got to know by now that I save everything. See, I have this little treasure box full of old movie tickets, wristbands, and even airline tickets.  They are little pieces of my life and I know that someday at least one of my descendants will jump up and down to have them.

    You can also make awesome scrapbooks with your ephemera.

    The following is a list (but not limited to) of ephemera you should look to for clues in discovering your family history as well as saving for your future descendants:

    • Postcards
    • Letters
    • Documents
    • News clippings
    • Wedding, birth, and graduation announcements
    • Funeral cards
    • Greeting Cards
    • Event tickets or programs
    • Airline tickets
    • Pay Stubs
    • Receipts
    • Recipe cards
    • Business cards
    • Newsletters
    • Etc.
    And don't forget the napkins!

    So now it's your turn to join  Gould's 'Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge' and tell me what you think stands for.

    Leslie Ann


    1. Whooo Hooo!!! ... now I'm happy because I don't need to call all that stuff "junk" anymore!... Seriously Leslie, I really enjoyed your post and have decided to put all my "ephemera" together, in a special box, and give thought to which of my grandchildren will value/care for it the most. Thanks so much, Catherine

      1. You're welcome Catherine! Glad you liked my post. I used to just call it "stuff". One of these days I will have to put a scrapbook together. Always remember...someone's junk is another one's treasure!

    2. Ephemera is fabulous, and it adds interest and stories to the names. Fortunately my dad has saved so much ephemera from older relatives who've passed on - the challenge will be to work out what's what. But that's better than not having any.



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