Flea Market Genealogy an untapped resource
Flea Markets are an untapped genealogical resource. As genealogists we have combed boxes in the attics of our relatives looking for genealogical related items hoping find something to add to our family stories. We have made countless trips to the local Historical Societies , Libraries, and archival institutions. How many of us have paid subscriptions to all the many genealogy related sites hoping for more answers? We as genealogist will look at almost anything to find related family history items, but how many of us will take to the elegant confines of the local flea market? Flea Market Genealogy as I like to call it is always a great time for me. Even if you do not find anything that relates to your family there are always so many genealogy (un)related items to browse through at flea markets. I love going through old photos, post cards, looking at portraits , and seeing old family Bibles. I have seen 100 year old marriage certificates, old letters written from the war fronts of WWI & WWII and much more laying in bins collecting dust at flea markets. Why is it then when we talk to each other on places to go to find more information on our ancestors that we don’t mention flea markets?
Flea Market Genealogy
A Flea Market if you really sit down and think about it, is really someones ancestors attic storage! Flea markets are after all the home of the orphaned items of someones ancestor.These flea market vendors have usually bought their stock from auction/estate sales and keep almost everything from these estates. They in turn try to flip these items piece by piece at flea markets for a profit.Many of the items included may be items from a persons marriage(s) , War documents, Deeds, and of course photos! This is what we genealogist are looking for! Then why don’t we take flea market research seriously? I believe its because it is like finding a needle in a haystack! If we put our researchers hat on and think like a detective we might want to look for flea markets in the areas where our ancestors were known to live? I live somewhere between 50-60 miles from where most of my ancestors called home base. Looking at a flea market in my town most likely wouldn’t reveal anything to me genealogically. If I look in the towns my ancestors lived in then I have increased my odds dramatically. Even if we can find flea markets in the towns our ancestors were from it can take many trips and hours for the payoff…if any at all! Genealogy is a research based hobby and Flea Market Genealogy can take hours upon hours of painstaking research, something the modern 21st century researcher may not be accustomed to with all the indexed searches available today. Like the Gold Miner or the Treasure Hunters of the past, the reward can be worth all the time and effort placed into it. Give it a try! who knows you might just find something!!