Have you used Ebay for your Detroit Genealogy? Ebay, one of the world’s largest online marketplaces and a constantly updating resource for genealogists, allows us to view Detroit items that were found in personal homes and at garage sales, in basements, attics, storage lockers, etc around the world.
I adore this website. Every few days, I check out the Detroit history items available and look at the photos (that are usually unmarked) in hopes that one of my ancestors might be there. Among the photo albums, random paperwork, and endless amounts of business swag from yesteryear, you just might find your kin or relics from events they attended and/or participated in.
Ebay has been a goldmine for locating items from my 2nd great grandfather’s ink company, Robert Keller Ink Company. Just after 11 years, I have 37 different bottles, 4 crocks, a jug, and various nicknacks like a 1903 Mother Goose paint by numbers set . All from Ebay.
This past Veterans Day, I thought I’d see if I could find anything on Fort Custer in Battle Creek, MI during WWI. According to The Michigan Alumnus, my great grandfather, Edwin Keller, attended officers training at Fort Custer.
While I didn’t find anything related to my great grandfather’s WWI service, I did come across an original Detroit, Michigan appointment letter for A.H. Gillespie dated Sept 4 1917 with an interesting group photo. Mr. Gillespie was responsible for getting these WWI “conscripts” (aka drafted men) from the second ward to Camp Custer in Battle Creek Michigan.
Family history researchers usually do not like to leave any resource unchecked (or rechecking a resource) for too long. For those with minimal time available to peruse Ebay for family treasures, you can save your searches saved and have alerts emailed to you.
Give Ebay-ing your ancestors a try. You never know what you’ll find.