Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sentimental Sunday-Gifting To Those We Love

Photographs of ancestral homes, tombstones, and walking the land that once was farmed by generations are all aspects that are beyond description for me, and are the areas that I am beginning to focus on more when I explain our family history to living relatives now. I have discovered that doing so is what gets them excited and more willing to answer questions, find a photograph, look for a record, etc.

In fact, I am even realizing that I need to temper these revelations a bit. If I share too much then by the time I leave a family dinner I have a to do list from my siblings that is long enough to last for months, but I am thrilled with the investment. The younger generations that get turned off by pedigree charts are actually staying around the dinner table to listen to stories of inspiration, tribulation, courage, and humor and that delights me to no end.

Christmas has always been an opportunity to share a few historical gifts. Years ago I gave my parents and each sibling my very first family album that consisted of a few charts, copies of original records for our immediate grandparents and great-grandparents, and several photographs. Over the years I have given them additional info they could add to that binder. My mother has added to the tradition by giving each of us copies of their high school yearbooks and other delights over the years.

This year was no exception, and one of the most sentimental in years. I had located my  2nd great-grandfather, William Eckardt, his wife Fridolina and 2 sons Richard and Conrad in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York in the 1880 census with William working as a tailor. Several Onondaga city directories are available online, and I used those to locate the addresses of employment for William in Syracuse during the time the family lived there.

Google Maps and Ebay are such a benefit to our worlds as genealogists, and they are part of my online Research Toolbox. I searched Google Maps for the current day location of his employment as well as where they lived, and discovered that one of those places at the time was along the Canal in Syracuse and that the building is still there.

I often purchase postcards off Ebay that play a part in my family, but this time I discovered a greater treasure:an actual photograph of the building with the Canal, just as it would be as my ancestors would be at the time. I gave this to my mother as a Christmas gift with a copy of the census to frame. Both are below, with the picture partially covered out of respect.
1880 Syracuse, Onondaga, New York (image taken by KE)
Next week I will share the Sentimental gift my mother in turn gave to each of us.

No comments: