Tuesday’s Tip: Etsy?

Recently, Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers posted about using Etsy for genealogy. Have you tried this yet? Are you familiar with Etsy?

Etsy

 

Etsy is actually one of my favorite places to shop because I LOVE handmade items – journals, jewelry, house items, etc. So I’ve shopped on Etsy for a number of years now. I’ll admit though, I hadn’t thought of using Etsy for genealogy until I saw the post on Geneabloggers.

Even now, I’m… skeptical.

There are genealogy related items on Etsy. For example, here’s a screenshot of what searching for genealogy can find:

Etsy1

You get a lot of fun items this way where you can display your genealogy work.

  • Prints featuring personalized trees, graphs, charts, etc. that you can hang in your home
  • Other forms of artwork that can be personalized for you – Christmas ornaments, maps, etc.
  • Jewelry shaped in trees or other ways that can be genealogy related (for example, my favorite necklace came from Barb’s Branches on Etsy)
  • and more

Thomas MacEntee recommends adding the word ‘books’ to get some really interesting results and this surprised me as well. There were a number of items here that would be very useful mixed in with the usual ‘make your own’ genealogy books:

Etsy books

From there you can get specific – put in the word Pennsylvania after genealogy books and you’ll get a number of PA related historical books.

Searching just for a place can also bring up some great results, too. For example, a search for Saginaw brings up:

etsy saginaw

MAPS!!!!

Did I mention how much I LOVE maps???

For a measly $8.00 I could get a reproduction of the East Saginaw 1867 map – AMAZING! My husband is not thrilled with this recent discovery and since we share an office and it’s tiny, there’s not much I can do about this at the moment.. Trust me, when I get to have my own office one day, the walls will be filled with framed maps (and MANY book shelves…)!

Until then, I need to restrain myself.

Another neat item on Etsy is the photographs part when you search for genealogy. When you do a general search for genealogy, one of the top categories that comes up is photography. Clicking there is like finding a treasure trove at a garage sale. There’s an amazing amount of photos on there!  Not all are identified and some are incredibly expensive, but it’s still very neat to see what is in this collection.

Etsy photos

Thomas MacEntee also recommends looking by surname. Now when I did this I found nothing for my main surnames (Witherell, Langeneck, Almy). But when I use my paternal grandmother’s maiden name, which is Hummel, LOTS of figurines showed up! That isn’t surprising though and I expected as much for that name. In my quick search, I didn’t find anything genealogically related with the name though. However, it’s free to search so I recommend doing so; you could be pleasantly surprised!

 

Now as far as what this can do for your genealogy research, that will be up to you. It’s fun to look through and if you enjoy items created by your genealogy, this is a great site! The items for sale that could be useful (like the books and maps) tend to be available in libraries or historical societies, but if you like to have these items at home for whatever reason, for example, because you live far away from such places, this could be useful in your research. As I said, I remain skeptical as to how well this site can be used for your genealogy research, but it’s still worth the search. Nothing ventured, nothing gained after all!

 

Have you used Etsy for your research? Share your story!

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2 Comments

  1. About 2 years ago, I searched for by name for my 3rd gr-grandfather and found a photo of him. It’s the only known image of him. Found in a photo album 5 minutes from where he was born. Amazing!

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