17 November 2012

Mailbox Goodness and How to Save a Search on Ebay

We did not check the mail yesterday. Today we had a large bundle, which included two goodies.

The first was the Full Civil War Pension File for my great, great, great grandfather, Charles Everett Burr:

2012-11-17 10.18.44

The second was a recent ebay purchase, the Stonington CT High School yearbook for the class of 1927. Inside? My grandfather, Stanley Lamb Brainard.

2012-11-17 10.17.582012-11-17 10.17.36
How much would you pay for your grandfather’s high school yearbook? I paid $9.99 plus shipping. More than worth it for a family heirloom, don’t you think?

How to Save a Search on Ebay

Have you set up searches on ebay for your family artifacts? It’s super easy. Just go to ebay and enter a search for either an ancestral surname (if unusual) or an ancestral location.


I found this yearbook in the search results for Stonington CT. You will get more results if you search for items originating in your ancestors’ towns, instead of searching for specific surnames with towns. On your results page, look for the Save Search bookmark. image

The Save Search dialogue box will open and you will have the opportunity to rename your search and choose whether or not you would like to be emailed daily when new items are listed.

After you have discovered how easy it is to set up searches on ebay, try alterations on your subject. You might try Stonington alone, although you will get more results from the same named towns in Illinois and Maine. You can try Stonington Conn or Stonington Connecticut. Another possibility would be a street name with town as in Stonington Main Street.

Now it’s your turn. Received any mailbox goodness lately? Have you had success with saved searches on ebay? Tell us about it in the comments below. Every family historian should be taking advantage of this method of finding lost family heirlooms.

Happy Hunting!

Scrappy Gen

Let’s Remember!

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  1. Oh, Jen! I had a day like this not too long ago; I also got a Civil War file and a package from a Library.

    Thank you SO much for the details on how to save a search in Ebay! I used to use it all the time (back in the 'day') when I had more expendable income, but avoided it for that very reason. My gosh, it never occurred to me that I might find something from my family history. This is an awesome tip!!

    1. How nice Laura. I know you understand my excitement!

      Ebay can be a bit addictive and I must say I have had to resist quite a few purchases, but it can also be incredibly valuable. Like today. :)

      Thank you for commenting and also for your very kind tweet on my behalf!


    2. You explain it so clearly. Search on Ebay for the location, and then save the search and be notified every day. Ebay searches were never quite clear to me before, but now I get it! Fortunately, the towns for my ancestors are still small towns, and this method is MUCH better than using their surname.

      My latest Mailbox Goodness was getting a copy of the actual pay Voucher for my Patriot, through the new order-online option from the National Archives. It only took 2 weeks (and some money), and here it came! For my DAR application, needless to say. No traveling necessary!

      Thanks for this post!

    3. Too funny Mariann. I am writing a post about the online DAR ordering system. The last time I ordered it was mail order only. The other night I downloaded three applications, one of which was filed by my great great grandmother! Who knew!

      Mailbox Goodness is great whether in the physical box outside, or in the computer box! Nice you got the pay voucher. Glad my post made saving Ebay searches easier for you.

      Thanks for stopping by Mariann!



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