The Unwound Third > Jam Session

Researching A "Lost" Family


I discovered the belongings of a family in the closet of a furnished apartment I rented 10 years ago. The last surviving member died in 1989. I decided to research the family and start a blog sharing what I've discovered.
The most interesting items are those of a Missionary aunt who was in China from 1911 to 1940. Her collection includes over 100 one-of-a-kind photos from her years there as well as Chinese coinage, clothing, tapestries, ornaments, etc etc.
Along the way I discovered the family lived across the road from my great-Great grandfather.
The scope of the blog is from the early 1800s to the 1980s.

Thanks for sharing, I love projects like this and am reading now. I once found a box of a woman's books in a free newspaper box (of all places) including her yearbooks from high school and college and then another yearbook from the same high school when she returned as a teacher there. I thought about doing something similar in tracking down her story and trying to suss out how her books ended up in a free newspaper box on the corner but never got that far though I still have the yearbooks...

CF, that's a very interesting project, and I've enjoyed looking over some of the materials you've posted. Thanks for sharing the link here.

Todd Brown

That's interesting to have the teacher represented as a student and then instructor in the yearbooks, Tenbrook. I've had luck locating family members from simple Facebook and Google searches, perhaps you could find surviving family who would want the books. I had planned on returning the six suitcases, books and various other items to the Stewart family I'm researching but they appear to have died out. This particular branch, anyway. Possible relatives in Colorado would likely have no memory or know who these Canadian relatives were.

Thank you for the comments at the blog, Todd. I appreciate the identification of the praying hands ornament.

I learned a lot about research and method from my love as a Blues and folk music fan. I've had the pleasure of interviewing many of the Elders of the community the family settled in in the late 1800s. I've had access to unpublished family memoirs and histories. Some of the info I've gathered was remembered by the children of deceased parents who themselves remembered stories from their parents and grandparents. I've been able to grab a few anecdotes that would soon be lost to time. I researched fairly obsessively from 2016-2019 and I've discovered much more about the family. I'm possibly working towards a book but we'll see. As much as I've posted and published at the blog there is much more to write about and share so I should be at it for many years to come.


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