eBay and Genealogy???

eBay has been around quite a while now, but most people don’t associate it with family history research. I check there, but not as often as I should and I’m so excited about a listing I found today that I can hardly contain myself long enough to write this post!

First, I tried searching for several location items.

1. Passaic, NJ, my birthplace – Nothing interesting popped up today, but in past searches, I purchased three local phone directories from the 1950’s, which is when I was growing up there:

I don’t remember exactly what I paid for them, but I think it was in the $10-15 range.

2. Meddybemps, Maine – near Calais and the town where my 2x great grandparents were early settlers:

Early Meddybemps, Maine

Charles and Elida Stuart lived there from the Civil War era until Charles died in 1894. Elida continued to live there; she died in 1914. This certainly looks to be from the late 1880’s to early 1900’s era and is listed for $6.49.

3. Calais, Maine – another favorite place of mine because of the family history. This man isn’t related to me, but there are two documents from 1863 listed – his original Civil War medical discharge and travel papers from New Orleans to Calais. I would be over the moon if William Powers was related

They are listed for $3.14 and $5.50. The prices on these may go up because of interest from Civil War collectors.

Next, I tried several less common surnames.

4. Wooldredge – Up came a listing for a John Woodredge of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, 1908. Again, not my husband’s family line, but I wish it was:

John Wooldredge Homestead

This is described as an unusual informational postcard, listed for $11.99. A bargain if this was my family.

5. Tarbox – A sampler kit came up for a reproduction of an 1833 sampler done by Ann A. Tarbox, who was the daughter of Hiram and Eunice Tarbox of Rhode Island. She married Richard Spencer.

If stitching was a hobby of mine, I would be doubly thrilled to find this. If it was an interest, I would still be excited to see a picture of the work my ancestress had done in 1833 at the age of ten. She was an accomplished stitcher even at that age. The kit is listed for $59.95.

6. Sturgell – My mother-in-law’s maiden name and there are LOTS of them out there, whether spelled this way or as “Sturgill.” There is a listing for a photo of Opal Sturgell, 19 years old, who was ambushed, shot and killed at Berea College in Kentucky in 1937 by George Wells while she was walking outside with another young man.

This young lady would be a distant cousin to my mother-in-law. The photo is listed for $20.00. There is also one of the alleged killer, George Wells, listed for $17.99.

Okay, I’ve done my work so here is my reward. I had to try “Stufflebean” and look what came up:

7. Stufflebean – I found four coin silver teaspoons from 1865.

Four coin silver teaspoons from about 1865

Why would I be so excited about four 6″ teaspoons, even if they are from the 1860’s? Look at the monogram:


The listing gives a silversmith from St. Albans, Vermont. A quick census check shows Jacob H. Stufflebean and family living in Sheldon, Vermont in 1870, only about twenty miles away. He was born in New York and is undoubtedly a cousin to my husband’s Stufflebeans, as they all are descended from the Stoppelbeins who settled in upstate New York in the early to mid 1700’s.

The four spoons are listed for $135.00. Not cheap, but I am very tempted!

If you haven’t ever checked out eBay for genealogy-related items, you might be missing out on some terrific finds.

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