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A Genealogist In The Archives: Trains, Planes and Automobiles: Researching Our Ancestor's Transportation

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Trains, Planes and Automobiles: Researching Our Ancestor's Transportation

As genealogists, we should be documenting every aspect of our ancestor's lives. It's just not enough to only document their birth, marriage and death. Researching and documenting the events and aspects of our ancestors lives that come between those vital events is what tells our ancestor's life story.

Have you ever thought about documenting your ancestor's transportation? From the horse driven buckboard to the family station wagon, from the train to the airplane, our ancestors had many avenues of transportation and documenting this part of their lives can add to their life story.

Wilson Averitt and Pearl Adams, ca. 1900, Houston County, TN. Archives


My Grandfather, Cody Lee LeMaster (1909-1972) never learned to drive. He always made sure the family lived near a bus station, bus stop, near a street car or lived close enough to everything so he could just walk. His philosophy when it came to family members wanting him to visit was "If they want me to visit them, they can come get me and bring me back home". He worked each and every day to provide for his family. He walked to work at Hamlin Metal Products, Corp. in Akron, Ohio until his death on November 18, 1972. He was holding the door open for a female worker and died of a heart attack on the spot. Knowing my Grandfather's thoughts and actions when it came to transportation has helped me understand why they lived where they lived.

Cody Lee LeMaster and Agnes Marie (Curtis) LeMaster, My Grandparents


Researching all the different types of transportation for my ancestors has been fun. I am fortunate in that I have photographs dating back to the 1940's of my family members with their vehicles. Talking to family members about the different kinds and makes of those automobiles, especially those that belonged to the person I am talking to has been interesting.

L-R Lanny Barker, Ruth Athalene (Burcham) Barker, Unknown, ca. 1940's


If you are not already researching your ancestor's transportation, consider adding it to the genealogy research to-do list. You just might be surprised by what you find!


REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!


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5 comments:

  1. Melissa, there's a family story about transportation to my maternal grandparents' 1911 wedding: My grandpa, the groom, was late because the horse ran away and he had to find a different carriage! No photos, needless to say, but a memorable story. Thanks for this interesting post.

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    1. Marian, I love that story! I hope you have written it up for your genealogy records. Thank You for reading my blog!

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  2. Fun post! I blogged about something similar last year and your post reminds me to start looking through boxes again. http://who-knew-it.blogspot.com/2017/08/machines-and-roadsters-and-carsoh-my.html

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    1. Great blog post! I am glad my post has inspired you! Thank You for reading my blog!

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