Etsy and Ebay for Genealogy


I’ve written about Etsy and Ebay for Genealogy before, but I don’t think I’ve told you a couple of stories about what these sites have done for my genealogy.

If you haven’t thought about looking on these sites for things from your family, then think again. A few years ago if someone had told me that I should look there I would have said; “that happens to other people, not to me.” But now I’ve used it in a couple of different ways.


On Ebay; I have several alerts set up so that everyday Ebay searches the site and sends me a list that pertains to my search criteria. For my interests, I have ones set up for my family names, locations, etc.  To set one up all you have to do is create a  search, but be sure to include as much information as possible. Including things, that you want taken away from your search. So for instance; one of my family names is Beaton, so as you can imagine if I were to search for just that name then I will get all the Cecil Beaton portraits as well as a couple of authors.

So what you have to do it go to the advanced search. Then keep refining your search until you come up with something that gives you the type of results you want without making it so restrictive that you won’t get anything. Then just below the search window and just above the results you will see a green + follow this search. I have mine set up so it sends me a daily email. You can review your searches under your “My Ebay.” Then if you decide you no longer want it or need to refine it more you can do that.

You can get some amazing things; below is an example of a photo I purchased who is an ancestor of my husband’s family.  I purchased it last year and as I recall it was under $20.00


(Gordon Knowles)


Another place I found treasures was Etsy. To the best of my knowledge, you can’t save a search the same way you can on Ebay. So you’ll have to remind yourself to go there from time to time and hope you haven’t missed out on something special.  It doesn’t always have to be that photo of an ancestor.

I love maps and below is an example of a map I found on Etsy. It cost me a little bit more that the photo of Gordon Knowles. This was from an atlas that I’d looked at in the genealogy library, but the book was quite old and no longer available.. and if it did come on the market it would have cost quite a bit I’m sure. But the person I purchased it from had taken it apart; I don’t know whether it had been in bad shape and they were salvaging what they could or if they just thought they could make more money if they pieced it out. No matter I was happy when I found the original map of Kingston, from the Illustrated Historical Atlas of Frontenac County dated 1878. On the map, my (adopted) 2x great-grandfather; William Beaton has two family plots that are shown on the map.  I purchased it and then had it mounted and framed, and it is now on the ancestor wall.



These are just a few examples of what I’ve found at the “not so typical” genealogy site.






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