Using Amazon for Genealogy

Amazon is the most popular e-commerce website in the United States; did you know that Amazon can also be used to assist in your genealogy research?

I use Amazon almost every day it seems; my house and business just can’t run without it! I’ve been a loyal Amazon users since the first started, and I also have an Amazon Prime membership which offers benefits such as free 2-day shipping, streaming music and video and more.

The typical genealogist uses Amazon as a source for purchasing genealogy books, software and even gift items. But have you tried using Amazon to search for other items related to actual genealogical research?

Genealogy Research Items on Amazon

I stumbled upon several items relevant to genealogical research by accident. Usually, when I enter the word “genealogy” the first items to appear are books. Amazon ranks search results based on the most relevant items, and those items appear first.

To look at some of the more “uncommon” or lower ranking items, in the left sidebar, click “See all _____ departments.” Then select departments that might have items related to genealogy. One of the best is Collectibles & Fine Art. Why? This is where vendors sell old family photos – some identified and some unidentified. You may find photos of your ancestors or from the same town as your ancestors.

amazon for genealogy

The Product Description is FILLED with valuable information: “1870’s Bertha Twiss Family CDV Photo, Manchester, Iowa, Delaware County, Vintage Victorian #150: On front: Bertha Twiss is clearly handwritten in period ink. Photo type: CDV Carte de visite Photo. Photographer: Walter’s Photographic Studio, Manchester, Iowa, Delaware County. Note: very ornate and fancy backmark. (This is known to be photographer Harry L. Walters or Walter) We found in public records: 1880 US Census about Bertha Belle Twiss Age: 7, Birth Year: abt 1879, Birthplace: Iowa, Home in 1880: Delhi, Delaware, Iowa. Father’s Name: Thomas A. Twiss, Father’s Birthplace: England, Mother’s name: Amelia Twiss, Mother’s Birthplace: Iowa, Household Members: Name Age: Thomas A. Twiss 40, Amelia Twiss 24, Bertha Belle Twiss 7, John Poor 68, Mary Poor 69. NOTE: Bertha Twiss Married Arthur Howell Denmark. Father: Thomas A Twiss born 1838. Mother: Amelia Permella Poor 1854-1922 .Sibling: Walter J Twiss born 1883. Unknown family member: Marbelle Twiss born 1907. Possible daughter: Bertha Belle Denmark who married Henry Grady Rushing in 1897. 1920 US Census Bertha Denmark [Bertha Luke] Age: 42 Birth Year: abt 1878 Birthplace: Iowa Home in 1920: Fitzgerald Ward 4, Ben Hill, Georgia. Spouse: Arthur H Denmark. Mother’s name: Amelia Luke. Household Members: Arthur H Denmark 47, Bertha Denmark 42, Marjorie Denmark 12. Frances Denmark 11, Alice Denmark 7, Amelia Luke 62, Clifford L Sanders 38, Minnie Sanders 33. A stunning image of an impish little girl with a beautiful and ornate photographer’s advertising backmark, artist palette, camera. One of our favorites! Do you know this Iowa and Georgia Twiss family? Size 2.5 x 4 inches”

Also, make sure you click on the Seller’s business name since it is likely they have photos and related items from the same location.

Don’t Forget Surname and Place Names!

In addition to using the terms “genealogy” and “family history,” I spent quite a while browsing items related to specific surnames and place names that I research.

When it comes down to it, any site that has a search engine has the potential to offer clues about your genealogy research. The best way to find out: enter one or more of your unusual surnames or place names and look at the search results.

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Check out Amazon today and see if it can’t help with some of your research!

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Bargains for Tuesday 4 August 2015

Enter the Win a Copy of The Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org Contest this week and you could win a FREE copy of this amazing book.

UPDATED GENEALOGY BARGAINS for Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Genealogy Deals

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“For years Ron Arons researched the life of his great-grandfather, who served time in Sing Sing Prison and who committed other crimes. Through the years, Ron came across records for other people with the same first and last names, born in the same timeframe, who lived in the same places as his relative, and who, by some stroke of luck, also found trouble, either in business or with women. With such an uncommon name as Isaac Spier, this is rather remarkable. In this talk you will see how the Genealogical Proof Standard was used to merge and separate many identities to determine exactly how many distinct individuals these documents represented. (The answer is truly remarkable!) You will also learn about names, name changes, and the reasons behind those changes. You will also learn about mind maps, a powerful technology and methodology for clearer thinking, data logging, and, most importantly, efficient and extraordinary data correlation. Specifically, many examples of mind maps created with FreeMind will be presented. This entertaining excursion into the world of trouble makers offers methodologies for truly advanced research for very challenging problems.”

Expiring TODAY

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Ongoing Genealogy Deals

Cite Your Sources Sale at Amazon! Save on several books and quick reference guides by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Your Stripped Bare Guide to Citing Sources - "the bare-naked essentials of citing sources for everything from books and articles to manuscripts and websites" - only $7.95 via Amazon

Quicksheet Citing Online Historical Resources - save 10% - normally $9.95, now only $8.96 - via Amazon

10% Off Photo and Slide Scanning – use promo code Thomas2015 and save – via Larsen Digital

  • 15¢ Photo Scanning to Digital Format – Exclusive Offer for Fans and Friends of GeneaBloggers: Converting photos to digital has never been easier! Just send in your loose photos to Larsen Digital and they will put them on a disc for just 15¢ per photo! Now is the time to stop procrastinating and pull out your boxes of photos and finally get them all converted to digital. All you need to do is get them to Larsen Digital and they will take care of the rest- creating high quality digital images from all your photos. Click here for the PDF form with instructions on how to take advantage of this great offer! EXTENDED THROUGH AUGUST 15th!

The latest bargains and freebies related to genealogy and family history from MyHeritage, Family Tree Magazine and more - new listings for Thurs 12 March 2015!

  • SPECIAL DISCOUNT on Evidentia Software – for fans and followers of Genealogy Bargains – use promo code HIDEFGEN at checkout and get 15% off the list price – you pay $25.49 instead of $29.99 – via Evidentia

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©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Blogging Beat – Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Aug 4, 1964. After disappearing on June 21, three civil rights workers were found murdered and buried in an earthen dam outside Philadelphia, MS. The three young men were workers on the Mississippi Summer Project organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to increase black voter registration. Prior to their disappearance, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were detained by Neshoba County police on charges of speeding. When their car was found, burned, on June 23, President Lyndon Johnson ordered an FBI search for the men.

Aug 4, 1964. After disappearing on June 21, three civil rights workers were found murdered and buried in an earthen dam outside Philadelphia, MS. The three young men were workers on the Mississippi Summer Project organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to increase black voter registration. Prior to their disappearance, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were detained by Neshoba County police on charges of speeding. When their car was found, burned, on June 23, President Lyndon Johnson ordered an FBI search for the men.


Today is Tuesday, 4 August 2015, and here is what’s available in terms of Daily Blogging Prompts and other related events in the genealogy blogosphere:

Genealogy Items of Note

  • Today: Louis Armstrong’s Birthday – Anniversary, Borden Ax Murders – Anniversary, Civil Rights Workers Found Slain – Anniversary, and Coast Guard Day.

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