A Family History Discovered on eBay

Genealogy information is found in many places, including on eBay. James Boling wrote:

“It all began in April 2014, as I was conducting on-line research into my maternal grandfather’s military service on the Mexican Border (1916). After many swings and misses, lo and behold, I discovered an eBay auction for a number of ‘postcards, Mexican Border, Pancho Villa.’ I immediately went to the listing and discovered four cards showing my grandfather, James ‘Harvey’ Holdeman, both in uniform and in his later career as an oil exploration geologist in Texas.

“Of course, I hit the ‘contact seller’ button, and was soon corresponding with a bookseller near Houston who had an interesting story. Here is what we pieced together:”

Boling’s story may be found in the WorthPoint web site at http://goo.gl/ARf7oj.

My thanks to newsletter reader Nadine Chapman for telling me about this story.


What a wonderful story. I’m sure there are many more out there just waiting to be discovered. Thanks…………..


I have many experiences like this because I list genealogy items on eBay. I often go to Ancestry and let possible relatives know what I have on eBay that may relate to their family. The gratitude of the families way surpasses any profit that may be made. My most important success was a collection of pictures and letters. Someone had put sticky notes on everything identifying the persons involved so their desire was that the collection would live on.
Two sisters expressed interested and decided to take a chance and bid on the collection. It turned out those sticky notes were in the handwriting of the father of the two sisters. The collection was put together by their father. The sisters knew their father had been into genealogy and had no idea how the collection left the family and seemed to be well travelled before it came back to them. To me the joy of getting this collection back into the family of the owner far surpassed any money I made from selling the collection on eBay.


Thanks for sharing this story with us! A genealogist’s dream come true!


I have used ebay searches for years using Surname Genealogy and County genealogy.
I have only received offers for books, cds, maps, no photos or bible.
What are the best words to get better results? Suggestions welcome


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