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More Family Treasures In The Attic

Digging through boxes that haven't been opened in years can lead to some real genealogy treasures. If your ancestors were pack rats like mine were you can find letters, deeds, baptism certificates, post cards and pictures that will tell you so much about your family.

1927 envelope

My greatest treasure found so far in this new year is a letter from my great grandmother to my grand uncle Eddie written in 1927. She has written to him from her new apartment in Buffalo and is inviting him to come visit since his latest show on Broadway has closed. She had been living with her two daughters and the oldest daughter's husband in a rooming house they ran. When you read how excited she was to have her own kitchen with a gas range where she could "roast or bake anything she wanted" it illustrates how different times are now! If you click on the images here, they SHOULD expand.

mother to son letter 1927

Maybe I am too much of a family history nerd, but this find really excited me and touched my heart. Sadly, Anna passed away a month later on May 6, probably without ever seeing him.

I was excited to see that she mentioned him getting "on with Seigfield (sic) after a while." We had heard Uncle Eddie was in show business and had worked for MGM, and we had seen travel papers he used as a front man for Barnum and Bailey Circus. His WWII registration card listed his employer as "Guthrie McClintick" and I knew he was a Broadway producer from my past research.

Digging further into the treasure chest, I found a letter from a Hollywood producer asking him to come shoot a film with him in Hawaii and Tahiti in 1968. Stapled to that letter was his resume! According to this, he began working on Broadway in 1918 as an Electrician and Sound Technician. I found a great database that is being built called "Search for Broadway Shows" or IBDB. I will put the link to that at the bottom of this post for your later rabbit-holing pleasure.


He then continued to work for the touring shows traveling across the country with the likes of Mary Martin in "Peter Pan" and then worked on the TV production of same in New York in 1960! I remember watching that, with no idea someone in my family was involved! I am attaching page 2 of his resume showing his extensive touring.

Uncle Eddie was an interesting character who enjoyed getting a LuAnn Platter from Luby's (fried chicken) delivered to his hotel room once a week in the late 60's and early 70's. For braving the darkness of his room at the Plaza Hotel in El Paso my brother and I would receive a shiny quarter while our mother waited in the car.

He spent most of his adult life in hotels with that travelling man lifestyle, and never married. He maintained a home base in Buffalo, with his sisters, until they passed away and he moved to El Paso circa 1968. Thanks to my grandmother, the packrat, we have several letters from him to his brother, Martin, my grandfather and this cool undated picture of him captioned on the back as "Barnum & Bailey, Boston Mass." His initials identify him.

Barnum and Bailey front men

Are there treasures like this waiting for you? Check those boxes that you have been moving from side to side in the garage or in the attic without ever checking the contents! Check with your parents or siblings too. It is so rewarding to touch something from a life so far back in the past! Oh, and if you know who is in the pictures, put their names on the back! You'll thank me someday.

Have you gotten your new DNA test results back yet? Looking for the next step? Start building your family tree! Here's a link to an earlier blog post to help you get started:

I hope you are finding success with your researching. If you would like a little help, you can always send me an email and I'll be glad to review your info at no charge to see if I can help. Onward through the dust!


Leslie Ryan

No compensation received for any links or references. No copyright infringement is intended.


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