Tuesday’s Tip: SearchTempest.com

I’ve already discussed a couple of finds I acquired by searching eBay, but there’s another site out there that can offer a treasure trove of family items — Craigslist. This is a site for folks to post items for sale, services offered, etc. It has a notorious reputation for certain of its listings, but that shouldn’t deter you from looking for family heirlooms therein.

Craigslist can be hard to search because it will try to zero in to your locality. You can force it to bring up sites for other locations, but it’s hard to search them all at one time.

Enter SearchTempest.com. This site allows you to search for items on Craigslist and eBay across a wide geographic area.

Click for a larger version

I entered my last name and zip code on the homepage, but set the “within” option to 3500 miles. This brought up search results on Craiglist from a variety of areas. It also gave me a list of localities where items were not found, which could come in handy in certain circumstances. I liked the way the Craigslist results were separated out by locality.

Click for a larger version

I learned about this service at a training session I attended last week by AIIP member Cynthia Hetherington. Genealogy was not the topic of the session, but you never know where sites like this will come in handy in our trade!

Treasure Chest Thursday: Thank You, eBay

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

Earlier this year, I created an alert for my last name on eBay. I get daily updates on new items for sale that are related to the surname Corley. There’s a ton of 80s TV show memorabilia related to Al Corley, who starred on “Dynasty” (relationship unknown as of now).

There also are several authors with the last name Corley. This daily alert has netted me two books written by my kinsman in the past year. Over the summer, I scored another copy of A Genealogy of Corleys, which I gifted to my half-brother. Just a couple of weeks ago, another book by a relative went up for auction. It was a Spanish-language novel edited by my great-uncle Ames Haven Corley for use in the classroom.

I was the only person to bid on the book and therefore won the auction. For less than $5 ($.99 bid + shipping), I now am the proud owner of the 1922 Macmillan Spanish Series edition of Amalia. It’s in great shape. Too bad I can’t read Spanish!

Ames Haven Corley

I don’t know a ton about my great-uncle Ames, but I do know that he taught languages at Williams College (where my father eventually went to school) and at Yale University, for whom this book was printed. As the title page above states, he was an assistant professor at the time this book was published.

It is neat to read the preface, written in 1917 by my great uncle, who signed his name A.H.C.

There are exercises at the back of the book, which were devised by my great-uncle as well.

I highly recommend setting up a similar search on eBay — you never know what it may turn up about your ancestors. After the luck I’ve had so far, I intend to set up more alerts for other surnames in my family tree.