Last week my husband and I visited the local flea market. A huge site, it is bustling in the summer and slow in the winter. The weather, a comfortable 65 degrees, made it an ideal day to walk the market.
A few years back we visited the same market. Browsing through a covered stall I found someone's genealogy research that was picked apart. Several items were from the Civil War era and included soldiers' letters. The remainder of the genealogy collection was divided into 6 binders which included cemetery photos from Philadelphia and card stock family group sheets. Although I couldn't purchase the letters (the vendor was selling some of them for $50 a piece!) I manage to purchase the six binders for $20. Later I read the binders and donated them-2 to the Burlington County Community College and four to the Genealogical Society of PA. I can't remember the family names off the top of my head but they were placed in localities where the person had researched family members.
So on this sunny Saturday we returned to look. We hadn't been there in years-probably the day I found those binders- and decided to spend some time walking around. I found a pair of salt shakers for my sister and a Fenway Park postcard for my niece. We went to the last building to browse and was about to leave when I saw a small memorandum book. At first glance I wasn't certain whether or not to pick it up. But the tattered cover compelled me to browse through it. Immediately I recognized the genealogical value of it... a list of names and notations. I asked the woman how much for it. She asked $15 and I countered with $10 which she took. Her comment to me, "It's a fun book to look at. I think you were the only other person besides me who appreciates it."
What an understatement! I took it home and began to read it carefully. It contained a list of men who were hospitalized between February 1918 and June 1918...the tail end of World War 1. I have begun to transcribe it and will keep you up to date with the progress. I spent time this weekend researching the men listed on the first four pages and found some of them. It is written in several hands compelling me to believe that it may be from an army hospital from the West. Several men are listed on the 1920 US Census in Texas and the 1917 Draft.
At my husband's suggestion I will photograph the book so I don't damage it further. It will make it easier to transcribe and to toogle between screens. I don't know yet how I will share the information but plan to contact the larger genealogical societies for suggestions.