The Genealogist Can Draw a Picture of Family Art Talent

When the genealogist begins to work, the sketch of the family is usually done with dates, names, places. As the picture begins to become more vivid,
subtle things such as artistic talent may appear. How that is passed down may be through inherited items, crafts and stories.

Finding displays of family artistry can be the handiwork of a talented genealogist!

Take note, genealogy researchers! Sometimes hidden in the Census document finds of a genealogist are job entries like “sign painter”. Why is this special? Because, at the turn of the last century–from the 1800s going into the early 1900s—this was a job that many a talented artist in the family tree took to feed the family. You may uncover information such as this in Census records–or in personal family letters and stories.

How does the genealogist track generational artistic talent?

Indications that your ancestor in a search was artistic may come in subtle ways. It may be listed as we noted in the traditional records such as the Census job column as a sign painter job or even as a seamstress position.

Yet, it also may be in the talent shown in the homemaker’s daily crafts which have been knitted, sewed, crocheted or quilted. Has the genealogy researcher found doilies hand made of lace that are passed down from generation to generation? Is there a sampler sewn of the family tree? It may be in these tender crafts that details sought by the genealogy researcher emerge. As for the genealogist,  whose own artist’s eye doesn’t miss a thing, have there been any doodles on the margins of letters, family documents or old papers?

These are some genealogical resources that may help uncover artistic talent in the family tree:

  • Family Heirlooms
  • Handcrafts such as samplers, lacework
  • Letters
  • School records.
  • Interviews with living relatives to uncover the family stories
  • Local newspaper reports on poster and other art contests
  • Hand drawn cards
  • Sketchbooks
  • Furniture or built items

Our Aunt Hilda was an artistic genius. She never had a gallery show. She never got paid. But she definitely had our family’s artistic gene which is displayed all over the family tree with a painter, a decorator, a cake artist, a jewelry designer, a dressmaker, and most likely a famous graphic artist. Aunt Hilda’s expression of this gene was through her knitting and crocheting. She crocheted a full size America Flag. And I recently inherited from her an original designer cape, knitted of the finest bright red wool. There is most certainly no other one like it!

A family heirloom such as a quilt may uncover genealogy details as well as ancestry information

A family heirloom such as a quilt may uncover genealogy details as well as ancestry information. CREDIT: Lynette Anderson

Samplers of cross stitch from the 1700s show the dexterity of girls as well as their talents. Colonial quilts display the creativity and craft of homemakers whose talents could only peek out from under such blankets.

Is there creativity in your family? Let the professional genealogists from RecordClick trace it, document the relatives and design your family tree for you.