Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Monday, September 17, 2018

#146--Wedding Gift Registry--A Source for Genealogy Information

Those who know me know that I come from a family where not much of sentimental value gets discarded.  Several years ago, I was able to copy my grandmother, Gertrude Richards, wedding registry from December 1902. It was a small book: on one page was the name of the person or people who gave her the present with their addresses and on the other the gift.  What a treasure trove of information.  Who else do you invite to your wedding, but your relatives and close friends? It certainly filled in some holes about where people lived and allowed me to gather more information about them

In many ways it was a family tree and I could see or figure out who was related to whom.  It was easy to pinpoint close family members as their surnames were Richards or Cochrane.  It was also fairly easy to spot those who were related to the Richards, e.g. the Mallorys or the Sterns.  I knew those last names. 

However, there were a number of people who were rather puzzling.  For example, there were a number of Fishers, all of whom lived in Manhattan, New York.  With some digging on Ancestry and Family Search, I discovered that the Fishers were cousins of Gertrude Richards’s father and were also in the shoe business as was Gertrude's father.  

Equally interesting, were the gifts—remember this is a family that passes things down from generation to generation.  They ranged from silver spoons, to vases, to pillows, to handkerchiefs, to bowls.  There were several items that struck me because I think I have them.  One is a bookcase from Gertrude’s Aunt Emily Cochrane.   I think it is in the one my family room, filled with old books.  Another was a black fan.  Now that may seems unusual, but a black fan has been passed down to me from my parents, and I believe it might be the same one. 

I would love to ask my Granny more about her gifts.  Did she use all of them?  Did she have some favorites? What did she give her husband as a gift and what did he give her?


  1. What a treasure...how lucky you are to have it!

  2. Aren't those little thrills of recognition when you realize just what you have so much fun!