Ancestorville is a genealogy website with hundreds of lost family photos, antique paper, and identified genealogy antiques for sale. I'm the "mayor" of Ancestorville, as I currently keep thousands of old ancestors in line and in place, with another 10,000 old dead folks in my collection ready to be categorized and re-introduced to the world. Ancestorville is a town where families meet again. Our facebook page has over 65,000 members and is a very active little facebook town, hope you join us!
I am a full time antique dealer, and have traveled thousands of miles across America in search of these lost antique photos, paper and ephemera to list here. The building of this site has been years in the making. One might say I was the mayor, but there are some pretty high powered old 19th c. political folks that live here; like Lucius Boltwood, MA Governor William Claflin, British Quaker and statesman John Bright. I'll happily defer to them, and just enjoy my position as the town historian, mayor and Ancestorville archivist / librarian. I'm honored and excited this site has launched, finally coming to fruition. It has been many years, and many walking and driving miles in the making.
I was born and raised in the small Erie Canal Upstate NY town of Fairport, near Rochester, New York in Monroe County. My parents loved antiques and collectibles. As kids, my father, (John Patrick Clifford II), dragged me, my mother, and brother (John Patrick Clifford III) to every flea market from New York State to Virginia, in search of parts for his beautiful 1914 brass radiator Model T Ford. It was a Hershey National AACA Prize winner and we were very proud of his meticulous restoration from top to bottom. We'd stop in farmer fields with one lone junk car, and my brother and I would climb all over it with him. He was an early auto archeologist and it rubbed off.
In turn, my mother, (Ruth Mary Adams White Clifford), bought Victorian linens and glassware, and was antique obsessed. No yard sale, flea market or estate sale went unnoticed in Upstate NY without "Ruthy" scrambling to be the first one in line. History and old stuff was just daily life and conversation at my dinner table.
My own earliest collecting interests were always the history of photography, the 19th c., Civil War, Abraham Lincoln and his assassination, genealogy, Victorian ephemera, and the 1800's in general...and they still are. As a kid I collected old letters, newspapers, photographs, books, paper, household items, "the handwritten word", folk art, Americana, old painted furniture and just about anything I could touch from that time period. I read every biography I could get my hands on related to the 19th century, and often by candlelight in my teens, because, well,...it just seemed better that way. I have always been a student of the past, and always insterested in touching old objectsand getting 19th c. vibes off them.
My kind and loving parents drove me to every historical marker I could cook up, and at age 12, believe me, I cooked up a lot! We visited battlefields, graveyards, buildings, forts, villages, old barns, Amish farmlands, buildings, museums, recreated villages and many more landmarks that I just had to see. Lucky for me, my parents happily obliged. Sadly, they are no longer with us, and I dedicate this site in their honor.
I always felt spirits and old 19th c. folks were somehow with me as loving friends, since the day I was born. Is it a past life thing, reincarnation? Maybe so! At age 15, my Aunt, (Ethel Adams McMahon), found a wonderful Syracuse area Civil War era diary of 22 year old Caroline Gardner Pierson 1842-1903, nee Carrie Gardner. She gave it to me as a loving gift. Carrie, an eloquent writer, was from the beautiful little historical Erie Canal town of Fayetteville NY, in Onondaga County. Although not directly related to me, she has been on my life journey ever since, and I consider her somehow a close ally here in the building of this genealogy site. Carrie is the matriarch of Ancestorville.
My next project is a website in her honor. It will have her Civil War era diary transcribed, and the story of her life told as best as she and I can tell it. Some of my primary genealogy family surnames are the New England Pilgrim White family (GGGrandad Noah Webster White, author of of a Revolutionary War era doomsayer book called "Visionary thoughts, or, Modern Prophecy" published by John Howe in Greenwich in 1806. (am seriously looking for an original of this book, have it?)
My GGrandad Lauriston White of Hardwick, Barre Massachusetts) & his wife Ida Zulaica Wilsey White of Syracuse NY to Texas, and David Adams of England to USA. The Clifford side was in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and I have yet to research them.
I have an antique vintage poster business called Vintage Poster Works. I'm also a musician and play clawhammer banjo, guitar, mandolin and sing in the Lonesome Sisters and in The Farwells, a new traditional duo. My love is old time American Appalachian mountain music.
Ancestorville is a labor of love. A culmination of years of collecting, and getting really great vibes off of old objects. I am humbled to have found and handled each family photo and item you see for sale on the site, with many more to come. They all speak to me in wonderful and special ways, and I honor each one of them every time I touch them. There are so many more lost family photos and items in line to be put up here at Ancestorville. I hope you'll bookmark our little old town and stop back for a visit.
When you email us you connect directly with me. I would be happy to come speak to your genealogy group on collecting, vintage photographs, antique ephemera and the finding of lost family articles. I live in the northeast, but will travel. Keep checking back. Let's find your family together!..and thank you!
Debra Clifford, Ms.Ed
Mayor of Ancestorville
Ancestorville is lovingly dedicated to Mr. Mark Twain, The PP's, Caroline "Carrie" Gardner Pierson 1842-1903, Mercy A. Clark & James C. Standish, and my parents, John & Ruth Clifford. Till we meet here again, or above. Supreme thanks to the late Marge Hopkins, my teacher extraordinaire.
Come join us at Ancestorville Genealogy on facebook on the topic of lost family antique items, early photographs, genealogy surnames and family history topics.
Search our site for your lost family antique material by family surname,county, town, city and state.