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Genealogy discovery behind the wallpaper

Here's a brick wall solution that you may not have tried. Tear down your wallpaper and look for genealogical clues. This is what a Lafayette, Indiana resident did recently. But she wasn't hunting for ancestors - she was renovating her dining room. She found a marriage inscription for a possible relative of mine.

After removing the third layer of wallpaper, she uncovered this inscription on the underlying plaster:


H E and D B Goaz
July 1th 1905

My Goaz family (step-children of Asa Clark Brown) lived in Lafayette, and although I have not yet made a connection of H E or D B Goaz to the family, I'm anxious to pursue this.

Although not a genealogist, the resident clearly knew this was an important discovery, and should be preserved before she painted over it. She first looked in the local telephone book, and not finding anyone with the Goaz surname, she did a search online. She located a Surname List page for Tippecanoe County, Indiana where apparently I registered the Goaz surname some time ago.

The wall has now been repainted, but the information has been preserved. Adding a source in Legacy for this will be interesting....

How about you? What unique discoveries have you uncovered?


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Wonderful find! Thanks for sharing this and reminding that clues to who our ancestors were can be found anywhere.

I wonder if the current residents would let me rip the wallpaper out of my great-grandparents' house?

A similar experience happened to me.

My sisters and I were cleaning out my mother's home after she passed away and we knocked one of her pictures off the wall. It basically fell apart and low and behold but behind the calendar-like picture was the original marrige certificate of my great-grandparents who were married in 1898 in Potsdam, New York.

Very cool!

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