As it turns out, it wasn't just bills, there were receipts, bank statements, cancelled checks and check stubs from employers. Since they were sorted by payee and date, it was easy to flip through and pull out ones that were what I'll call milestones:
- The first and last bill/stub at an address or from an employer.
- Checks made out to the City of ______ which is an indication of just when my parents relocated while in the service.
- A check made out to one of my grandfathers. It's the only document I have ever seen with his signature!
- Receipts for dues payed to the "Community Club" in the neighborhood where I grew up. I didn't know there ever was a "Community Club." I wonder what that's about?
- Gas receipts from Union 76. Cost of a gallon of gas in December 1959 was 31 cents.
- My favorite: bills from the Milk Man. See below.
How it has helped.
When putting together a couple of photo books of my parents lives, it helped me to place them in a particular location or job at a certain point in time thereby helping to more closely date some of their photos and provide a more interesting narrative or caption.
Here's a copy of one of the Milk Man bills. Do you remember the Milk Man?
My husband and I both have memories of the Milk Man but very different ones since we grew up in different parts of the country. Husband remembers him coming very early in the morning before daylight so it wasn't so hot. I lived in a much cooler part of the country and remember sitting in the living room window and watching him drive up and make his delivery.
Of course, Teenager couldn't understand why we didn't just go to the store and get our milk and dairy products.....
I hope this give you some ideas of possible uses for old family records that you might run across.
© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum