Sunday, April 05, 2009

Church Record Sunday: History Books

While I want to address the book Mennonite Women of Lancaster County by Joanne Hess Siegrist in this posting, this information will be of use to any family historian.

One missed resource for genealogists is history, social history, and photographic history books that detail a place, a school, a church/religion or occupation. One good example is the book, Mennonite Women of Lancaster County: A Story in Photographs from 1855-1935. This is a great book that depicts the everyday life of Mennonite women.

While this books serves as a photographic history of Mennonite women, it is also a great genealogical treasure. Pictures featured in the book include the names, and in some cases, the birth and death dates for the women pictured. For those with Mennonite family, this might be a great resource to find a previously unknown picture while also gaining a better understanding of their life and times.

One nice feature of this book, is at the end, the author provides a listing of the names of women featured in group photos depicted in the book. She also provides a picture pedigree showing her great-great-great grandmother down the generations to her.

Now, one of the most important things this book lacks is an index. That can make research a little more difficult. One way to find an "index" when no index exists is to look the book up in Google Books. When Google digitizes books, you are able to use the Google search engine to look for a word or term within the book, whether the book has an index or not. Unfortunately, this book does not contain a preview on Google Books. So you need to do it the old fashioned way and look at the pages one by one.

To learn more about this book, check out the description at

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