Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where Have I Heard About a Flu Epidemic Before?


(from http://tinyurl.com/cd5zqh)

It's amazing to me that it seems that we haven't jumped on the flu outbreak sooner than now. The other day we watched on the news as people were interviewed coming off planes from Mexico to Los Angeles. Hmmm, asking someone if they have the flu or symptoms isn't enough to stop the spread. I'm not a doctor but it seems like this is a disaster waiting to happen.

We can see what happened with the 1918 flu epidemic and take some advice from that. One of the reasons it is believed to have spread is that the soldiers fighting World War I were traveling; they were carriers who then, unknowingly, infected others. It seems to me that since we live in a time where within hours you can hop on a plane and be in a different state or country, this may cause the epidemic to quickly get out of hand. Am I saying we should all stay home? No, but maybe some restrictions might be for the best. Stopping the spread of the disease is better than watching people become infected or die from it.

I am just a genealogist. But I hope that those in charge, public health officials and other medical and government officials, take a look at history for some advice.

For my previous article on the 1918 flu epidemic see, http://philibertfamily.blogspot.com/2008/08/1918-flu-epidemic.html . For maps that show the progression of the flu epidemic then, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/influenza/maps/index.html and a map that shows current cases, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30435064.

Using the Library: The Dewey Decimal System

All libraries, archives, repositories use some sort of classification system to catalog their collections. One way to catalog is to use the Dewey Decimal system. This system was invented by Melvil Dewey in 1876 and has been modified throughout history including the newest revision in 2004. For more information about how this system works, consult Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_Decimal_Classification or the kid's site on Dewey at http://library.thinkquest.org/5002/.

Sometimes it is helpful to wander down a stack of books to see what might be of interest to you. To do this, it is helpful to know what type of books you will find in certain numbered sections. A helpful brochure prepared by the Genealogy and Local History Branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library in Missouri can be found at http://www.mcpl.lib.mo.us/genlh/dewey.pdf. This brochure provides the Dewey numbers for everyone state and selected subjects. If you are working on Missouri ancestors, the 2nd page of the brochure provides the call numbers for each county in Missouri.

Another list from the St. Louis County Public Library at http://www.slcl.org/branches/hq/sc/sc-frqdewey.htm.

A listing of topics and their corresponding Dewey call number Library of Congress Classification can be found at http://www.questionpoint.org/crs/html/help/en/ask/ask_map_lcctoddc.html.

Monday, April 27, 2009

70 Days of Social History Websites

A Pictorial History of Kentucky Coal Mining
http://kycoal.homestead.com/

France in the Age of Les Miserables
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/rschwart/hist255-s01/index.html

Old Magazines
http://www.oldmagazinearticles.com/home.php

Sears Archive
http://www.searsarchives.com/

What 19th Century Kids Read
http://www.merrycoz.org/kids.htm

Picture This” Depression Era
http://www.museumca.org/picturethis/3_5.html

Agriculture and Farm Machinery
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blfarm.htm

Digital Archive of American Architecture
http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/

Car History
http://www.car-history.org/early_car_history

GenDisasters
http://www3.gendisasters.com/



Recipe Curio
http://recipecurio.com/

What did you do in the war Grandma?
http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/WWII_Women/tocCS.html

The Victorian Era Online
http://www.victoriana.com/

How to Make Moonshine
http://chemistry.about.com/b/2005/07/20/how-to-make-moonshine.htm

American Century Project
http://www.doingoralhistory.org/

World War I and II Posters
http://digital.lib.umn.edu/warposters/warpost.html

National Museum of Civil War Medicine
http://www.civilwarmed.org/Index.aspx

America’s Quilting History
http://www.womenfolk.com/historyofquilts/

Working in the Lowell Mills
http://faculty.uml.edu/sgallagher/Mill_girls.htm

Victorian Calling Cards
http://www.averyl.com/attic/calling.htm


Fashion Era
http://www.fashion-era.com/

David Rumsey Map Collection
http://www.davidrumsey.com/

Medieval Technology and American History
http://www.engr.psu.edu/mtah/about.htm

National Museum of Funeral History
http://www.nmfh.org/

Past and Present Railroad Job Descriptions
http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/history/jobs.shtml

Index of UK Portrait and Studio Photographers 1840-1950
http://www.earlyphotographers.org.uk/welcome.html

History of Tinker Toys
http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/tinkertoy.htm

History of Girl Scout Cookies
http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/cookie_history/

History of Furniture
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=12254

Hairstyle History
http://www.pasthairstyles.com/



Utopian Communities
http://www.easternct.edu/depts/amerst/utopia.htm

Menu Collection
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/dgexplore.cfm?topic=all&collection=MissFrankEButtolphAm&col_id=159

Old Catalogs
http://forrestflanderscentral.typepad.com/

Sewer History
http://www.sewerhistory.org/grfx/privbath/outhse1.htm

Brownie Camera History
http://www.brownie-camera.com/

Vintage Stuff
http://theimaginaryworld.com/page4.html

19th Century Sunday School Books
http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/ssb/

19th Century Inventions and Patents of African-Americans
http://www.slpl.lib.mo.us/libsrc/inv19.htm

19th Century Schoolbooks
http://digital.library.pitt.edu/nietz/

18th and 19th Century Nicknames
http://www.cslib.org/nickname.htm



18th Century History
http://www.history1700s.com/index.html

Immigration Map
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/03/10/us/20090310-immigration-explorer.html?hp

How to Build a Log Cabin
http://www.2020site.org/cabin/index.html

History of Mortgages
http://www.thehistoryof.net/history-of-home-mortgages.html

Salem Witch Trails
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/salem.htm

Pets in America
http://www.petsinamerica.org/introduction.htm

History of American Education
http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/www7/

Women’s History Cyber Exhibits
http://www.nwhm.org/exhibits/index.html

Civil War Hospitals
http://www.historynet.com/the-truth-about-civil-war-surgery.htm

The 1950’s
http://www.loti.com/



Tax History Museum
http://www.tax.org/Museum/default.htm

Historic Medical Terms
http://www.antiquusmorbus.com/Index.htm

American Migration Routes
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tqpeiffer/Documents/American%20Migration%20Routes.htm

Victorian Entertainment
http://www.library.uiuc.edu/rbx/exhibitions/Victorian%20Entertainments/home/home.html

Common Place
http://www.common-place.org/

Online Guide to Traditional Games
http://www.tradgames.org.uk/index.html


Reading Old Handwriting
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/palaeography/default.htm

19th Century Love and Marriage
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/love-and-marriage/031001-1000-e.html

Timeline on Garbage
http://www.bfi-salinas.com/kids_trash_timeline-printer.cfm

Social History of Children’s Literature
http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/professional-development/childlit/HistoryofChildLit/index.html



Folk Music
http://www.contemplator.com/folk.html

Pioneer Women
http://www.archive.org/details/pioneerwomenofwe00ellerich

Colonial Firefighting
http://www.firefightercentral.com/history/firefighting_in_colonial_america.htm

Early America
http://www.earlyamerica.com/

Ephemera Society of America
http://www.ephemerasociety.org/

Western New York Railroad Archive
http://wnyrails.org/

Internet Modern History Sourcebook
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook.html

Godey’s Lady’s Book
http://www.iath.virginia.edu/utc/sentimnt/gallgodyf.html

Vintage Ads
http://www.adclassix.com/

Telephone Museum
http://www.telephonymuseum.com/

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Church Record Sunday: MennObits

MennObits, http://www.mcusa-archives.org/MennObits/index.html, is a service of the Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church USA. This site provides obituaries, Amish and Mennonite, from the Herald of Truth (1864-1908), The Gospel Witness (1905-1908), Gospel Herald (1908-1988), as well as a newer publication, The Mennonite (1998-).

Researchers can search using a surname index, a maiden name index or by year and publication. Obituaries are transcribed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Interesting Aspects of the Everyday

We take so much for granted. When I talk to people about writing their life story they usually respond that no one would want to read about their lives. Well, I'm sure our ancestors thought the same thing. We often think that nothing interesting has happened to us, but the everyday is interesting.

There's so much to write about. You can't take for granted that your grandchildren will know about or understand the things that you have seen throughout your life.

Yesterday, my kids and I were watching a TV show from the 1970's. One of the characters went to a pay phone and inserted his dime and made the call. My older son, age 10, asked me "why is he putting money into a phone?" In his lifetime, few payphones exist, everyone has a cell phone. So he has never seen a payphone and we have never used one in the last 10 years.

Think of how the phone has changed over your life. Did you have a party line while you were growing up? Did you know someone who was an operator and operated a switchboard? Think about how different that is for kids now. Maybe even some of you didn't have a phone growing up. Although, that is the ordinary it would be interesting for your descendants-it will give them a 'taste of life' during your era, your lifetime. Sometimes the ordinary and everyday are interesting to those who haven't walked in your shoes-in your time.

When I first got married our landlord recalled when electricity came to town and his grandparents were the first to have their home wired for electricity. They had a porch light that everyone would come over and watch at night.

Times change and that's what makes our lives interesting.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Did your Ancestor Celebrate Earth Day?

Well, I know that Earth Day is a recent celebration and that your ancestor did not celebrate it. But in fact they did conserve the environment. Do you remember hearing the rhyme, use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without? I've heard that attributed to many different pioneers, but the point is the same. We need to recycle and not just bottles and cans but other household items.

Our recent financial problems has forced many of us to do exactly what our pioneer ancestors did. Using what you have and not being wasteful are two principals that we can really use in our materialistic society. And we aren't the only ones who need reminding of this.

Check out this World War II poster that reminds folks of not being wasteful, http://history1900s.about.com/library/photos/blywwiip211.htm.

When writing up your family history-don't forget to write about how grandma or grandpa recycled and reused. Some of my most fondest memories of my maternal grandmother have to do with how she composted-long before it was cool to do so; how she made quilts out of scraps; and how she took slivers of soap and made new bars of soap. Family history narratives are more interesting when you include information about the everyday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Church Record Sunday: The Journal of Presbyterian History

The Journal of Presbyterian History is published by the Presbyterian Historical Society. The Historical Society is a national archive and historical research center located in Pennsylvania. The website sports a section just for family historians, http://www.history.pcusa.org/famhist/, that explains researching ministers and records. They also have interlibrary loan of microfilmed records available.

You can access the Journal in a few ways. One is by ordering it through the Historical Society website at, http://www.history.pcusa.org/pubs/journal/. Additionally, some of the earlier issues are available at Google Books.

For those not familiar with Google Books, it is a place where you can actually look at digitized books. These books run the gamut of classics and children’s literature, as well as various fiction and non-fiction titles. Some of these titles may be completely digitized so that you can read them online while others have only a certain number of digitized pages, based on copyright restrictions. Searching on the word “genealogy” brought up books like The Source, Genealogy Online for Dummies, and the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy, just to name a few. Google Books can be found at http://books.google.com/. Search on the name "Journal of Presbyterian History"

The Journal is useful in many ways to the researcher. There are articles about Presbyterian history and individuals. You can view the Table of Contents for the past 10 years of the Journal from their website at http://www.history.pcusa.org/pubs/journal/toc.html. Recently, I was researching a non-Presbyterian family who was mentioned in a volume of the Journal because they had sold land to a prominent Presbyterian. I would never had found this information without using Google Books and searching on the family's locality.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Autograph Books

Autograph books were kept by Victorians and used to collect signatures and good will tidings. Sometimes these books can be a gold mine with the names of people as well as other identifying elements. These can be found in the private collections of family as well as in a manuscript/special collection of a library, archive or museum.

As I was researching and compiling my presentation for tomorrow on using manuscript collections, I came across this website, http://www.tc.umn.edu/~vanes002/gen/autogrb.html, with a digitized 1888 autograph book.

I love the inscription on page 2 of this little book (excerpted here):

Dear Josephine

Anna Bellmuth is my name Minnesota
is my station Brainerd is my dwelling
place and Heaven is my expectation
And when I am dead and in my
grave and all my bones are rotten
This little book will tell my name
When I am quite forgotten...


What a great piece of yesteryear to have! And what a great piece of family history to have that tells so much more than a few dates and places.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Powder Monkey

Last night at my presentation I touched on orphan records. This got me on the subject of children, young boys, in England, about the late 1700's-early 1800's being press ganged into naval service. They were used as powder monkey's. According to an 1811 Dictionary, a powder monkey is "a boy on board a ship of war, whose business is to fetch powder from the magazine." (found at http://www.fromoldbooks.org/Grose-VulgarTongue/p/powder-monkey.html).

A picture of an American Civil War powder monkey can be found at http://www.old-picture.com/civil-war/Powder-Monkey.htm.

I actually had an ancestor who was kidnapped and forced onto a naval ship for the British Navy. He made his way to America and ran away from there. Because, he had been kidnapped about age 7, he had changed the spelling of his surname because he did not know how to spell it. It was only after meeting some relatives by chance, that he learned how to spell his surname.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Institutional Records

Tonight I will be speaking at the Temecula Valley Genealogy Society, http://www.tvgs.net/. Please join us if you are in town.

For those who can't make it, there is a great chapter in The Source about Business and Institutional Records (pages 99+). If you don't own a copy of The Source, you can read a digital version at Google Books at http://tinyurl.com/d7g4zb.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

60 Days of Social History Links

The following are the 60 links I've posted daily to Twitter as part of my 100 Days of Social History. The idea behind social history is to make you genealogy more interesting by understanding you ancestor in their place in time and what it was like for them in their own era.

I post links daily to Twitter, so feel free to follow me there. I am listed under genaortega.

A Pictorial History of Kentucky Coal Mining
http://kycoal.homestead.com/

France in the Age of Les Miserables
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/rschwart/hist255-s01/index.html

Old Magazines
http://www.oldmagazinearticles.com/home.php

Sears Archive
http://www.searsarchives.com/

What 19th Century Kids Read
http://www.merrycoz.org/kids.htm

Picture This” Depression Era
http://www.museumca.org/picturethis/3_5.html

Agriculture and Farm Machinery
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blfarm.htm

Digital Archive of American Architecture
http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/

Car History
http://www.car-history.org/early_car_history

GenDisasters
http://www3.gendisasters.com/



Recipe Curio
http://recipecurio.com/

What did you do in the war Grandma?
http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/WWII_Women/tocCS.html

The Victorian Era Online
http://www.victoriana.com/

How to Make Moonshine
http://chemistry.about.com/b/2005/07/20/how-to-make-moonshine.htm

American Century Project
http://www.doingoralhistory.org/

World War I and II Posters
http://digital.lib.umn.edu/warposters/warpost.html

National Museum of Civil War Medicine
http://www.civilwarmed.org/Index.aspx

America’s Quilting History
http://www.womenfolk.com/historyofquilts/

Working in the Lowell Mills
http://faculty.uml.edu/sgallagher/Mill_girls.htm

Victorian Calling Cards
http://www.averyl.com/attic/calling.htm


Fashion Era
http://www.fashion-era.com/

David Rumsey Map Collection
http://www.davidrumsey.com/

Medieval Technology and American History
http://www.engr.psu.edu/mtah/about.htm

National Museum of Funeral History
http://www.nmfh.org/

Past and Present Railroad Job Descriptions
http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/history/jobs.shtml

Index of UK Portrait and Studio Photographers 1840-1950
http://www.earlyphotographers.org.uk/welcome.html

History of Tinker Toys
http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/tinkertoy.htm

History of Girl Scout Cookies
http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/cookie_history/

History of Furniture
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=12254

Hairstyle History
http://www.pasthairstyles.com/



Utopian Communities
http://www.easternct.edu/depts/amerst/utopia.htm

Menu Collection
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/dgexplore.cfm?topic=all&collection=MissFrankEButtolphAm&col_id=159

Old Catalogs
http://forrestflanderscentral.typepad.com/

Sewer History
http://www.sewerhistory.org/grfx/privbath/outhse1.htm

Brownie Camera History
http://www.brownie-camera.com/

Vintage Stuff
http://theimaginaryworld.com/page4.html

19th Century Sunday School Books
http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/ssb/

19th Century Inventions and Patents of African-Americans
http://www.slpl.lib.mo.us/libsrc/inv19.htm

19th Century Schoolbooks
http://digital.library.pitt.edu/nietz/

18th and 19th Century Nicknames
http://www.cslib.org/nickname.htm



18th Century History
http://www.history1700s.com/index.html

Immigration Map
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/03/10/us/20090310-immigration-explorer.html?hp

How to Build a Log Cabin
http://www.2020site.org/cabin/index.html

History of Mortgages
http://www.thehistoryof.net/history-of-home-mortgages.html

Salem Witch Trails
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/salem.htm

Pets in America
http://www.petsinamerica.org/introduction.htm

History of American Education
http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/www7/

Women’s History Cyber Exhibits
http://www.nwhm.org/exhibits/index.html

Civil War Hospitals
http://www.historynet.com/the-truth-about-civil-war-surgery.htm

The 1950’s
http://www.loti.com/



Tax History Museum
http://www.tax.org/Museum/default.htm

Historic Medical Terms
http://www.antiquusmorbus.com/Index.htm

American Migration Routes
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tqpeiffer/Documents/American%20Migration%20Routes.htm

Victorian Entertainment
http://www.library.uiuc.edu/rbx/exhibitions/Victorian%20Entertainments/home/home.html

Common Place
http://www.common-place.org/

Online Guide to Traditional Games
http://www.tradgames.org.uk/index.html


Reading Old Handwriting
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/palaeography/default.htm

19th Century Love and Marriage
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/love-and-marriage/031001-1000-e.html

Timeline on Garbage
http://www.bfi-salinas.com/kids_trash_timeline-printer.cfm

Social History of Children’s Literature
http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/professional-development/childlit/HistoryofChildLit/index.html

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Church Record Sunday: Matrimonial Investigation Records

The Matrimonial Investigation Records of the San Gabriel Mission can be found at the Claremont Colleges Digital Library, http://ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/collection.php?alias=mir.

This collection is digitized and you can enlarge pages and manipulate the viewing screen, similar to other pdf document viewers, as well as print pages from your computer. The website states, “these records, predominately from the Mission San Gabriel (other California Missions are also represented), consist of notarized interviews with couples requesting marriage in the Roman Catholic Church during the period 1788-1861.”

Matrimonial Investigations were done to verify that the bride and groom were free to marry, i.e., not currently married, not related, etc…

Happy Easter!


Did your Ancestor Work with Buffalo Bill?


(Image from Wikipedia)

Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show toured the United States and abroad. Many different types of acts toured with him for varying amounts of time, one of the most famous was Annie Oakley.

For those who may have had ancestor who toured with the show, you may be interested in these archives and website that contain pictures, ephemera and manuscripts. While this is a small and not an exhaustive list, it is a starting point to other collections.

Scottish National Buffalo Bill Archive
http://www.tnais.com/bbis/bb.html. This website has information about Buffalo Bill's tours in Scotland. Includes photos and articles.

Buffalo Bill Historical Center Library (includes a western American manuscript collection) http://www.bbhc.org/hmrl/.

Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave
http://www.buffalobill.org/researchers.htm

Friday, April 10, 2009

Genealogy in Reader's Digest

I was reading Reader's Digest at the eye doctor's office today and found an interesting article about genealogy. David Wilson, an African American journalist, started looking into his family tree and decided to meet the "white" version of himself, a man who also was named David Wilson. David Wilson, the journalist decided to check out the similarly named man who was the descendant of the family who had enslaved his ancestors. There's information about the article on the Reader's Digest site at http://tinyurl.com/d5c4bc.

They also have other links having to do with David Wilson's end project-a movie and other family history links.

Palaeography

As those who follow me on Twitter know, I post a website link having to do with social history each day. Today, I thought I would share what I posted on Twitter and expound on it.

As genealogists, it is so important to be able to read handwriting from different eras and by different people. The UK National Archives has a comprehensive tutorial on Palaeography at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/palaeography/default.htm.

What I like about this site is that it doesn't just give you the alphabet and explain the different ways letters are written, though that is important. But it explains some techniques about reading, transcribing, phrases and abbreviations. They provide sample documents, explain the nature of the document, tips for transcribing the document and an interactive tutorial. This way you don't just learn about reading old handwriting but you actually practice it with some guidance.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Foxfire

One of the great resources for better understanding your ancestor's life is the Foxfire series. Foxfire began in 1966 as a high school English project. "A student-produced magazine they chose to create, containing stories and interviews gathered from elders in their rural southern Appalachian community."

The Foxfire books grew out of the articles and stories from the magazine. These books have been a favorite of mine. They are simple interviews asking folks to describe all sorts of activities including quilt making, snake charming and building log cabins. These books can usually be found at used book sales at libraries, yard sales, etc. You can also purchase the 12 volume set through the Foxfire website at http://www.foxfire.org/index.html.

These books and their interviews are a great example of finding out information about activities that perhaps your ancestor partook of but they themselves did not leave anything in writing. I've used the interview about building a log cabin to describe how an ancestor might have put his log cabin together.

You can also try finding the older Foxfire books through online retailers like eBay and Amazon. Most public libraries also have copies of these books also. I really recommend them as a way to add social history to your genealogy.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Mad about Google Street View

The Riverside Press-Enterprise for Sunday, April 5th had an interesting article entitled, English Villagers send Google snapper parking. To read the article and see a picture of the car and camera they use, check out http://tinyurl.com/d54jm2.

The article is about the anger one community, Broughton in southern England, felt about Google taking pictures of their homes for Google's Maps, Street View feature. If you haven't used this part of Google Maps yet, it allows you to enter an address and if Google has taken a picture of that address, you can click on the picture to view that address and surrounding addresses. This map tool also allows you to scroll up, down and get a 360 degree view.

One of the residents quoted in the article says, "I was upstairs when I spotted the camera car driving down the lane...my immediate reaction was anger: How dare anyone take a photograph of my home without my consent?" He then rounded up his neighbors and they blocked the road so that the car could not continue up the street. Their concern was their privacy but also the opportunity for burglars to use the information.

I like the Google Street View feature of Google Maps. I find it useful for lots of different reasons, aside from genealogy. I use it to familiarize myself with an area that I am traveling to. My family used it to check out houses we were going to look at with our real estate agent. I use it to see if my ancestor's homes are still there or if they have been torn down.

That said-could it be dangerous to people? I guess anything can. Do burglars use it to stake out homes? My experience has been that the photo addresses or usually at least 1 to 3 homes off. The pictures are a low quality resolution and the license plates on cars are obscured. If your concerned about the street view, then also realize that satellite photos are easily found online through services like Google Earth that also show your home and your backyard.

By owning and living in a "large, comfortable" home as these people do, you are a target for burglars. Will dishonest people use technology and information for their gain-of course. Is Google Street View an important service? I think so-and I dare say anyone who uses it will find that it provides a service that is convenient and important for many different applications.

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 http://openlibrary.org/b/OL979358M/Mennonite-women-of-Lancaster-County