Books

Book Review: Finding Your Irish Ancestors in New York City

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Finding Your Irish Ancestors in New York City
By Joseph Buggy
Genealogical Publishing Co. 2014. 165 pages.

This manual describes the resources available to the researcher looking for Irish ancestors in the five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island. The time period is from the beginning of the 1800s to the early 1900s.

First chapters describe the history of, and contents of, the collections of city records, censuses, vital records, and what the author calls “underutilized records”:

  • Almshouse records: New York City provided assistance to the destitute and homeless at various almshouses located throughout the city; the Almshouse Collection begins with records in 1758.
  • Potter’s Field burials: also known as City Cemetery; records since 1869.
  • Public sector employment records: records of public sector employees, many of them Irish as a result of Tammany Society politics, from 1883 to 1968.
  • List of newspapers published for Irish Americans and Catholics in the 1800s.

Book Review: Wood – A Family of Kent

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Wood
A Family of Kent
by Charles Wood.
Ian Hodgkins & Co Ltd., United Kingdom. 2015. 172 pages.

In his introduction, Mr. Wood acknowledges the fragility of his evidence before the eighteenth century.

I admire a genealogist who uses the words “probably,” and “likely,” acknowledging what we all know but might refuse to admit: ersatz family history lurks around every repository corner. Mr. Wood discusses not only what he found, but what he couldn’t find, and the implications of both to his family history.

I especially like his phrasing “…with reasonable confidence [emphasis mine] Richard Wood (1655-1704/5) can be identified as a direct ancestor of a family group of Minster and Milton.” This is a researcher you can trust.

“The People Who Made Me,” an Illustrated Children’s Book with a Genealogy Connection

Click on the above image to view a larger version

It may be a children’s book but The People Who Made Me also is a genealogy book. It tells a young child about “the people who made me,” focusing on the child’s ancestry. It describes “Those people, who made the people, who made the people, who made me.” It also describes the adventures and sometimes hardships that many of these ancestors endured so the child could be given the gift of life.

Author Troy Hallewell is raising money on Kickstarter to fund the printing and promotion needed for this new book. He writes, “I’ve really been trying to get this project in front of the eyeballs of people interested in genealogy and I’ve had some success so far.” He also stated, “I’ve raised over $600 in pre sales, but I need to raise another $1400 in order to fully fund the project. I know this project might go unfunded and I can live with that. But I don’t want roll over and give up until I have done everything I can to promote the book.”

Book Review: Blood Legacy: The True Story of the Snow Axe Murders

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Blood Legacy: The True Story of the Snow Axe Murders

by James Pylant. Jacobus Books, 2015. 246 pages.

From the back cover of the book:

In 1925 Texans were stunned when a teenager’s severed head was found in an abandoned farmhouse near the town of Stephenville. An investigation led to ex-convict F.M. Snow and the mysterious disappearances of his wife and mother-in-law.

But this shocking, bloody saga began 50 years earlier.

Book Review: Korzenie Polskie, Polish Roots

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Korzenie Polskie, Polish Roots
by Rosemary A. Chorzempa. Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. 270 pages.

This second edition of Rosemary Chorzempa’s book is a welcome update of what is simply the best Polish genealogy book out there. With several sections of new material particularly focused on online research, Polish Roots re-asserts its place as a singular and essential Polish research guide.

Part One: Research in America covers the American documents we can pursue: the trunk in the attic, ciocia kasia (talking to your family), church records such as parish anniversary books, cemetery, gravestone, and funeral records, obituaries, fraternal societies, alien and draft registration records, the U.S. Passport Office, and other resources. She writes excellent instructions for using the records of the Family History Library and Centers, she describes the Polish Museum of America Archives and Library in Chicago as well as several (American) Polish genealogical societies, and offers a list of local and regional repositories with Polish collections.

Book Review: How to Do Everything: Genealogy

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

How to Do Everything: Genealogy, Fourth Edition
by George G. Morgan. Published by McGraw Hill. 2015. 490 pages.

Does George Morgan ever sleep? With several already-published genealogy research guides available, he sure hasn’t slowed down much. This newest book appears to be his most substantial work so far.

This latest book is jam-packed with genealogy research information, with very few blank pages among the total count of 490+. Even the inside pages of the covers have text: The inside front cover summarizes What You’ll Do in This Book and the inside back cover lists the Best Starting Points on the Internet for Your Research. Not much wasted space here.

Book Review: The People of Ireland 1600-1699, Part Four

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The People of Ireland 1600-1699, Part Four
by David Dobson
Printed for Clearfield Co. by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. 114 pages.

Mr. Dobson gathered the 17th-century names of “ordinary people” whose roots were native to Ireland, or who were immigrant English, with a few names of Huguenot and Dutch immigrants. These collected names can be used to identify locations of families during the 1600s. Those persons of Scottish origin are collected in Mr. Dobson’s Scots-Irish Links, 1575-1725, and are not included in the People of Ireland works.

Mr. Dobson writes that there are few church baptism, marriage, and burial records from the Irish Catholic parishes before the mid-1750s. Presbyterian church records date from the 1670s, and the Quakers maintained records from the 1650s. As the predominant religion, the missing Catholic records represent a significant amount of missing data. Mr. Dobson accessed a considerable amount of material not available to the ordinary researcher, along with primary sources such as governmental records and references found in Irish, British, and European sources.

NGS Introduces Four New Research in the States Books: California, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Nebraska

The National Genealogical Society has introduced four new books for genealogists. I noticed that one of them (Nebraska) was written by Bobbi King who writes most of the book reviews that are published in this newsletter. (Hey, Bobbi. Can I write the review of YOUR book?)

The following announcement was written by the National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 20 MAY 2015—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is pleased to announce the publication of four, new books as part of its Research in the States series, which now covers research in more than twenty-two states. The newest volumes are Research in California by Sheila Benedict; Research in Missouri, 3rd edition, by Ann Carter Fleming, cgSM, cglSM, fngs; Research in Oklahoma by Kathy Huber, MLS; and Research in Nebraska by Roberta “Bobbi” King. The books are now available in the NGS store in both PDF and print versions. The print versions will ship after 31 May.

Book Reviews: Manitoba Scrip 2nd Edition and Northwest Half-Breed Scrip – 1885

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Manitoba Scrip 2nd Edition
Compiled by Gail Morin
Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2015. 330 pages

Northwest Half-Breed Scrip – 1885
Compiled by Gail Morin
Reprint by Genealogical Publishing Co., [1997] 2015. 287 pages.

Ms. Morin has compiled a massive number of names of Canadian Half-Breed scrip recipients, those persons of mixed white and Indian blood.

Manitoba Scrip contains the names of scrip recipients who were Mètis, as well as recipients who were Half-Breeds. Original white settlers also were entitled to land or cash scrip if they had settled in Manitoba between 1813 and 1835.

Northwest Half-Breed Scrip contains names of residents of the Northwest territories who were Half-Breed heads of family or Half-Breed children who received land and money scrip.

Book Review: Genealogy and The Law

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Genealogy and The Law
A Guide to Legal Sources for the Family Historian

by Kay Haviland Freilich & William B. Freilich
Published by the National Genealogical Society. 2014. 119 pages.

The law and its application to genealogy have become more and more a topic of interest to genealogists. Credit Judy Russell and The Legal Genealogist with her “Oh-My-Gosh-Isn’t-This-The-Most-Interesting-Law” blog accounts that draw us into her world of making sense of applying law to genealogy situations, both explanatory and amusing.

Genealogy and The Law is the latest in the Special Topics Series of books published by NGS. The authors, Kay Freilich has taught the Law Library course at the Samford Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research, and William Freilich holds his JD from Villanova University and is retired from corporate law practice. The two authors have written a very nice introductory, and also useful for the experienced researcher, particularly the Citing Your Sources chapter, book that covers the whys and where-fors for considering the aspects of law in your research.

Book Review: Historic German Newspapers Online

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Historic German Newspapers Online
Compiled by Ernest Thode
Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. 223 pages.

Ernest Thode is a name readily recognized in the German-researching community. His big, red, softbound German-English Genealogical Dictionary is likely on every German researcher’s bookshelf. I took it to Salt Lake City one year to help me transcribe microfilmed German church records, and it was a great help.

In German Newspapers Online, in the introductory pages, Mr. Thode writes, “…I contend that any search for a German or Eastern European ancestor is incomplete without looking in German-language newspapers for that area….There are now thousands of titles online, many scanned with OCR software, some full-text searchable, and others viewable by going chronologically and page by page (like the olden days of cranking a microfilm reader).” Newspapers of 50 years or older are the subject of his book, with some more current editions noted for their genealogical value.

NEHGS announces the Publication of Deborah Child’s, Soldier, Engraver, Forger: Richard Brunton’s Life on the Fringe in America’s New Republic

The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

April 23, 2015 – Boston, Massachusetts – New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announces the publication of the latest work by Deborah Child.

In this richly illustrated biography, the author follows in the footsteps of Richard Brunton, a British grenadier who fought in the American Revolution before deserting in 1779. A trained engraver and diesinker, his primitive but charming works include some of the earliest pre-printed family registers in America. Despite his many talents and efforts, he was never able to make an honest living from his craft. Instead, he spent years living on the fringes of society, forging and counterfeiting currency, until his death in a New England almshouse in 1832.

Book Review: Elements of Genealogical Analysis

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Elements of Genealogical Analysis
By Robert Charles Anderson
New England Historic Genealogical Society. 2014. 168 pages.

Robert Charles Anderson secured his place in the pantheon of genealogical greats when he became Director of the Great Migration Study Project. Supported by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the published volumes titled the Great Migration Series represent a set of colonial biographies that anchors New England research. His Santa-Claus beard belies a suffers-no-fools independence and an intellect that his admirers immediately pronounce as “genius.” The American Society of Genealogists, limited to a lifetime membership of fifty Fellows, received Mr. Anderson as one of its own in 1978.

Mr. Anderson discovered his own New England roots some forty years ago. His investigations broadened beyond his own family to encompass the biographies of the New England colonists. The Migration Project subsequently issued:

Guinness confirms Confucius Family Tree as World’s Largest

The genealogical line of the ancient Chinese sage Confucius has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest family tree in history, containing the names of more than 2 million descendants, according to the latest edition of the Confucius genealogy book published in 2009.

According to those who have looked at the book (in Chinese), the Confucius Genealogy appears to contain many source citations and supporting documentation.

Book Review: A Page of History – Passport Applications 1851-1914

The following review of two books was written by Bobbi King:

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

A Page of History
Passport Applications 1851-1914; Passport Applications Volume II 1915-1925
by Phil Goldfarb
Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC

These two volumes of A Page of History are not exactly genealogy books, but rather, books of general historical interest. Of course, if your ancestor happens to be one of the famous people included in the books, then your interest is very personal. And someone writing a biography of any of the persons in the book could find additional material.

The first pages detail a short history of passport applications, a brief summary of passports in the United States and passport application forms, and types of passport applications.

FamilySearch Free Historic Book Collection Online Hits 200,000th Milestone

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Imagine a free virtual online library of rare historic books from all over the world to help you discover rich, unknown details about the lives of your ancestors. What if the historic book collections held by significant public libraries and venerable societies were the sources of these contributed books? You’d have a dynamic, priceless online repository of some of the greatest hidden historic treasures predominantly unknown to man. International, and a growing host of partnering libraries and organizations and volunteers, have announced today that they’ve reached the milestone of publishing 200,000 historic volumes online for free at books.FamilySearch.org. The growing online collection, which began in 2007, is invaluable to genealogists and family historians in finding their ancestors.

FamilySearch has mobile digitization pods at partnering libraries and organizations across the United States including Fort Wayne (Indiana), Syracuse (New York), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), Independence (Missouri), Houston (Texas), at the University of Florida, and in Salt Lake City (Utah). Digitization is also being done at strategic FamilySearch Centers in Pocatello (Idaho), Mesa (Arizona), Oakland, Orange and Sacramento (California), and in Utah at the West Valley and Ogden Centers. . Most of the digitized publications consists of compiled family histories and local and county histories. The collection also includes telephone and postal directories and other resources.

A 9th-century “Leechbook”

I have had a few medical problems during my life and have been treated by a number of doctors. I am glad I didn’t live during the 9th century!

“Bald’s Leechbook” is not a book about blood-sucking worms. It’s a medieval tome written in Anglo-Saxon, probably during the ninth century, which outlines the practices of English doctors (sometimes referred to as “leeches” at the time) concerning care and treatment of a variety of human maladies. The book can now be found in London’s British Library.

Book Review: MindMaps for Genealogy

The following book review was written by Dick Eastman:

MindMaps for Genealogy
by Ron Arons
71 ppg. Published by Criminal Research Press

I have read a lot of genealogy books over the years but MindMaps for Genealogy was not like any other book I have read before.

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. The diagrams created by mind mapping techniques visually “map” information. Mind maps can be used as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.

In this book, author Ron Arons introduces the basic concepts of mind maps: what they are, how to create them, and how to use them for planning genealogical research. He also shows how mind maps can complement the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), considered to be a standard for determining and proving genealogy research results. Mind maps are particularly useful for helping solve “brick wall” problems that are common in genealogy research, including:

Google Books Reduces its Digitizing and Preservation of old Books while Internet Archive Increases its Efforts at the Same Thing

An article in The Message states that Google is reducing its efforts at digitizing old books. That certainly is a loss for genealogists, historians, and many others. In what appears to be an unrelated move, the Internet Archive is INCREASING its efforts at digitizing old books, adding 1,000 books to the online collection EACH DAY. Perhaps there is hope for genealogists after all.

In 2004, Google Books signaled the company’s intention to scan every known book, partnering with libraries and developing its own book scanner capable of digitizing 1,000 pages per hour. Since then, the company has digitized millions of old books, creating a valuable archive. Google Books is still online, but has curtailed its scanning efforts in recent years, likely discouraged by a decade of legal wrangling still in appeal. The Google Books Blog stopped updating in 2012 and the Twitter account has been dormant since February 2013.

Scottish Highlanders in America Documented in New Series

Dr. David Dobson, noted author of books pertaining to Scottish origins of American colonists, has introduced a new series designed to identify the origins of Scottish Highlanders who traveled to America prior to the Great Highland Migration that began in the 1730s. His first volume lists groups of Highlanders from Argyll who headed for North Carolina and New York.

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