Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto Seeks a new Home for its Books

Writing in the Canadian Jewish News, Bill Gladstone describes a set of books looking for a new home. The Toronto-based Jewish library collection is up in the air as the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto (JGST) seeks a new home for its specialized collection of roughly 500 books and 45 periodicals.

The non-circulating collection has been housed since 1989 in the sixth-floor Canadiana room of the North York Central Library on Yonge Street, a branch of the Toronto Public Library system, where it has been accessible to patrons on an in-house, reference basis only. Although the Canadiana room has for decades been dedicated to genealogical research, the library recently announced it is “repurposing” the room, with renovation slated to begin in April or May.

You can read the full story in Bill Gladstone’s article at

Book Review: Citing Genetic Sources for History Research, Evidence Style

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

CitingGeneticSourcesCiting Genetic Sources for History Research, Evidence Style
By Elizabeth Shown Mills
Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2015. 4 pages.

This is one of a series of the QuickSheet guides: laminated, sized at 8.5 x 11 inches, reference sheets that offer condensed sections of key information on specific genealogical topics. This particular QuickSheet sets forth citation templates for genetic sources.

The Evidence Style notation notes that the templates and examples follow the styles in Elizabeth Mills’ Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyperspace. This QuickSheet would be supplementary to the magnum opus.

Book Reviews: Jeff Bowen, Transcriptionist Extraordinaire

The following was written by Book Review Editor Bobbi King:

This article highlights the prodigious work of Jeff Bowen.

JeffBowen-1Western Navajo Reservation
Navajo, Hopi and Paiute 1933 Census with Birth and Death Rolls 1925-1933
Transcribed by Jeff Bowen
Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2015. 171 pages.

This is a follow-up volume to Mr. Bowen’s previously-published 1932 census transcriptions of the Navajo, Hopi, and Paiute Native Americans accompanied by transcriptions of the birth and death rolls.

Huge Free Collection of Digitized Books Now Available on MyHeritage

This is a huge release. MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) has just released a collection of about 37,000 digital books, roughly 250 million pages, that are useful for genealogy research. The books are available as both images of the original pages plus as OCR (Optical Character Recognition) text. You can also print as many pages as you wish. Mac users and anyone using one of the later versions of Windows also can save them as PDF files by using PDF “printing” built into the operating system. MyHeritage will also automatically insert source citations directly into a person’s record within your database on MyHeritage. You can see an example of a book about my surname at the end of this article.

The following is the announcement from MyHeritage:

MyHeritage_logoWe’ve just added an exciting new collection to MyHeritage SuperSearch™, containing over 37 million pages in 150,000 books relevant to family history!

Search Compilation of Published Sources now

The new collection includes tens of thousands of digitized historical books, with actual images of the books’ pages, and all their text extracted using Optical Character Recognition. The books span the last four centuries and include family, local and military histories, city and county directories, school and university yearbooks, church and congregational minutes and much more. A vast amount of rich data from diverse publications makes this collection a fantastic source of rare genealogical gems, providing insight into the lives of our ancestors and relatives.

Book Reviews: Several At-a-Glance Publications

The following book reviews were written by Bobbi King:

Several At-a-Glance publications have come into my mailbox over the past few months, so let’s take a look at some of the latest of these four-page guides that offer quick-read research information for the working genealogist. The publisher of these handy laminates is the Genealogical Publishing Company.

Ohio Genealogy Research by Michael A. Ports. 2015. This Ohio guide begins with a Settlement Background section that covers Ohio history from the pre-Revolutionary 1700s through the Indian removal years, up to year 1900. The section describes in excellent detail the numerous population groups who came to settle the Ohio regions, such as the Germans and Scotch-Irish who came from the Mid-Atlantic states, and the New Englanders who settled the Connecticut Western Reserve. Several groups are thusly described.

The center pages contain descriptions of Record Sources, including the county-level records, of which there are some very early ones: Washington County was formed in 1783 (the year America gained independence with the Treaty of Paris) to Noble County, created in 1851. Records Sources goes on to describe the birth and death records, marriage and divorce records, land records, and probate court records. After each segment are references to links and further reading resources for continued research.

Book Review: Endogamy: One Family, One People

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

EndogamyEndogamy: One Family, One People
by Israel Pickholtz. Colonial Roots, Millsboro, DE. 2015. 201 pages.

Endogamy is “marriage within a specific group as required by custom or law” as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Mr. Pickholtz writes that European Jews, for generations, married within their own tribes leaving behind a limited genetic pool among the descendants. Members of a tribe today are all related to one another multiple times, creating endogamy, and a situation of research difficulty for the Jewish genealogist.

Endogamy is the account of Mr. Pickholtz’s DNA research of his family. He is of Jewish roots, and notes that he hasn’t seen anything written about the genetic genealogy of Jews. So he wrote this book as his “How I Did It” chronology and hopes to guide along others with similar “closed family” relationships.

Book Review: First Métis Families of Quebec

First_Métis_Families_of_QuebecFirst Métis Families of Quebec
by Gail Morin. Genealogical Publishing Company. 2012-2015. Five volumes.

The Métis are generally considered the people descended from the aboriginal North American Indians and the later European trader-settlers. The term historically has referred to people also called half-breed, mongrel, Country-born, Mountain Men, or Sauvages (savages). (This information on Métis background material read at

The format of all five volumes is similar. There are a few individual detail reports on the primary progenitors of each book, followed by the genealogies of their descendants. Lots and lots of genealogies. With lots of information from facts that are well-documented using Canadian and United States sources. Each volume has an index of thousands of names. Five volumes have been published, and I believe there are to be six volumes in total.

First Métis Families of Quebec, Volume 1, Fifty-Six Families covers three generations of the descendants of the original fifty-six families.

How To Share, Send or Loan Your Kindle Books

HowToShareSendorLoanYourKindleBooksI have read a few comments online stating that one drawback of ebooks is that they cannot be shared or lent to others. That may be true for some ebooks but not for Kindle ebooks purchased from Amazon. Step-by-step instructions for doing all that are provided in a Kindle ebook (naturally!) entitled How To Share, Send or Loan Your Kindle Books. Written by Ivan Peretti, the table of contents includes:

Method 1: Share Kindle books by using the same Amazon Account.
Share Using “Send to Kindle” Program
Send to Kindle through Windows Explorer
Send to Kindle through a print dialog

Method 2. Download and Transfer via USB

Method 3. Kindle Book Lending
How to Find Loanable Kindle Books
Lending via Manage Your Kindle page
Getting Kindle Book Loans
Downloading a Kindle book Loan
More Info on Kindle Book Lending
Loaning Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Book Review: The America Ground

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

TheAmericanGroundThe America Ground
by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. 2015. 250 pages.

This is the third book in a series featuring the genealogist and mystery-solver Morton Farrier. Farrier is a fictional character set in a fictional story, but the author incorporates actual events and places to build the story.

America Ground is a real place (outside Hastings, Sussex, England). A seashore bank of land, just outside the boundaries of Hastings Borough, was formed when severe storms clogged the harbor with accumulations of earth and debris. The eight acres of seaside tract came to be known as America Ground when, in the 1820s and 1830s, a workforce of laborers occupied the spot and built up a colony of no governmental oversight, whose inhabitants hoisted the American flag as a show of independence. By 1835 the inhabitants had been cleared out, and the tract stood empty and came to be known as the Waste Lands. In 1849 a real estate developer leased the land for 99 years. Today, the American flag and the Union Jack fly together around the 4th of July.

Book Review: The Best of Reclaiming Kin

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Best of Reclaiming Kin
by Robyn N. Smith. Self-published. 2015. 285 pages.

Robyn Smith writes a blog called Reclaiming Kin at

She’s a busy gal, I counted over one hundred titles on her blog, covering:

  • Evaluating Evidence (“I Found You Mary Neal: Analysis Uncovers An Identity”)
  • Census Records (“Is The Wife Really the Mother of all Those Children?”)
  • Vital Records (“A White Father: Direct Evidence”)
  • Probate Records (“Henry’s Slaves: One in a Million”)
  • Slave Research (“There Were No “Good” Slaveowners”)
  • Slaveowner Research (“Mind of the Slaveowner”)
  • Reconstruction Era Research (“Freedmens Bureau Records Online”)
  • Records, Resources and Tools (“Tips on Using World War Draft Registrations”)
  • Court Records (“Alabama Convict Records”)
  • Tips and Training (“The Civil War of Source Citations”)
  • Writing Your History (“Ideas for Writing Your Family History”)
  • Newspapers (“Black Newspapers Break a Brick Wall!”)
  • Cemeteries (“Clustering at the Cemetery”)
  • Bible Records (“Biblically Speaking”)

Reclaiming Kin is a compilation of what she considers the best of her blog posts. Over eighty posts are arranged into five broad chapters: Records and Resources, Evidence Analysis, Slave Research, Research Tips, and Robyn’s Family Research.

Google Book-Scanning Project is Legal, According to a U.S. Appeals Court

A U.S. appeals court has ruled that Google’s massive effort to scan millions of books for an online library does not violate copyright law, rejecting claims from a group of authors that the project illegally deprives them of revenue. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected infringement claims from the Authors Guild and several individual writers, and found that the project provides a public service without violating intellectual property law.

A unanimous three-judge appeals panel said the case “tests the boundaries of fair use,” but found Google’s practices were ultimately allowed under the law. The ruling will encourage Google to continue adding digital images of books to the Google Books web site.

Book Review: Only a Few Bones

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

OnlyAFewBonesOnly a Few Bones
by John Philip Colletta. Heritage Books. 2015. 544 pages.

Facts carry very little drama: Joe Ring, died March 4, 1873.
But from the keyboard of a master storyteller:

I can see it now, the Ring & Co. store, blazing like a funeral pyre in the swampy desolation of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta. Through the enormous flames lapping the walls and clawing across the roof, I see the outline of the two-and-a-half story building as though I were standing there, right in front of it, that Tuesday night, March 4, 1873. The heat sears my face and the smoke stings my eyes, though behind me the air is cool and filled with drizzle. It rolls down the back of my neck and chills me to the bone. The monstrous roar, the crackling and popping, spitting and smashing pierces my ears and throbs in my head and I wince from pain.

Book Review: Hinrich, Annals of an Immigrant Family, 1866-1913

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Hinrich_bookHinrich, Annals of an Immigrant Family, 1866-1913
by David Schlichting. Memoir Books. 2015. 292 pages.

Mr. Schlichting consulted a wide variety of German migration references, and it shows in the background information he provides as he relates his family history within the larger context of the social times of their residencies in Europe and America. He notably brings to life the course of events his research uncovered.

The Hinrich Schlichtings immigrated in 1869 from northern Germany, passing through the American cities of Cincinnati and Milwaukee, finally making their homes in the farming areas of Wabasha County, Minnesota. Some families traveled farther west into Oregon.

Mr. Schlichting nicely transforms fact into story, such as when he describes an early Minnesota settlement:

NEHGS Announces Publication of The Great Migration Directory by Award-Winning Genealogist Robert Charles Anderson

The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS):

The Latest Work in a Series of Early American Genealogical Resources by Anderson Is One of the Most Important to Be Published on New England

Study Estimates 95% of All People in New England Enumerated in First U.S. Census Trace Their Ancestry to Great Migration Immigrants

September 22, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has announced the publication and release of the latest work by Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Directory, Immigrants to New England, 1620–1640: A Concise Compendium. A nationally celebrated scholar of early American immigration, history, and genealogy, Anderson has served as Director of NEHGS’s Great Migration Study Project since its beginning in 1985.


How to Make a Book Available to Everyone

oldbookDo you own an out-of-copyright genealogy or family history book? Perhaps your local library or genealogy society owns such books? If so, would you like to make the books available to everyone?

A newsletter reader sent an email message to me and described a genealogy book she had found in a collection of items inherited from a recently-deceased relative. She wanted to make the book available to a member of the family described in the book but wasn’t sure how to find an interested descendent of that family. My suggestion: Don’t give the book to just one person who might read it and then put it on the shelf, hidden from all the other descendants. Instead, give it to everyone.

You can find a number of organizations that accept book collections and digitize them. However, the majority of these organizations are set up to accept dozens, if not hundreds, of books at one time. The receipt of a single book is not practical when the scanning process is geared for accepting, cataloging, and scanning large numbers of books at once. is an exception.

Really Cheap e-book Deals

FiftyShadesI have written often about the advantages of e-books. It used to be frustrating when e-books cost as much as printed books despite the obvious facts that publishing costs for e-books are significantly lower than the costs of  publishing traditional books. Luckily, that is now changing.

Writing in the Cheapskate Blog, Rick Broida writes that Google Play has a huge, limited-time e-book sale going on right now. This isn’t one or two high-profile books accompanied by a bunch you’ve never heard of; the selection includes one bestseller after another. Most of them can be purchased for $1.99 or $2.99 with a very few at higher prices. The highest-priced e-book I see on the list sells for $4.99, still a fraction of the price of the same book printed on paper. You can read the books on Windows, Macintosh, iPad, or Android devices.

eBook: Sources for Genealogical Research at the Austrian War Archives in Vienna (Kriegsarchiv Wien)

The 20-page booklet, Sources for Genealogical Research at the Austrian War Archives in Vienna (Kriegsarchiv Wien) by Christoph Tepperberg, Director of the Kriegsarchiv, is available online free of charge. Best of all, the booklet is published in English.

Here is the table of contents:

Book Review: Evidence Explained

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

EvidenceExplainedEvidence Explained
Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace
by Elizabeth Shown Mills
892 pages. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co. 2015.

Boy, is it ever tough to bear the genealogist who slaps online family genealogies into his or her genealogy program and calls it good. Thank goodness I have Evidence Explained to come home to. Not just for the citation models, but for the reasoning, the rationale, and the script when I have the opportunity to discuss (stay calm, stay calm) the merits of citations to my Download The Genealogy friends.

Ms. Mills’ first citational guide, Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian is 124 pages long, published in 1997. Next came Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 884 pages and first published in 2007. Now we have the Third Edition, 892 pages long, and Ms. Mills should finally be able to take a well-earned rest.

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:

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.


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