Books

Scan and Digitize Your Books for $1 Each

I have been scanning genealogy books for several reasons. Finding information in digitized books is much easier and faster than manually searching through thousands of printed pages. However, the biggest reason is for a word that still gives me shivers. It is a word dreaded by almost every soon-to-be retiree:

DOWNSIZING

A few years ago, I became a “snowbird.” That is, I go south every winter and north every summer, following many of the birds. I now spend my winters in Florida where the weather is much more pleasant than where I have lived most of my life in the “snowbelt.” However, I still spend summers “up north.”

Having two homes has several obvious advantages but also more than a few disadvantages. First of all, it seems like every time I want to use something, such as a book full of genealogy information, it is always in “the other place.” That is a serious disadvantage for any genealogist!

Next, I downsized. My new home in the south is considerably smaller than where I spend my summers.

So here are the quandaries:

(+) EPUB: An Ebook Standard

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Would you like to have your genealogy book or your society’s newsletter available as an ebook publication? There is a huge reading audience that is taking advantage of the many convenient mobile reading devices on the market now. The popularity of these devices for reading books, newspapers, and magazines continues to explode. The reading public seems to love them, and the people who publish the ebooks definitely love the low cost of publishing this way. You could be one of those publishers.

Of course, you can also continue to publish in whatever format you already use: DOC, TXT, HTML, PDF, or even the old-fashioned way: printed on paper. You can use EPUB files as a second publishing method, allowing your readers to choose the format they prefer.

Put into the right format, your genealogy book or your society’s newsletter can easily be read on any of the many available ebook readers, including iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and many other ebook readers. The “secret” is to publish the document in EPUB format. With the tools described in this article, that is easy to do.

Internet Archive’s Book Scanning Robot

This is the way to digitize old books! The Internet Archive’s version of the Kirtas APT 1200 book scanning system in Toronto, Ontario, is shown in this video. Simply insert a (bound) book, press a button or two, and let the robotic scanner turn the pages automatically, saving a digital image of each and every page as it operates.
The first section of the video shows an operator working with the robot on every page turn. Later there is a section in this 10-minute video where the robot runs without being touched.

Two Book Reviews in One: The Wicked Trade and also The Suffragette’s Secret

The following book reviews were written by Dina Carson, a Colorado genealogist, author, and publisher:

The Wicked Trade
by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Self-published. 2018. 357 pages.

Morton Farrier, forensic genealogist, is back with a new case from the descendants of Ann Fothergill. They left behind a mysterious letter implying Ann’s association with the notorious Aldington Gang—a group of smugglers thought responsible for the murder of Quartermaster Richard Morgan.

They had been rounded up and hanged.

At least some of them were. How did the leader of the gang escape the gallows? And how did Ann make her way from “the tiny, filthy houses rife with poverty, larceny and prostitution” to own not one but several Inns and Public Houses?

Could she have been the key to the smugglers’ success and the gold they supposedly abandoned evading capture by the Preventative Officers—a ruthless group of King’s agents who had the power to order the execution of anyone caught smuggling. Was she the real ring leader, or merely caught up in the wicked trade? And which descendant is about to get caught up in the greed that often follows a tale of long lost gold? Only Morton Farrier can put together the clues to solve a nearly 200-year-old mystery.

A Genealogist’s Guide to Grand Rapids, Michigan Released

The following announcement was written by Jennifer Alford, Publisher of The In-Depth Genealogist

The fifth in a series of guides to popular research destinations

The In-Depth Genealogist is pleased to present their newest book in the research series by writer, Katherine R. Willson entitled “A Genealogist’s Guide to Grand Rapids, Michigan”. The book is a great resource for genealogists who plan on researching in this geographic area. This guide offers information for genealogists regarding the top libraries, archives, and museums in Grand Rapids, as well as the surrounding areas. These repositories offer abundant treasures for the researcher of all levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Also highlighted in this guide are a wealth of non-genealogical options for urban adventurers, art aficionados, beer connoisseurs, nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and the universal tourist. One could easily spend a week in this area and only sample a small portion of what this part of Michigan has to offer: stunning scenery, fantastic food, and unique attractions.

Work is Underway at NYG&B on a Guide to New York’s State Archives

The following announcement was written by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society:

NEW YORK CITY – April 27, 2018 – The NYG&B, New York’s oldest and largest genealogical organization, is spearheading the key publication.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has begun work on a guide to the New York State Archives, designed specifically for genealogists, local historians, and other researchers. The groundbreaking publication is being produced in cooperation with the New York State Archives and will be authored by professional genealogist Jane E. Wilcox.

The publication will feature more than 20 chapters outlining numerous materials from the New York State Archives collections key for tracing New York families. Ms. Wilcox, a member of the New York State Archives Advisory Committee and the NYG&B Family History Advisory Committee, brings a wealth of experience to the project. A full-time professional genealogist and the founder of Forget-Me-Not Ancestry, Ms. Wilcox focuses on colonial and early national New York and area research.

COSLA: eBook Feasibility Study for Public Libraries

Libraries everywhere are struggling as the world switches from printed books and magazines to e-publishing. Where do libraries fit into this brave new world?

A study by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) suggests that libraries can grow and thrive by focusing on eBooks. The study suggests that libraries need to anticipate this shift and become part of the eBook story. The study isn’t new, being published in 2010. However, I believe the information in the study hasn’t changed appreciably since then.

Specifically, the study states that libraries must:

Book Reviews: 6 Books by Joseph Lee Boyle

The following was written by Bobbi King, EOGN.com’s Book Review Editor:

Delaware Runaways, 1720-1783, “Very impudent when drunk or sober”

White Pennsylvania Runaways, 1763-1768, “much given to Liquor, and chewing Tobacco”

White Pennsylvania Runaways, 1769-1772, “much addicted to strong drink and swearing”

White Pennsylvania Runaways, 1773-1775, “much given to strong liquor, and low company”

White Pennsylvania Runaways, 1776-1783, “she snuffs, drinks and smokes”

By Joseph Lee Boyle. Published by the Genealogical Publishing Company.

Thousands of white Europeans did not come to the American colonies as free men and women. They were transported from Britain as indentured servants, political exiles, or convicts. In every colony, enslaved white persons preceded the engagement of black slaves long before the blacks arrived. Some were abducted to the colonies, some were runaways from impoverished homes selling themselves as servants, and some were exiles and vagabonds. White bound labor remained significant until the American Revolution.

Book Review: American Settlements and Migrations: A Primer for Genealogists and Family Historians

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

American Settlements and Migrations: A Primer for Genealogists and Family Historians
by Lloyd de Witt Bockstruck. Published by Genealogical Publishing Company. 2017. 108 pages.

This is a smallish book, indeed a primer, “any book of elementary principles.” This book reviews the population movements of the New England states and colonies as well as the western states and Pacific coast areas.

Primer is an easy read, but full of information. Chapters overview the settlements of:

Book Review: History for Genealogists

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

History for Genealogists
By Judy Jacobson. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co. 2016. 310 pages.

This is a timeline style of book.

Understanding the social setting of our historical families sets the stage for appreciating why they moved, why they married those particular people, and why they undertook those particular occupations and endeavors of their lives.

History covers chronologically the events for military battles and wars, disease epidemics, economic events, migration trails, politics, disasters, and other momentous happenings.

Book Review: The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide
by James M. Beidler. Published by Family Tree Books, Cincinnati, OH. 2018. 239 pages.

This new Historical Newspapers Guide covers research in traditional newspapers and online newspaper sources.

Part One includes chapters on the history of newspapers, and information you’d expect to find:

  • The Historical Role of Newspapers
  • Records in Newspapers
  • Vital Records and Events in Newspapers
  • Obituaries and Other Death Notices
  • Understanding Newspaper Media

Book Review: The Acadian Miracle

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Acadian Miracle
by Dudley J. Le Blanc, revised and edited by M.M. Le Blanc. Published by BizEntine Press. 2016. 392 pages.

Dudley Joseph Le Blanc (1894-1971), who continued to speak his ethnic Cajun French language for all his life, was a patent oil salesman (made him wealthy), an elected Louisiana state legislator and congressional U.S. senator, staunch advocate and defender of Acadian culture and history, and author, whose books celebrated the life of Acadian peoples and memorialized the forced Acadian Exile via his extensive personal research and publication of Acadian history.

The Acadian Miracle was published 50 years ago, in 1966. (An earlier book, The True Story of the Acadians, was previously reviewed in this newsletter). His granddaughter, M.M. Le Blanc, has taken the original manuscript and improved upon it, while maintaining original text, source material, and tone. This 50th Anniversary edition contains new content, added tables and charts, and appendices reorganized and revised. There are simple pencil drawings of people and events that illustrate the text, some maps, and tables with names.

A Personal Library Without Books

The subject of printed books and electronic books (or e-books) has been featured in numerous past articles in this newsletter. Therefore, I was interested today to see an online Associated Press article and video at https://yhoo.it/2C9Pg9d about numerous universities that are purging many printed books from their shelves. In many cases, the libraries simply don’t have the room for all the old books, and the idea of expanding libraries is subject to budget constraints. If they want to purchase new books, even printed publications, the libraries have to free up shelf space. Also, according to one 2009 study of libraries, between staffing, utility costs, and other expenses, it costs about $4 to keep a book on the shelf for a year.

Click here to see a video about universities purging dusty volumes

In one example at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, (yes, there really is an Indiana University of Pennsylvania, see https://www.iup.edu/ for details), nearly half of the university’s collection remained uncirculated for 20 years or more. Unused books obviously do no one any good.

An In-Brief Guide to New York Genealogy

A new research guide is now available as a PDF file. The following announcement was written by the folks at the In-Depth Genealogist Store:

IDG INTRODUCES THEIR NEWEST IN-BRIEF RESEARCH GUIDE:
“AN IN-BRIEF GUIDE TO NEW YORK GENEALOGY” BY LARRY NAUKAM

The In-Depth Genealogist (IDG) is pleased to present their newest in-brief research guide in the research series by writer, Larry Naukam, entitled “An In-Brief Guide to New York Genealogy”. Larry writes the column “Doing it Ourselves” for The In-Depth Genealogist’s digital magazine, Going In-Depth. Larry holds degrees in Geography, Library Science, and Divinity. For more than 30 years he has worked in libraries and information centers, using various techniques and technologies to enhance access to historical materials. As technologies have developed he has used them to make collections more accessible for students and researchers.

Newest In-Brief Research Guide: “Turning Your Family Tree into a Family Treasure” by Christine Woodcock

The following announcement was written by the folks at the In-Depth Genealogist:

IDG Introduces their Newest In-Brief Research Guide:

“Turning Your Family Tree into a Family Treasure” By Christine Woodcock

The In-Depth Genealogist (IDG) is pleased to present their newest in-brief research guide in the research series by writer, Christine Woodcock, entitled “An In-Brief Guide to Turning Your Family Tree into a Family Treasure”. Christine wrote the column “In Search of Your Scottish Roots” for The In-Depth Genealogist’s digital magazine, Going In-Depth. Scottish born, Canadian raised, she is a genealogy educator with an expertise in Scottish records. She enjoys sharing new resources to assist others in their quest to find and document their heritage. Christine is also a lecturer, author and blogger. She is the Director of Genealogy Tours of Scotland and enjoys taking fellow Scots “home” to do onsite genealogy research and to discover their own Scottish heritage.

Book Review: The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 4th Edition

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy
4th Edition. By Val D. Greenwood. Genealogical Publishing Co. 2017. 778 pages.

It’s nice to see this well-worn genealogical classic refreshed and reprinted. It’s held its worth and value nicely, and this most recent volume has been updated with pertinent information for researching today’s resources. The 3rd edition came out in 2000, so this 2017 edition encompasses significant updates.

The most obvious difference is the abundance of URLs throughout the book. Wherever there’s an opportunity for a researcher to go online and learn more about a topic, Mr. Greenwood includes the link. In rewriting his book, he regrets the opportunities for inaccuracies due to rapid changes of links and website addresses, a testament to his desire to write the most up-to-date volume possible. This from the man, who, in 1972, used an IBM Executive typewriter to type 535 pages, including all the charts, tables, and illustration, twice, to prepare camera-ready copy.

Book Review: In Search of a Fair Wind – The Sea Letters of Georgia Townsend Yates, 1891-1892

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

In Search of a Fair Wind
The Sea Letters of Georgia Townsend Yates, 1891-1892
By Georgia Townsend Yates and Clint Cargile.
Zea Mays Publ., Sycamore, Ill. 2017. 229 pages.

I find memoirs to be extraordinarily engaging, even when the central topic is of no great interest to me.

Being pulled into someone else’s life, reading the private thoughts, feelings, perspective, reactions to family, fears, insecurities, being privy to someone who has had a life different from mine, and shares it so unpretentiously, feels like a privilege.

Georgia Townsend Yates wrote letters home to her mother from the Willie Reed, an ocean vessel that sailed from the East Coast to Japan and Singapore from 1891 to 1892. Captain John Elvin Yates, Georgia’s husband, commanded the ship, and she sailed with him for fifteen months, accompanied by their toddler daughter Dorothy.

Where to Download Thousands of Free eBooks

It would be a stretch to say this article relates to genealogy; however, I have found that many genealogists are also avid readers with a broad range of literary interests. With this in mind, I thought I would share some ideas for those times when you want to enjoy reading a good book on a different subject.

Did you know you can obtain thousands of free ebooks to read online, download to your computer, or transfer to your Kindle, iPad, or other ebook reader?

Many of the available ebooks are electronic versions of classic literature. In other words, they are old books and are out of copyright. However, mixed in with these are quite a few more modern books where copyright permission has been obtained.

Most of these books can be read on a Kindle, iPad, or Nook, as well as on the screen of any Windows, Macintosh, Chromebook, or Linux computer. This is a great way to obtain a lot of reading material.

Check out these web sites:

4th edition of the Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy is now Available

Val D. Greenwood is one of the best-known and most respected genealogy authors of our time. His book, the Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, is one of the best “how to” manuals for beginning genealogists and advanced researchers alike. It is the text of choice in colleges and universities or wherever courses in American genealogy are taught.

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy identifies the various classes of records employed in that research, groups them in convenient tables and charts, gives their location, explains their uses, and evaluates each of them in the context of the research process.

“The challenge I give to the genealogist is to reach beyond the vital statistics to a new world of understanding, both of his ancestors and of himself. . . . Someone has said that there is little point in digging up an ancestor if you are not going to make him live”– Val D. Greenwood

Val has updated his classic work and the 4th edition of the Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy is now available from the publisher, Genealogical Publishing Company, at: http://bit.ly/2jEAnse as well as from other genealogy bookstores.

Book Review: Take Control of Your Digital Legacy

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Take Control of Your Digital Legacy
By Joe Kissell. An ebook, published at TidBITS Publishing, Inc., 2017. 127 pages.

At my age, those disagreeable, irksome end-of-life medical, financial, and genealogy issues raise their ugly heads. I dutifully pay attention to them for awhile, but after a time, I stop dealing about them and go back to working on more of the fun stuff. But I have to say, it never, ever, occurred to me that I needed to consider the legacy of my personal digital life.

You know, Facebook, LinkedIn, My Heritage, Ancestry, it’s quite a list once you make it. My personal computer, my genealogy software, my photo files, my research files, my subscriptions, my email accounts; what was paper in the 20th century is digital in the 21st century. And it still needs to be dealt with, if I want any of it to survive outside a Dell. My decades of photos, research, and genealogy reside in what my kids will see as a hard, gray laptop containing nothing they’re interested in. They will never open it, unless I convince them to care about what’s in it.