Books

Book Review: Frozen in Time

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

frozen-in-timeFrozen in Time
An Early Carte de Visite Album from New Bedford, Massachusetts
By Susan Snow Lukesh
Self-published at Lulu.com. 2016. 166 pages.

“Cartes de visite: small, mass-produced, and inexpensive photographs introduced in the United States in 1859, widely used in the 1860s and then almost completely superseded by the larger cabinet card photograph in the 1870s.”

Ms. Lukesh inherited a carte de visite album created in the 1860s by her great-great grandmother Abby Taber Hunt. She presents this album, along with biographical sketches of the families, with detailed descriptions of a neighborhood, as a glimpse of one sectional area as being representative of the larger metropolis, and a sense of the culture and times of the seacoast town and whaling port city of New Bedford.

The Genealogy Library Inside Your Computer: How to Increase Your Personal Genealogy Library without Additional Bookshelves

old_books_and_new_ebooksThousands of genealogy books are available to you right now. You can search for them and, if you find some that look interesting, you can be reading them within minutes. There is no waiting for the post office to deliver them. Best of all is the price: most of them are available free of charge!

NOTE: a few of the ebooks are only available on CD-ROM which obviously does involve a postal delay and normally costs some money..

As you may have guessed, these are out-of-copyright books printed prior to 1923 plus a handful of later books. Luckily, there were a lot of genealogy books published in those days. After all, the records weren’t as old back then!

In addition, I will list sources for many newer genealogy books that are for sale at modest prices.

Perhaps to Best Place to Start Your Search for Online Genealogy eBooks

Genealogical Publishing Company Adds a New Online Catalog Solely for Genealogy eBooks

genealogicallogoGenealogical Publishing Company, often abbreviated as “GPC,” has long been a major provider of genealogy and local history books. I suspect the company is the largest publisher of these books in North America although I don’t have any statistics to prove that belief. All I can say is that I have purchased many books from GPC over the years to help in my genealogy research efforts. Of course, GPC has had a web site at genealogical.com for years that has offered online ordering of books. Now GPC has added a new section to the web site: one that is dedicated to genealogy and local history e-books.

gpc_suggestions

library.genealogical.com offers not only an online catalog and very fast ordering; it also offers immediate delivery of ebooks. You no longer need to wait for days for the mailman to deliver a printed book. There are almost 800 titles on the site now and most of them are available as e-books.

With the new online ebook catalog, you can:

Online eBook: Acadian Culture in Maine

If you have Acadian ancestry, especially those who moved from Acadia to northern Maine, you will want to read a 92-page report on the history and culture of Maine’s upper St. John Valley that is available online free of charge. Acadian Culture in Maine, a 1994 publication of the National Park Service can be found on the web site of the University of Maine at Fort Kent Acadian Archives at http://acim.umfk.maine.edu.

acadian-culture-in-maine

The 1994 print run was limited to 1,000 copies that sold out quickly. The Park Service did not have the necessary funds for a second publication. Now the Park Service has made the book available online at no charge. The result is lower expenses for the National Park Service and a much wider audience for this reference book.

The Acadians featured in this book are those Americans of French descent connected by history to the upper St. John Valley of Maine and New Brunswick, including the descendants of early Acadian settlers of the St. John Valley.

Borrowing Library Books on Your Phone and Tablet

The New York Times recently published a “how to” guide for borrowing library books on your phone and tablet computer. The article points out:

“E-books are available for borrowing from about 11,000 libraries around the country, so confirm that your local library lends them and offers the Kindle format. You can find this out from the library’s own website or at OverDrive.com, a digital service that works with libraries to lend digital content to the public.

“If your library lends Kindle books, you just need a valid library card and PIN code from the institution itself. You also need an Amazon account, a Wi-Fi connection and a Kindle e-reader, Kindle Fire tablet, Kindle mobile reading app or the Kindle Cloud Reader.”

This and a lot more information is available at https://goo.gl/HiK5g8.

Converting My Personal Library to Digital

NOTE: This is an update to an article I published several years ago. I have changed hardware since then and have updated my procedures. This article reflects those changes.

I keep my computers and genealogy material in a small room in our house. I am sure the folks who built the house intended this room to be a child’s bedroom, but there are no children in the house, so I have converted it into something I call “our office.” I bet many people reading this article have done the same with a spare room in their homes.

bookscanningI have several computers and a 27-inch wide monitor in this room, along with a VoIP telephone, a high-speed fiber optic Internet connection, a wi-fi router, two printers (inkjet and laser), two scanners, several external hard drives used for making backups, oversized hi-fi speakers connected to the computers, and various other pieces of computer hardware. Luckily, these are all rather small, and advancing technology results in smaller and smaller devices appearing every year. I occasionally replace aging hardware, and the newer devices are almost always smaller than the old ones. However, I have a huge space problem: books and magazines. They don’t seem to be getting any smaller. My older books still take up as much room today as they did years ago.

“My office” has two bookcases that are each six feet tall and four feet wide, along with two smaller bookcases and a four-drawer filing cabinet. Pam and I share this “office,” so we have two desks, each laden with computers and printers. We squeeze a lot into a ten-foot-by-twelve-foot room.

I don’t want to count how many books I have purchased over the years, but I am sure it must be several hundred volumes. I don’t want to even think about the bottom-line price. I only have space in my four bookcases to store a tiny fraction of them; the rest are stored in boxes in the basement. Out-of-sight books are books that I rarely use. “Out of sight, out of mind.” I probably wasted my money by purchasing all those books as I rarely use most of them. I may have looked at them once, but I rarely go back to them again and again.

A Genealogist’s Guide To Boston, Massachusetts Released

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

gamble-guide_bostonma-coverThe fourth 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, Jacqueline Gamble entitled “A Genealogist’s Guide to Boston, Massachusetts”. The book is a great resource for genealogists who plan on researching in this geographic area. Approximately 12 million people from all over the world visit Boston every year to take in its beautiful harbor, amazing history, museums, sporting events, and more. With its mixture of old buildings (some dating back to the 1600s), new skyscrapers, and everything in between, Boston truly is a meeting of past, present and future.

This guide will provide you with what you will need to know when planning a genealogy trip to Boston. Within the book is information on repositories, libraries, historical societies, cemeteries, attractions, accommodations, and more in and around Boston.

Book Review: The Spyglass File

The following book review was written by Dina Carson and Bobbi King:

thespyglassfileThe Spyglass File
by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Self-published. 2016. 282 pages.

The following review was co-authored by Dina Carson and Bobbi King.
(Dina Carson is a tombstone photographer, editor, author, compiler of Boulder county records, Boulder [Colorado] Genealogical Society editor, and owner of Iron Gate Publishing. She has compiled and published numerous articles and books about Boulder County history and residents, and published her own series of books on writing personal family histories and self-publishing.)

The November holidays are behind us, the election is finally over, Black Friday lingers, and CyberMonday lasts only one day, so there are still a few days before the busy Christmas season is upon us to grab some me-time and enjoy a new Morton Farrier novel.

The Spyglass File brings back Morton Farrier, forensic genealogist, and he’s in more danger than ever before.

Providence (Rhode Island) Public Library opens a large Genealogical Collection to the Public

The Providence Public Library has opened a large compilation of Rhode Island genealogical material to researchers. The library acquired the James N. Arnold Collection in November 2015 and archivists have finished processing it. James N. Arnold published an eight-volume set of southern Rhode Island’s history and the first comprehensive set of vital records for the state. When he died, the collection of research, publications, personal papers, and personal library was given to the Knight Memorial Library in Providence.

Black and White Photos Reveal What Life Was Like in England in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

More than 1,200 black and white photos are published for the first time together in the book Lost England 1870-1930. Some of the amazing images show people dealing with the issues we still face today, including flooding in towns and cities. Others show factory workers, some of them children, lined up and operating huge machinery.

steep-steet-and-trenchard-street-in-bristol

The junction of Steep Steet and Trenchard Street in Bristol in 1866.

The New Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland Contains 45,000 English and Irish Surnames

A team of researchers from the University of the West of England in Bristol spent more than six years sleuthing out the origins of more than 45,000 surnames common to Great Britain and Ireland, with 8,000 of those, like Twelvetrees and Farah, investigated for the first time in the new book, The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland.

According to the publisher, the new book includes every last name in the island nations that has 100 or more bearers including the frequency of the name in 1881 and how common it is today. It even includes immigrant family names.

(+) Authors: Sell Your Books on Amazon

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

amazon-booksDid you write a book detailing your family’s history? Perhaps you wrote about the history of your town or perhaps a Civil War battle or almost any other topic. Another possibility is that your local genealogy society has extracted records from old documents and now wishes to publish them. Perhaps you self-published your book, had it printed, and now you have hundreds of copies stored in the basement. Indeed, one of the most difficult parts of self-publishing books is the marketing: how to advertise and sell the books. You may not know there is a powerful ally that would like to help: Amazon.

Amazon Announces Prime Reading – Unlimited Reading from a Rotating Selection of Books, Magazines, Comics and Other E-publications

This isn’t directly genealogy related although I do know that genealogists often are avid readers. I plan to use this new service a lot and thought I would share the information here.

prime-reading

Amazon Prime members in the United States now have free access to selected books, magazines and more. The selection within Amazon Prime Reading includes more than 1,000 popular books, access to premium magazines, exclusive short content and all of customers’ favorite Kindle features. The list of available e-publications includes The Hobbit, as well as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but the magazine selection actually sounds potentially more appealing with titles including National Geographic Traveler, People, Sports Illustrated, Popular Mechanics and more. I didn’t see any genealogy publications on the list, however.

Book Review: Story of My Life

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

story-of-my-life-a-workbook-for-preserving-your-legacy-by-sunny-jane-mortonStory of My Life
A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy
By Sunny Jane Morton. Family Tree Books. 2016. 191 pages.
This volume is an updated version of Ms. Morton’s My Life & Times published in 2011.

Story of My Life is titled as a workbook, and a workbook it is. I can see this as a group project. I’ve noticed that when my mother came with me on research visits to far-flung, long-ago-visited relatives, her memories stimulated their memories, and their memories stimulated her memories, and the stories poured out. The holidays are coming up, and these workbooks could offer opportunities to kindle some very good family information. Each workbook is for one person, but everyone can write in their respective books, and you can record the final results for your genealogy records.

Book Review: Organize Your Genealogy

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

organize-your-genealogyOrganize Your Genealogy
Strategies and Solutions for Every Researcher
By Drew Smith. Family Tree Books. 2016. 239 pages.

When Organize Your Genealogy came into my mailbox and I read the title, my first thought was, Who the heck needs another organize-your-genealogy book?

Recently, I spent an entire day researching a family. When I opened up The Master Genealogist to enter the data, the Person Screen shrieked the awful truth: You already did this research a year ago…bozo!

So who needs another organize-your-genealogy book? Well, it appears, I do.

National Genealogical Society Publishes the First Workbook on Genetic Genealogy

The following announcement was written by the (US) National Genealogical Society:

gginpARLINGTON, VA, 6 September 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the publication of Genetic Genealogy in Practice, the first workbook on genetic genealogy. Written by Blaine T. Bettinger, PhD, JD, and Debbie Parker Wayne, CGSM, CGLSM, the book provides family historians and genealogists who have just begun to explore genetic genealogy practical, easy to understand information that they can apply to their research. As Wayne notes in her blog, Deb’s Delvings in Genealogy, “DNA can seem complex to many of us, but this book will guide you and help build your knowledge level one step at a time.”

At their own pace, readers learn the basic concepts of genetic genealogy. They then build on that knowledge as they study the testing, analysis, and application of Y-DNA, X-DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and autosomal DNA (atDNA) to reach and support genealogical conclusions. Each chapter includes exercises with answer keys for hands-on practice.

A Genealogist’s Guide To Springfield, Illinois Released

The following announcement was written by Terri O’Connell, known as “The In-depth Genealogist”:

The third 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, Jane Gwynn Haldeman entitled A Genealogist’s Guide to Springfield, Illinois. The guide describes little known, and well known, research facilities in Springfield, Illinois in addition to leisure and family activities.

These guides are designed as a resource for genealogists when traveling away from home. Included are maps, dining options near research facilities, places to see or visit, in addition to information on archives, libraries, and research facilities. It is a convenient pocket sized, 5” x 8”, so it will easily fit in your bag or jacket.

National Genealogical Society Releases Research in Pennsylvania, 3rd Edition

The following announcement was written by the folks at the (US) National Genealogical Society:

ARLINGTON, VA, 23 August 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the publication of the newly revised and updated Research in Pennsylvania. This essential guide book introduces family historians to a wealth of historic documentation that can aid their genealogical research. Written by Kay Haviland Freilich, CGSM, CGLSM, FNGS, Research in Pennsylvania, 3rd edition, is part of the NGS Research in the States series and is available for purchase in the NGS online store in both PDF and print versions.

Guide to New York City’s Treasured Archives Released

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

The publication unlocks key resources for anyone tracing New York City’s vast
history to leverage the hundreds of key collections housed at the Municipal Archives.

New York City Municipal Archives- An Authorized Guide for Family HistoriansNEW YORK, NY — The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) is pleased to announce the release of New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians.

The 245-page guide will make research at this vital facility far more approachable and will introduce researchers to many previously-unknown record collections housed there.
As one of the world’s largest repositories of city records, the holdings of the New York City Municipal Archives offer untold resources for those tracing the history of New Yok City and its families. But until now, it has remained difficult for anyone but the most experienced researcher to navigate more than the basics of this essential archive. This new guide, created with the assistance of the New York City Municipal Archives, will make it possible for genealogists, family historians or anyone researching New York City’s vast history to leverage the hundreds of key collections found there.

Book Review: The Life and Times of Charles Leonard Holton

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Life and Times of Charles Leonard HoltonThe Life and Times of Charles Leonard Holton
by Joan A. Hunter. CreateSpace. 2016. 412 pages.

Life and Times of Charles Holton is a benchmark title for family history books. The book is big, measures 8 ½ x 11 inches in size, at least one inch thick, and heavy. Once you open the book, you’ll appreciate why.

It’s a well-written family history book. It’s composed in an easy-to-read style, written as a story, not in a dry straightforward genealogical study, but as a reader-friendly narrative form that unveils the lives of her pioneer families.

Dialogue adds to the novella aura of the story. Dialogue that is well-substantiated by Ms. Hunter having had access to an enviable collection of personal diaries and letters authored by the persons she writes about. This narration is a testament to the merit of examining personal letters and papers and bringing their reports and observations forward into today where we can sense their time and place.