Friday, August 29, 2008

Piatt County, Illinois Harvest

Recently digitized books from the rural eastern Illinois county of Piatt, from Illinois Harvest:

White Heath Centennial, 1872-1972. S.l.:s.n., 1972? 48 pages.

Paugh, Myrta Grace. Biggest Little Town on Earth: DeLand Centennial 1873-1973. DeLand, IL?: Paugh, 1973. 91 pages.

Hammond Centennial Scrapbook 1973. Hammond, IL: s.n., 1973. Unpaginated.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Central and Southwestern Ohio Resources

The Fleshman Files website offers a variety of substantial index resources in Franklin, Delaware, and Hamilton counties: Green Lawn and Obetz cemeteries in Columbus, Oak Grove Cemetery in Delaware, and Wesleyan Cemetery in Cincinnati. Also in Cincinnati, Christ Church Cathedral and Fuldner Mortuary. Use with care, as some listings contain information beyond what's actually on the gravestone.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Land Records

Are you one of the many genealogists who search far and wide for vital records, but fight shy of land records? Two recent online items may encourage you to take the leap into some of the oldest and most easily accessible sources of evidence on ancestors:

* A new blog -- you never know if these things are going to stick around -- called In Deeds is an ongoing series of land research chronicles from Michigan, with sidelights on George Armstrong Custer.

* The Family History Bulletin at reprints from Everton's Genealogical Helper a Republic County, Kansas, study by Mary Clement Douglass, CG. Using the tract book or numerical index to follow a particular parcel of land in Republic County, she shows how she traced a family "through 4 generations and throughout the United States. It has given us legal name changes, clues to marriages, death dates, locations to pursue probate cases for deceased members, and evidence of the family scattering in the Twentieth Century across America. All of this information was found in less than two hours in the Republic County Register of Deeds office." Go for it.

(And if you have research targets in Kansas, take a look at her brand-new book on Kansas research.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Luxembourg Is Big in Wisconsin

Helen Pauly at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel highlights the Luxembourg Heritage Center to be built in Belgium, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. Apparently, "people of Luxembourg heritage living in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota outnumber all of those living in the tiny country of Luxembourg." Luxembourg is that little triangular country squeezed between Germany, France, and Belgium. What genealogical resources the LHC may eventually contain, I can't say . . .

Monday, August 25, 2008

Old Ohio Schools

Find pictures of past and present Ohio schools in 31 counties at Old Ohio Schools. No actual hard-core genealogy here, but how great to see where your ancestor went.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What NEHGS Knows That You Don't

The New England Historical and Genealogical Society is making major moves into New York research, and extending little pseudopods even farther west. Here are Midwestern resources highlighted by Valerie Beaudrault in recent issues of their email newsletter:

Hamilton County, Ohio, Genealogical Society -- that's Cincinnati and suburbs to ordinary folks -- with online Cincinnati Newspaper Obituary Index (seven newspapers, some in German) and Cincinnati Marriage Indexes from several sources. The society also offers a transcription of the 1894 History of Cincinnati and Hamilton Co. Ohio.

Cook Memorial Public Library District in Libertyville, Lake County, Illinois (confusingly, the county just north of Cook County), with a local newspaper obituary index from 1894, and images of local telephone books from 1913 and most years 1924-1959. The library also has an online genealogy newsletter, and if you go there, offers access to the premier resource for original records from Sweden, Genline.

Winneconne Cemetery, Winnecone, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, with online indexes by name and section, and a cemetery map.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Early Ohio Tax Records redux

If you do lots of work in Ohio before 1820, you may want to take advantage of the reissuing of Esther Weygandt Powell's Early Ohio Tax Records, which offers partial census substitutes for the largely missing 1800 and 1810 enumerations in that state. Seventy-five counties are covered. Details on the new book are at this Terre Haute, Indiana, newspaper site (thanks to Genealogy Miscellanea for the pointer).

If you need to consult this reference only occasionally, be sure to check for it on WorldCat after entering your zip code. It looks to me like it is fairly well distributed (at least around the Midwest) in mid-size libraries as well as the major genealogical ones -- you may live within driving distance of a copy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Indiana databases

The Indiana Genealogical Society has added two bunches of online databases to its website: four open to anyone, and ten open only to members.

Free and open to all comers are four volumes of the Records of Rose Orphans Home in Terre Haute, Vigo County, plus indexes to 1840-1910 alumni of DePauw University in Greencastle, Putnam County. These are searchable, and browseable if you simply hit the search button without entering anything in the search box. I picked up the underlying source for DePauw at a used bookstore in La Porte, and have perhaps rashly offered to provide lookups for those who find a person of interest in the index, so that they can see -- and cite -- the real thing and not rest content with the online index.

Available to members only are:
Deceased Members of Methodist Church's Northwest Indiana Conference (1854-1898)
Allen County, Indiana Soldiers in the Spanish-American War (1898)
Indiana's Civil War Veterans with Artificial Limbs
Indiana Volunteer Regiments in the Mexican War (1846-1848)
Alumni of Indianapolis College of Pharmacy (1932-1939)
Alumni of Indiana State Normal School, Terre Haute (1872-1900)
Faculty of Earlham College, Richmond (1860-1921)
Faculty of South Bend High School (1870-1911)
Non-Graduates of Indiana University, Bloomington (1820-1890)
Members of Indiana's 60th General Assembly (1897)

More online goodness is in the works. IGS membership is a good deal in any case, but get your money in soon as it runs by calendar year -- payable either by snail mail or by PayPal. My experience would suggest using snail mail.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Illinois Harvest in Knox, Stark, and Marshall Counties

More digital images of books about downstate from Illinois Harvest:

Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1886. 1108 pages.

Toulon's 125th Anniversary Historical Booklet, 1841-1966. Toulon?: n.p., 1966. 44 pages. Stark County.

Tomlinson, M. Maxine, ed. Old Sandy Remembers: Evans Township. Wenona?: n.p., 1968. 131 pages. (Don't miss the Marshall County Sesquicentennial Place Mat!)

Yates City: A Time To Remember, 1776-1976. S.l.: s.n., 1976? 45 pages. Knox County

Monday, August 18, 2008

Illinois Harvest in Tazewell and Mason Counties

Recently digitized books at Illinois Harvest having to do with central Illinois just east of the Illinois River:

History of Tazewell County, Illinois. Chicago: C. C. Chapman & Co., 1879. 794 pages.

Graber, E. J. The History of Minier, Illinois. Minier: The Centennial Committee, 1967. Unpaginated.

Kilbourne Yesterday and Today. Kilbourne?: The Association, 1970. 94 pages.

Valentine, Mrs. Bill, et al., eds. History of Washington, Illinois, Sesquicentennial, 1825-1975. Washington: Sesquicentennial Committee, 1975. Unpaginated.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chicago Genealogist, Summer issue

From the Chicago Genealogical Society:

"Additional Late 19th and Early 20th Century Chicagoans in Photographs," by Craig Pfannkuche

"St. Thomas the Apostle High School: Classes of 1939-1942," submitted by Ellen C. Courtney

"The Family of James Joscelyne," by Ben Joscelyne

"Saint Dominic High School --'The Torch' Yearbook, 1956," submitted by Joseph L. Rhodes

"Wedding Photograph of Otto Daniel Meister and Agnes Uber," submitted by Doris Carlson Sturm

"St. Francis de Sales High School, Graduating Class of 1954," submitted by Thoams J. Draus

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ohio Genealogy News spring issue

OGS always has a lot going on:

"Ohio, the Gateway to the West: Genealogy Resources at the Columbus Metropolitan Library," by Russ Pollitt

"Ohio Death Certificate Images Online, 1908-1953," by Deb Cyprych

"2009 OGS Conference Call for Papers"

"Cemetery Chronicles," by Lolita (Thayer) Guthrie

"More Accessible Resources in the Cincinnati Public Library's Genealogy Department," by Patrician Van Skaik -- including an RSS feed, the River History Collection, "the leading African American research collection in the nation," and digitized Cincinnati city directories for many of the years 1819-1866.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

St. Clair County IL GS Quarterly

SCCGSQ's second issue of 2008:

"Extracts from Death Register book II," 1883-1884, by Melinda Cahill and Diane Walsh

"Marriage Index 1909," by Audrey Cannady Massingill

"Military Discharges 'K'" by Annette Weber and Edith Hock

"Walnut Hill Cemetery: A Memorial Tribute to Our Forebears: New Project"

"Unindexed Bounty Land Applications," by Diane Walsh

"Vital Statistics Extracted from the Belleville Daily Advocate 1927-1954," comp. Nancy Giles

"Milwaukee Area Research," by Mike Ackley

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cradle of the Middle Class

I can't help being more than a quarter-century late to the party, I'm an enormous fan of Mary P. Ryan's Cradle of the Middle Class: The Family in Oneida County, New York, 1790-1865 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1981). Not only was Oneida County a major feeder for Midwestern migration, the story she tells -- from frontier to commercial to industrial center -- was replayed with variations further west. She ties together big-picture economic changes, religious revivals, child-rearing strategies, the emergence of privacy, the separation of public and private spheres, and the loosening grip of family ties -- all without losing touch with specific people and places.

I had no idea, for instance, how "a fine network of kin relationships was superimposed upon the factory order of New York Mills. One set of employment records dating from 1826 was actually arranged into family units. This ledger detailed the work experience of some twenty families, all identified by the name of the father or occasionally a widowed mother at the top of the page." {46} If you're reading this blog, I predict you won't be able to put this book down.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chicago, Its History and Builders

So far I haven't found a web site that has digital images of all five volumes of Chicago: Its History and Its Builders, A Century of Marvelous Growth (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1912). But if you visit both Google Book Search and Illinois Harvest, between them you can view the whole thing.

A search on the title in quotes at Google Book Search produces three hits. At least on my machine, the top one is volume 5, the second one is volume 4, and the third hit is volume 1. Click on the title page image to make sure what you've got.

Illinois Harvest has four of the five volumes at the following URLs:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 5

Since Volume 4 and 5 have the biographies, this could make a difference.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Forgotten History of Traffic

Previously posted on Rootsweb's APG [Association of Professional Genealogists] mailing list:

My day job doesn't usually offer much food for genealogical thought, but today's a good day. These sentences from Peter D. Norton's new book, Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008), seem appropriate to the never-ending quest for good historical context:

"Success in . . . historical investigations requires not merely looking back from where we stand today at the actors of times past, but getting back to them, so we can stand next to them and adopt their perspective." In particular,

"Today we tend to regard streets as motor thoroughfares, and we tend to project this construction back to pre-automotive streets. In retrospect, therefore, the use of streets for children's play (for example) can seem obviously wrong, and thus the departure of children from streets with the arrival of automobiles can seem an obvious and simple necessity. Only when we can see the prevailing social construction of the street from the perspective of its own time can we also see the car as the intruder. Until we do, not only will we fail to understand the violent revolution in street use circa 1915-1930, we will not even see it. This is why the full scale of the wave of blood, grief and anger in American city streets in the 1920s has eluded notice." (page 2)

If you're skeptical of his substantive thesis, or prefer factual details to theory talk, I recommend the whole book as a meticulously detailed and thoroughly documented account of how "common sense" reversed itself within a few decades.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Illinois Harvest in Effingham County

Now better known as the crossroads of interstates 57 and 70, Effingham County's in southeastern Illinois and has some histories recently digitized by Illinois Harvest:

Perrin, William Henry. History of Effingham County, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin & Co., 1883).

Teutopolis Centennial Souvenir Program and Historical Sketch, 1839-1939 (Teutopolis: Teutopolis Centennial Committee, 1939). 64 pages.

Teutopolis quasquicentennial 1964 (Teutopolis?: s.n., 1964), unpaginated.

Pulliam, Peggy. Towns of Effingham County, Illinois (Effingham: The Comission, 1975). 25 pages.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Century of Indiana History

It's funny how you find things out. A note in the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society's August/September newsletter mentions that the Indiana Magazine of History is on line from its 1905 founding up to two years ago -- digital images of the original, and every word searchable.

Scanning the September 1908 issue, it strikes me that the historical journal in those days was like many state genealogical journals are today -- relying heavily on transcriptions of documents, rather than original analytical work. So there's hope!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Illinois Harvest in Christian County

Recently digitized books at Illinois Harvest from central Illinois' Christian County:

McBride, J. C. Past and Present of Christian County, Illinois. Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1904. 582 pages.

Pana, Illinois, City of Roses, Centennial, 1856-1956. Pana: Pana News-Palladium, 1956. 56 pages.

Assumption Century of Progress, Assumption, Illinois. Assumption: Prairie State Tribune, 1953. 77 pages.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What is a Midwesterner, anyway?

I've been enjoying a book that isn't easy to find. Ten top Midwest historians tackle the question of what this region without characteristics could possibly be, in The American Midwest: Essays on Regional History (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2001), coedited by Andrew R. L. Cayton and Susan E. Gray. So far I'm especially fond of Cayton's essay on the "anti-region" and Purdue's John Lauritz Larson's unsparing "Pigs in Space," which grew out of his not altogether positive experience at Conner Prairie.

Cayton sets up the issue through literature: Quentin Compson, a Faulkner character, is obsessed with his relationship to his native region, the South. "The South paralyzed him, reduced him to passivity, and paved the way to suicide. Quentin believed that he could never hope to understand himself without understanding the South; that his identity was the creation of a unique interaction of peoples and environment; that he was rooted in a place that he could not escape even in the cold world of New England." {140}

What Midwesterner, real or fictive, has that strong a feeling about his or her home region?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Illinois Harvest in Greene County

Western Illinois' Greene County books recently digitized by Illinois Harvest:

Clapp, Clement L., comp. History of Greene County, Illinois. Chicago: Donnelley, Gassette & Lloyd, 1879. 771 pages.

Miner, Ed. Past and Present of Greene County, Illinois. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1905. 645 pages.

Rockbridge Centennial, 1871-1971. Rockbridge: Rockbridge Centennial Committee, 1971? Unpaginated.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The perfect marriage: library computing and flight delays

I'm late with this, but it's too good to pass up. In her Crowe's Nest Genealogy Blog, Elizabeth Powell Crowe passes on the press release from the Akron-Canton Airport and the Stark County District Library: they installed two kiosks using PCs retired from the library and retrofitted for free public use. The airport offers free wireless already, but this way non-wireless delayed flyers may have a chance to check their email...or check out that genealogy database they've been wondering about. Now don't you wish you were flying to Akron?