Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Midwestern genealogy in Utah

The Utah Genealogical Association's quarterly Crossroads (December 2009, volume 5, no. 1) has two articles featuring Midwesterners:

"An Illinois Farmer in Utah Territory and Subsequent Return of the Native," by Gerald M. Haslam, who uses a diary and other sources to reconstruct the gritty lives of ordinary people in the coal-mining area of Peoria County, Illinois, (the Edwards and Hanna City area) in the 1890s, when A. J. Rynearson returned to proselytize among his neighbors and relations for his Mormon faith. In retrospect the author acknowledges that Rynearson was more successful as a historian/genealogist than as an evangelist. If you have research targets in this area, you know that candid descriptions of daily life in communities like this are hard to come by -- don't miss these! Even allowing for the fact of Rynearson's being present during the worst depression before the 1930s, it still sounds pretty rough.

"When the Name's Not the Same," by yours truly, focusing on the intertwined problems of identity, relationship, and nomenclature in the family of Lorson/Larson/Lawson/Lewis Barnum, of DuPage, Whiteside, and Cook counties in Illinois.

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